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Festival founder says performance likely his last

Festival founder says performance likely his last 

Jay Melugin is expecting to especially enjoy this year’s North Texas Songwriters Festival. 

The event, Melugin’s brainchild, hits a milestone: 10 years. 

But there’s another reason for him to enjoy this year’s event: It’s his last festival, and he figures it will be his last time to perform. 

“I don’t imagine I’ll perform again in public,” Melugin said. 

The festival will be held May 19-20 at the Garage Door Theater inside the Pilot Point Community Opera House, 110 S. Washington St. Admission is free. The event will be from 1-7 p.m. May 19 and 1 p.m. to an undetermined time May 20. 

“I’m kind of retiring this year and handing the reigns to Beau Foster, and he’s done a hell of a job this year in getting new artists, older artists and more famous [performers] than we’ve had in the past,” Melugin said. “It’s just growing and getting better and better, and next year, we expect it to even outdo what we’re doing this year.” 

Festival organizers hope to break new ground next year when they seek to have multiple venues around The Square for musicians to play and sing. Organizers hope the city will get behind the festival next year, as they hope they can stage a city-wide event. 

“They’ve shown a lot of interest,” Foster said. 

Some 43 artists have signed up for this year’s event, which showcases musical talent doing original work (meaning no cover songs). People playing at the event come not only from all over North Texas but also from other places and states. 

“There are all sorts of genres – there’s some that you cannot name,” said Foster, who lives in Pilot Point, about the kind of music to be heard at the festival. “Of course, you have folk and Americana. But I’d say country-western is the biggest influence in the festival.” 

Melugin said the festival has attracted heavy metal acts in the past. 

“We’re not restrictive as to what type of music the person plays,” Melugin said. “We’ve had gospel music. We’ve had blues.” 

“Some psychedelic music,” Foster said. 

“Psychedelic music,” Melugin agreed. “We’re non-restrictive.” 

Foster, who has played the last three years but will not play this year, said it is an open forum but the music has to be original. Melugin will play the 3:40 p.m. slot Saturday and Sunday. 

“I gave Jay two slots, because there’s a lot to talk about this year,” Foster said. 

“Most of my slot will be talking about how we got from where we started to where we are now,” Melugin said. 

The festival welcomes newcomers. 

“We want to try to keep that tradition going because it seems like every year that I’ve been involved with it, there’s always somebody that’s playing for the first time,” Foster said. 

The event will have arts and crafts vendors, and those items must be homemade. Food vendors also will at the festival. Liberty Street from the Opera House and Lowbrows to the railroad track will be closed. 

The festival functions as a “true celebration,” Foster said. 

“I hope everybody has fun and enjoys it, because there’s been 10 years of work that went into this one,” Foster said. 

This year, the festival will try to recognize all the original people who started the show. 

“Originally, it was 17, and I think we’ve got maybe 10 or 12 coming this year and I will give them all a special recognition,” Melugin said. 

The festival Facebook page can be found here: NorthTexasSongwriterFestival

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