Loyalty pays dividends for HWY 30 Music Fest in Filer

FILER — There’s a secret behind the success of Gordy’s HWY 30 Music Fest. It’s one of developing relationships, one of loyalty.

Gordy Schroeder and his wife, Megan, are in the 10th year of running the Gordy’s HWY 30 Music Fest, which kicks off this week, and in October will hold a music festival in Texas.

The event, now in its 10th year, kicks off Wednesday and runs through Saturday. Gordy Schroeder, along with his wife, Megan, created the event.

“Over the years we have had a great relationship with the bands,” Gordy said. “I remember when some of the bands we first brought in were baby bands and now they are headlining all over the country.”

Lead and rhythm guitarist Brad Gillis, of Night Ranger, shreds a solo Thursday, June 24, 2021, during Gordy’s HWY 30 Music Fest at the Twin Falls County Fairgrounds in Filer.

Case in point: County music star Lainey Wilson.

“Nobody knew her four years ago, but we stayed loyal to her, and she stayed loyal to us, and now she is winning every award in the world,” Gordy said.

Those top awards include being named the Female Artist of the Year last month by the Academy of Country Music, as well as earning the award for album of the year for her critically acclaimed album “Bell Bottom Country,” and a slew of other awards.

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Wilson will be headlining Wednesday’s performances along with Morgan Wade, who was nominated as best new female artist of the year by the ACM. It will be part of an “all-woman Wednesday,” Gordy said.

‘The people’s festival’: Thousands turn out for the 8th year of Gordy’s Hwy. 30 Music Fest

Other headliners are Shane Smith & the Saints and The Steel Woods on Thursday, Whiskey Myers and Read Southall Band on Friday, and Koe Wetzel and Kolby Cooper finishing up on Saturday.

More than 30 bands will perform during the event.

Top acts have helped the event gain worldwide attention. A group from Canada is expected to attend the festival, and a group from Europe was a regular before the pandemic hit.

“It is surreal to think that just 10 years ago we could barely get 300 people in here,” Gordy said. Now they have more campers than that coming to the festival each year who park at various spots at the fairgrounds. More than 30,000 are expected to attend over its four days.

He said there are budding stars just waiting to be discovered.

Bass guitarist JR Martinez, of the Kasey Thornton Band, performs Thursday, June 24, 2021, during Gordy’s HWY 30 Music Fest at the Twin Falls County Fairgrounds in Filer.

“I travel the country looking for that band that brings it,” Gordy said. “Maybe they are playing in front of 15 people right now in a smoky little bar in the middle of nowhere and the next thing they are selling out arenas across the country.”

The HWY 30 Music Fest isn’t exclusively country music, but also Americana and rock. Megan Schroeder promises that everybody will find music that they enjoy.

Plus, they are bound to find some food they like from multiple food vendors, including “the world’s best pulled-pork nachos,” she said.

She credits a team of mostly volunteers that makes the event a success.

“We have friends that volunteer, that help set up and tear down,” she said. “They take a week off work.”

Texas bands that have performed in Filer have been successful in persuading the couple to set up a music festival in the Lone Star State. It’s set for Oct. 19 to 22 and will feature 30 bands, taking place in Fort Worth close to another Highway 30 — actually, Interstate 30.