Tonight: Sold-out concert for Harvey relief

A sold out Harvey benefit concert will be held in Austin Friday evening with country music stars like Willie Nelson, Bonnie Raitt, James Taylor among others.

AUSTIN, Texas - You know the saying, "Don’t Mess With Texas?" Well, there’s a timely twist on the Texas catchphrase.

“Harvey Can’t Mess with Texas” is the title for a star-studded benefit concert that’s set to run from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. Friday at the Frank Erwin Center in Austin. 

Along Willie Nelson Boulevard, in the heart of Austin, love for the great state of Texas pours out. “The Friendliness of people,” is what Francise Pine loves about the Lone Star State.

Willie Nelson will headline the concert.

“Yeah, no. Willie Nelson, the ultimate, consummate Texan. You know,” said John Lawler.

Friday night, Willie and his friends, like James Taylor, Lyle Lovett, Paul Simon and Bonnie Raitt, will entertain a sold-out crowd.  

The concert benefits the Dell Foundation’s Rebuild Texas campaign. Michael Dell, the leader of the tech company, is from Houston and donated $36 million to Harvey relief efforts.

On his blog, Dell described the pain he felt when he saw images of his childhood neighborhood under water.

On Sept. 2, 2017, the Dell Foundation announced its goal of $100 million, which will be matched in part by Google, to help all Texas counties affected by Harvey.

Rebuild Texas will focus on four aspects: health and housing, schools and childcare, workforce and transportation and small businesses.

“Sure! I think it sounds a lot better than just a bunch of palettes of Cheese-Itz,” joked Lawler, who’s been able to find humor, even as his hometown, La Porte, dealt with flooding just a few weeks ago.

MORE: Willie Nelson, Paul Simon join Texas Strong concert for Harvey relief

Lawler pointed out the irony in a photo he took. It showed a La Porte bar, called The Bayou Bar, under water.  

“They took the name literally,” Lawler said.

But as he thought back to the storm, things became real.

“So I was with my folks, my mom, dad, sister and nephew, brother-in law,” said Lawler, who now lives in Austin. “Saturday night was scary.”

Money raised will come from all ticket sales and donations from concert viewers like Pine.

“I am actually working the concert. The money that I’m making tomorrow evening as an usher, I’m going to donate," Pine said.

Tickets for all 17,900 available seats for the Friday night concert sold out in less than 24 hours.

Twelve Tegna-owned television stations in Texas, including KYTX CBS19, will air the concert live from 9 p.m. to 10 p.m. Friday.

© 2017 KHOU-TV


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