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Changes coming to Chilifest 2020, including larger music lineup, no more BYOB

Changes coming to Chilifest 2020, including larger music lineup, no more BYOB

From the Year in review: The Eagle's most popular news stories and photos of 2019 series
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Chilifest 2019

A Chilifest attendee watches a performance by Flatland Cavalry on Saturday during the music festival in Snook.

Chilifest 2020 will see some changes meant to make the two-day music festival in Snook safer and more enjoyable, the event's lead organizer said Tuesday.

The most prominent change will bar participants from bringing outside alcohol onto the festival grounds, a move that Chilifest President Cole Roberts says takes the festival back to its roots. 

"Way back in the day in the early 2000's, Chilifest was an entirely pre-sale event. There was no BYOB aspect of it," Roberts said. "So what we're doing is moving back into that direction."

In years past, Roberts said, festival participants have had the option to bring their own alcohol on Friday only. 

The new rule states that all Chilifest teams will be required to purchase alcohol through a third-party pre-sale vendor, an email sent to festival participants Tuesday said. Roberts told The Eagle that Yesterdays Bar & Grill has been selected as the vendor for the 2020 show. 

"At the end of the day, [the goal of the change] is to improve the event in a helpful and safe manner and to make the event a lot more of an enjoyable process for those that we know put in a lot of work, not just for their team to go but to help benefit the local community in the amount of donations that we can give back," Roberts said. 

Chilifest attempted to implement the rule in February for the 2019 festival, but opted to make it optional following public concern about the late notice of the policy change. 

"A big part of it was wanting to make the process a lot more streamlined for our teams and our team captains," Roberts said. "In addition to this, we were getting some pressure from law enforcement and EMS services and the local judge from Burleson County that they all saw a big benefit in improving the safety of the event."

Roberts said Chilifest organizers received a lot of positive feedback from participants who used the service for the first time this year. 

"They were all kind of skeptical about it at first before they decided to use [the pre-sale vendor]," he said. "They were unsure about it and they thought Chilifest was going to be charging too much, but they ended up realizing they were paying just as much as they would at any grocery store, but they didn't have to do any of the work." 

In addition to the BYOB changes, Roberts said Chilifest 2020 will have the largest music lineup in the festival's history with 19 performances planned. This is due, in part, to the inclusion of a second stage for the first time in the event's 28-year history. 

The second stage will allow for music performances to start around the time the gates open on Friday and Saturday, Roberts said. 

The 2020 Chilifest lineup will be revealed on Jan. 17 at Shiner Park. The music festival will be April 3-4.

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