party on the plaza is back

Ryan Bingham and Houston A-listers headline Party on the Plaza's star-studded virtual show

Ryan Bingham and A-listers headline Party on the Plaza's virtual show

Ryan Bingham
Ryan Bingham headlines Party on the Plaza's online show in May.  Courtesy Ryan Bingham

As longtime Houstonians know, Party on the Plaza is a longtime, downtown institution, drawing locals to an oft-forgotten area for years before downtown became cool again. The beloved free spring music event announced a celebrated return in February with a host of hot artists, but was, like so many local festivals, eventually canceled due to COVID-19 concerns.

Event organizers, however, have pivoted, ensuring that the show goes on. Houston First Corporation, which backs the event, announced a return of Party on the Plaza at 7 pm on Saturday, May 2, for a fully virtual, star-studded event that will benefit the Houston Food Bank. The pumped-up party will be broadcast on KHOU Channel 11 and on the KHOU YouTube channel and KHOU Facebook Page.

The night features some serious H-Town star power, including Alex Bregman, Houston Astros third baseman; Scott McClelland, president of HEB; Hugo Ortega, James Beard award-winning chef; Bun B, Houston rap legend; Mayor Sylvester Turner, and host Deborah Duncan. The A-list cast will lead an evening of entertainment, advocacy, and community celebration; viewers can donate to Houston Food Bank real-time during the event.

Here are the musical acts featured in the rockin’ show:

Ryan Bingham
The event’s headliner, a former rodeo rider and current alt-country star, exploded onto the music scene after winning an Oscar for co-writing "The Weary Kind" from the film, Crazy Heart. Rolling Stone has compared Bingham's raw, scratchy voice to that of "Steve Earle's dad."

Robert Randolph and the Family Band
The renowned pedal steel guitarist, vocalist, and songwriter leads a raucous American funk and soul act that has earned four Grammy nominations and Randall a spot on the Rolling Stone list of Top 100 Guitarists of All Time.

Hayes Carll
A singer and songwriter with a rock ‘n’ roll heart and a country soul, Carll has won a devoted following in roots rock and Americana circles for music that honors the traditions of vintage country but with the swagger and swing of rock.

The Suffers
Houston’s beloved Gulf Coast soul band exploded onto the scene in 2015 with their dazzling EP Make Some Room, which was followed by their critically heralded self-titled debut in 2016. The band is working on a new music release, which will drop in fall 2020.

St. Paul and the Broken Bones
The Alabama-formed St. Paul and the Broken Bones is a nationally known R&B soul act, having played on major nightly talk shows and festivals, featuring the charismatic lead singer, Paul Janeway.

Sir Woman
The act is the newest creation of Austin-based Kelsey Wilson, co-founder of Wild Child and member of Glorietta. Wilson has been co-writing, singing, and arranging strings on over 15 albums and musical projects spanning all musical genres.

The Dip
Seattle group The Dip melds vintage rhythm, blues, and modern pop. They’re a hot item in the Pacific Northwest, known for their danceable live shows, noteworthy vocals from front man Tom Eddy (Beat Connection), and ’60s-steeped soul.