ABILENE - The time is approaching when country music lovers will travel from far and wide to attend the Outlaws & Legends Music Festival on March 23-24 at The Back Porch of Texas venue in Abilene.

ABILENE - The time is approaching when country music lovers will travel from far and wide to attend the Outlaws & Legends Music Festival on March 23-24 at The Back Porch of Texas venue in Abilene.

Mark Powell, musician, organizer and owner of the venue, said there are plenty of general admission tickets available for folks to come and enjoy two days of music packed with 22 acts.

“Come out and join the party,” Powell said.

The lineup for the two-day festival includes Saturday headliner Dwight Yoakam, Powell and his band, Augie Meyers and Flaco Jimenez (Texas Tornadoes) and Jason Boland and the Stragglers. On Friday night, get ready for Reckless Kelly, Ray Wylie Hubbard and Koe Wetzel.

Get ready to reminisce as Yoakam plays some of his hit like “Little Sister, “A Thousand Miles from Nowhere,” “Suspicious Minds” and “Guitars and Cadillacs" as the headliner on Saturday night.

Powell will performing on the heals being nominated for Country Artist Band of the Year in the Big Star Music Awards. He will be playing some of the tunes from his 2018 release “Breaking Things” like “What I Do” currently at number 12 on the Texas Music Charts and others from the album including “Church Marquee” and “Good for Nothing” featuring Sarah Hobbs.

The legendary Flaco Jimenez, who’s played with everyone from the Rolling Stones to Yoakam, will join his longtime Texas Tornado band mate Augie Meyers, who has played with acts like the Allman Brothers and Bob Dylan.

Jason Boland and the Stragglers are some of the busiest Texas musicians and are constantly traveling and will coming to the Fest on after being on the road and in the studio preparing for their upcoming release “Hard Times are Relative” set for May 18.

Reckless Kelly, born in Idaho and based in Austin, will be headlining Friday. The band has been touring relentlessly for the past two decades and will be stopping in playing some of their classics including classics like “Nobody’s Girl,” “Ragged as the Road,” as well as “Forever Today from their 2016 release “Sunset Motel.”

Texas country singer songwriter Ray Wylie Hubbard will be gracing the stage on Friday performing tunes from his latest releases “Tell the Devil I’m Gettin’ There as Fast as I Can,” and “The Grifter’s Misfortune,” plus, the classic Texas anthem “Up Against the Wall Redneck Mother.”

Koe Wetzel and his band are slated to hit the stage Friday with their own signature brand of Texas rock and roll. Wetzel is an east Texas native who now calls Stephenville his home base. Wetzel, who is lead singer and acoustic guitarist, will be performing some of their hits like “Song I Can Drink To,” and “Lonely as it Gets” from the album “Out on Parole,” and “Something to Talk About,” and “Sober Sunday,” from the 2016 release “Noise Complaint.”

The music never stops at Outlaws & Legends either because unique to the event is that as soon as the music stops on the main stage, the acoustic stage, a box over the main stage, comes alive with a singer songwriter who plays until the main stage band is ready to go.

Other acts who will take the stage this year include Gary P. Nunn, Flatland Cavalry, Josh Ward, Max Stalling, Phil Hamilton, Sarah Hobbs, Jerrod Medulla, James LeBlanc, Erica Perry, James Cook, Levi Mullen, Morgan Reatherford, Stan Crawford and Hannah King.

“It is going to be a good time,” Powell said.

Last year about 8,300 music lovers attended the two day event and this year, with tickets flying out the door, Powell expects to have a capacity crowd of 10,000.

“We have people from all over the country,” Powell said.

Outlaws & Legends has been ranked one of the top five festivals in Texas for the past four years and this year, the crowd will be made up of music lovers from at least 16 states.

The proceeds from the festival go to a cause near and dear to Powell’s heart - The Ben Richey Boys Ranch.

This will be the fourth year Powell has donated proceeds from ticket sales to the Ben Richey Boys Ranch.

“I’ve really gotten attached to the Ben Richey Boys Ranch. As a musician you’re always asked to do this or that - and they are the most genuine people,” Powell said.”They do things how I do things - it is 100 percent grass roots.”

Powell said general admission tickets are still available at $45 each for the two day fest. But alas, there are no more RV spots or VIP tickets - they sold out.

Powell said the festival attracts generations of country music lovers and that’s what sets it apart from other fests.

Gates open at noon Friday, March 23 and at 10 a.m. Saturday, March 24.