Garth Brooks draws in tens of thousands at free concert at Lady Bird

Tens of thousands of people piled into Vic Mathias Shores as Garth Brooks put on a free concert. The concert was for those with SXSW badges and for Austin residents, but the concert came some disappointment because only a certain number of tickets were given out and they were gone in less than five minutes. But that didn’t stop people from trying to get a glimpse or listen to the country music star when he was in Austin.               

Donna McGee and David Byrd have lived in Austin their whole lives and were one of the many who tried to get tickets to the concert, but luck was not on their side, “12:04 and they were sold out, I jumped on the website and tried to get them, couldn't do it,” Byrd said.

But having no ticket isn't stopping them or many others from getting creative on how to see Garth.

While many were working their way inside McGee and Byrd were staking out spots outside.

“You can obviously hear from here so, we got our spot right now,” they said.

Brooks announced Friday he was going to be the closing act for the SXSW Outdoor Stage at Lady Bird Lake.  SXSW wristband holders could attend but the focus was on Austin residents. Austinites could sign up for free tickets if they had an Austin zip code, but within minutes all the tickets were gone.

Brooks hasn't played in the Capitol City for quite some time, “This is the home of the writer of the creator, anytime you bring art into a town like this, you feel privileged to do so,” he said. Last time he played in Austin was decades ago, “It was called the Drum then, last time we played the county fair, we played the Lumberyard,” he said.

Long-time fan Hailli Fanning and her husband Corbin were in the bunch able to snag tickets.

“I think it's just really special and unique that he's doing that and it's just really cool. I think he understands that Austin is really one of the music cities of the world and the big music capital of the world and they're a lot of country fans in Austin,” they said.

Entry or no entry, everyone seemed to share the same sentiment. Austin loves Garth. “Garth Brooks is a stand-up guy, he's always doing something, he's always giving back, he’s been one of my idols forever,” said Byrd.

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