In The News

Rock the river to beat the heat: Free Thursday night concerts growing in popularity

by J. David Barron | Jul 10, 2013

Photo courtesy of the Trinity River Vision Authority - Music lovers and summer water bums are invited to hit the shores of the Trinity River in downtown Fort Worth every Thursday through Aug. 8 for the Rockin' the River Summer Music Tubing Series.

By J. David Barron, Allen American

Published: Wednesday, July 10, 2013 12:30 PM CDT
Is the summer leaving you with just a hot dog and the cold shoulder? Believe it or not, there's an unlikely outdoors venue for cooling off the hound and re-kindling that romance.


And it's free.

Told you it was cool.

The Trinity River is not the first river Texans tend to jump into whenever going for a float. But now it's got something even the iconic Comal and Guadalupe rivers can't tout for their Thursday night venues - free live music. Welcome to Rockin' the River, Metroplex style.

Just off Belknap in downtown Fort Worth next to the river at 395 Purcey Street is a place called Panther Island Pavilion. Parking is free, and so is the water, the shade and the music. Music lovers and party-goers are encouraged to bring their own floats, whether it be an inner tube, kayak or floating gorilla. Dogs are welcome too, provided they are kept on a leash. The one thing you can't bring is your own cooler. Six-pack coolers will be supplied, then asked to be returned at the end of the night.

Rockin' the River is the name of the event and the music starts on the main stage at 6:30 p.m. each Thursday night through Aug. 8. Gates open at 4 p.m. Once the headliner and last call bands have finished on the main stage, then some more fun begins on the floating stage at 10 p.m.

"It's going well," said Matt Oliver, public information officer for the shows. "It really is a fun event. You can sit on the banks of the river under the shade of the trees or you can float in the river where you can literally float right up under the stage where you're watching the show literally 10 feet from the band."

Phil Hamilton will headline on July 11, with Micky and the Motorcars the week after, but Oliver said the show everyone is circling will be the following party.

"On July 25 we have Cody Canada and The Departed. Cody Canada was a member of Cross Canadian Ragweed so they already have a great following," Oliver noted. "That's one that we've kind of picked out and looked at because we expect it to be one of the biggest show we've ever had."

Since Rockin' the River includes loud music and alcohol, parents and guardians are asked to please use discretion in bringing young children. Children less than 30 inches tall will not be allowed in the water. All children 12 years of age and younger must wear a life jacket, which are available on site and provided free of charge. Lifeguards will be on duty, however all attendees enter the river at their own risk.

Drinks and food are also available for a fee. Blankets, towels and chairs are allowed for land lovers to enjoy the shows. Don't forget the sunscreen and appropriate river shoes. You'll need your ID if you're purchasing beer, which is provided for $3 per 16-ounce brew, same price for sodas and water. Food ranges from about $3 to $8. Inner tubes for rent go for $6. There is free water at the hydration station. About the only other rule is to enjoy yourself. Or, as they like to say at Rockin' the River, "Keep calm, and tube on."