Waco Block Party to combine music, film, podcasts, crafts in 3-day event

The first-ever Waco Block Party will be hosted downtown with live music, podcasts, movies and more. Photo courtesy of Louis Hunter

By Kalena Reynolds | Staff Writer

The first-ever “Waco Block Party” is coming downtown this weekend for three days full of music, movies, podcasts and crafts.

In 2023, Southern Roots Brewing Co. and Rogue Media Network collaborated to create a “battle of the bands” event. With the help of the Waco Independent Film Festival and Texas Music Cafe, they decided to expand the event into Waco Block Party this year. It will be free and family-friendly, taking place all day Thursday through Saturday at 500 Washington Ave.

Louis Hunter, operation director for the Waco Independent Film Festival, said the organizations have brought together different mediums to make the event what it is.

“We talked about it, and we figured since this is a music thing, we would bring in some music documentaries, and because it’s a local thing, we would bring in more local short films,” Hunter said.

The films of two Baylor alumni will be featured at the event: “Jimmy and Stevie Ray Vaughan: Brothers in Blues” by Kirby Warnock and “The Birth and History of Western Swing” by Mike Markwardt.

Hunter said the event will showcase a battle of the bands competition again, and the winning artist will open for the headlining musician, Don Louis.

“I think he’s fantastic because he is a total hybrid artist,” Hunter said. “He does a lot of country, but you’ll also hear raps in his act. There’s also some R&B in his act. There’s also some rock in his act. So just like Waco, he is multi-genre, and just like Waco, he’s going to get big. He has really upward trajectory, tons of Spotify [plays], so we’re excited to bring him to town.”

Mike Hamilton, chief creative officer for Rogue Media Network, said aside from film and music, the event will feature a lineup of podcasts on various topics, such as sports, family and true crime.

“We’ve got one flying in from South Carolina to do her show, and we’ve got a show coming from Dallas, and then I have my show, which is all about ‘King of the Hill,'” Hamilton said. “And we’re bringing a band in to play us on, so I’m pretty excited about that.”

The craft market will be open all day Saturday, featuring vendors with everything from pet accessories to jewelry.

“It’s all about getting people out of their homes and into the community, jiving with each other and rockin’ with each other,” Hunter said. “And it’s going to be a lot of fun.”

A full schedule of events and activities can be found here.