2016 Chilifest

2016 Chilifest

William Clark Green, Reckless Kelly and Lynyrd Skynyrd will be the headliners of Chilifest 2017, organizers announced Friday night.

Green and Reckless Kelly will headline March 31, with Lynyrd Skynyrd headlining April 1.

Other performers scheduled for March 31 include the Hunter Rea Band, Parker McCollum, John Baumann and Flatland Cavalry. On April 1, Shane Smith and the Saints, Jason Boland and the Stragglers, Wade Bowen and Cody Johnson will perform.

The 2017 festival is the 26th year for Chilifest, which will take place at the Starlight Ballroom in Snook. Both days will be open to the public.

Organizers said a new kind of ticket is debuting this year.

"The most exciting new thing we have going this year is what we call the Chilifest Village," said Texas A&M senior Hank Kuehler, who is serving as lead event organizer. "Last year we sold out of VIP tickets. We wanted people to have another option between VIP tickets and general admission."

Village tickets will cost between $90 and $125 depending on the length of the purchaser's attendance and will cover special seating with an enhanced view of the stage, as well as free food and drinks. There will only be 100 Village tickets for sale, though they will be available for purchase both online and at the festival.

Organizers expect this year's festival to be even larger than last year. In 2016, about $225,000 was raised for charity through the event's profits, and the goal this year is to raise at least $250,000. Kuehler said last year's event might have been even higher had 2016 headliner ZZ Top not needed to cancel at the last minute after bassist Dusty Hill dislocated his shoulder two days before the show.

"But we had so many sales online last year that it didn't have a huge effect," Kuehler said. "We have a big booking agent who works with us each year, and last year he was on the phone with our president all day brainstorming our replacement act."

Kuehler said this year's festival will be bigger than ever. In addition to the chili cookoff, the Dixie Chicken also will be returning for the second year as one of several food vendors.

Ticket prices will range between $75 and $260 and will be available soon at chilifest.org. Shuttle service and parking will be offered again at the Post Oak Mall in College Station.

Since 1999, Chilifest had donated more than $2.5 million to charity.

For more information, visit chilifest.org.

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