The crowd at last year's Willie Nelson picnic in Fort Worth.

The crowd at last year's Willie Nelson picnic in Fort Worth.

The Red Headed Stranger will not be in Fort Worth this Independence Day.

The Red Headed Stranger will not be in Fort Worth this Independence Day.

Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP

[UPDATE at 10:45 a.m. March 30: Willie Nelson's 4th of July Picnic will indeed continue its annual tradition this year, but it'll be in Austin. Nelson will be joined for the 42nd edition at the Circuit of the Americas' Austin360 Amphitheater by such luminaries as Eric Church, Kacey Musgraves, Sturgill Simpson, Jamey Johnson and Merle Haggard (who is also appearing at Billy Bob's previously announced two-day fest in Fort Worth).

We'll leave it up to fans to decide between the bashes in Fort Worth and Austin -- it is possible to do both -- but we're glad to see Nelson keep the good times going. 

See the lineup of Billy Bob's promising non-Willie fest below.]

Original story published The folks at Billy Bob's Texas have no idea where Willie Nelson will take his annual Fourth of July Picnic in 2015 - they just know that it won't be in Fort Worth.

"We do not have any details on if he is having one somewhere else," says Billy Bob's rep Amy McGehee.

Nelson's publicity rep, Elaine Schock, won't provide much info but indicates Nelson's event will happen: "I am sure an announcement will be made soon." He had hosted his legendary picnic in Fort Worth for its last four editions.

As for what Billy Bob's will do in the absence of Willie's daylong party, well, it looks as though the historic honky-tonk is attempting to go even bigger. It has just announced its own "4th of July Music Festival" that will span two days and offer both indoor and outdoor entertainment in the Stockyards.

The lineup for the Billy Bob's fest looks a lot like Nelson's might if it were staying in Fort Worth. On July 3, country legend Merle Haggard tops a list that also includes former Fort Worth resident Ryan Bingham (who played here on Friday), Chris Stapleton and local band Green River Ordinance. Saturday's bill features Lone Star legend Jerry Jeff Walker, the Turnpike Troubadours, Hayes Carll, Canadian cowboy Corb Lund and Shinyribs. More acts will be announced as the date draws nearer - keep tabshere.

Nelson's picnic established itself as a beer-soaked musical tradition after its first edition in 1973 in Dripping Springs. Since then it's landed in many places - College Station, Austin, and Luckenbach among them - but it has taken over Fort Worth's Stockyards seven times.

Nelson, 81, has a busy year ahead that includes the upcoming release of his latest autobiography, It's a Long Story: My Life.

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