SAN ANGELO – The Wild West Fest returns to River Stage on July 30, starring Parker McCollum and performances by Shane Smith & the Saints and Kat Hasty.
The doors will open at 6 p.m. and the concert will begin at 7 p.m. Tickets are still available on StubWire.com and at Blair’s Western Wear, 4230 Sherwood Way.
The concert will benefit three nonprofits – West Texas Counseling & Guidance Veteran Services, Wall FFA and Wall Ag Boosters.
“I hope this concert continues and spreads from here,” said concert promoter Thomas Halfmann. “I’m expecting a great show that will raise a lot of money for these beneficiaries. So have a good time changing lives and having fun doing it.”
Halfmann said he plans to expand beneficiaries every year, as well as the event.
“In 2022, we’re going to have a two-day concert with four grantees as well as a scholarship fund for Concho Valley students,” he said. “I also like to keep the tickets cheap. We’re not trying to make a profit. The idea is to create a fun environment where the whole community can hang out and have fun for a good cause.”
About the beneficiaries
“My main goal is to benefit mental health organizations and education,” said Halfmann. “These are my top priorities. I feel like these are forgotten things in this country, even though they are two of the most important things in our daily life.”
Tiffany Talley, director of development and community relations at West Texas Counseling and Guidance, said the association is proud to be a part of the festival.
“This concert will support our veterans program, and 33% of our clients are either veterans or dependents of veterans,” she said. “Our hope is to break the stigma of mental health in West Texas and provide high quality counseling services.”
Halfmann said Tom Green County is in a “mental health crisis”.
According to Talley, the suicide rate in Tom Green County has been about double the national and state average since 1999.
“We are trying to make our community aware that we are available to be a resource to help get through desperation,” she said.
Halfmann said he plans to keep the counseling center as a beneficiary during future festivals.
“I want to do everything in my power to help anyone in this community with their mental health,” he said. “Everyone has their own story, and it’s something that we need to be able to embrace as a community. Being able to use the Wild West Fest as a platform for that really touches me.”
Halfmann said it was important for him to have the Wall Ag Boosters as a beneficiary as they kicked off the gig in 2018, being the first beneficiaries.
He said their profits will go 50% to their exhibition funds and 50% to their scholarship fund.
“The scholarship money gives them the opportunity to go to higher education,” said Halfmann.
For the Wall FFA, their proceeds will help fund their AG mechanics program, greenhouse program, woodworking program, and any other agricultural education program.
“As a former farming kid, we don’t always get sports funding,” Halfmann said. “We know funding isn’t always fair, so being able to help these students is important. Agriculture is pretty much the backbone of this country, especially in this area.