CARTHAGE — The annual Texas Country Music Hall of Fame Festival will be livestream-only this year, letting fans watch what will now be a single show from home for free, President and CEO Tommie Ritter Smith said.
The Aug. 7 performance will combine events from those normally planned across two nights: the John Ritter Tribute Showcase and the Texas Country Music Hall of Fame Induction Show.
Also appearing will be the Texas Country Music Hall of Fame Band, past ambassadors and others to be announced soon.
“Fighting COVID-19 is an unprecedented challenge and the safety and well-being of our fans, bands and crew and all of the volunteers who help pull off our shows should always be the top priority,” Smith stated. “Health organizations and governments around the world have strongly discouraged large public gatherings for an undetermined period of time.”
She said with many events throughout the world already canceled, organizers made the decision to livestream the concert.
“We hope to have everyone back together next year for an even bigger and better weekend than ever,” Smith said.
The John Ritter Tribute Showcase Contest still is planned for July 11, with auditions being held in person. Social distancing protocols will be in place for all events.
Those wanting to audition for the showcase may sign up now at tcmhof.com , the Panola County Chamber of Commerce or the Texas Country Music Hall of Fame.
The top 15 contestants from the showcase contest will perform during the livestreamed show.
To watch the Hall of Fame show, which starts at 7 p.m., go to tcmhof.com or easttexastoday.com . The show also will be broadcast on radio stations KGAS at 104.3 FM in Carthage, KMHT at 103.9 FM in Marshall and KWRD at 98.5 FM in Henderson.
The annual Hall of Fame festival is the organization’s biggest fundraiser for the year, providing support for the Texas Country Music Hall of Fame and the Tex Ritter Museum in Carthage. Smith and the organization are asking fans to consider making a donation, maybe the cost of the ticket they would have purchased, to continue supporting their mission.
Donations can be made to the Texas Country Music Hall of Fame, 300 W. Panola St., Carthage, TX 75633.