Paul Janeway from St Paul & The Broken Bones plays on the Crossroads stage at the 2017 Byron Bay Bluesfest. 

Hire your sitters and Call in sick Fridays because Party on the Plaza is back.  

On Thursday, Houston First, the organizers behind the weekly Party On the Plaza block parties, announced the lineup for its 2020 spring season. The free concerts are held along Avenida Houston at the front door of the George R. Brown Convention Center and just steps from Discovery Green’s lush 12-acre grounds.

Running from March 26 through May 7—just before the real evening heat begins to set in—Party On the Plaza kicks off on March 26 with Alabama-based soul-stirrers St. Paul and the Broken Bones. Mexican singer-songwriter Caloncho—think Jack Johnson en español—plays on April 9. Co-headliners Robert Randolph and The Family Band and The Soul Rebels take the stage on April 23, and alt-country picker Ryan Bingham closes out the mini-season on May 7. There is also a fall series of concerts that runs from early September through late October. 

In a press release Thursday morning, Todd Holloman, head of live events and experiences at Houston First Corporation, expressed excitement at bringing back Party on the Plaza for another season.  

“We are thrilled to bring this talented group of performers into the heart of our city. Being able to provide the free concert series to the Houston community is an added bonus,” Holloman said. “Houston is a huge city, but music brings people together.” 

Party On the Plaza returned to Houston’s social calendar in 2017 after being dormant for years. Past performers have included the Marcus King Trio, Bob Schneider, and the Old 97’s. A previous incarnation of the weekly downtown party was held at Jones Plaza near Jones Hall and the Alley Theatre on Thursday nights.  

In the late '80s and into the mid-'00s, acts like John Mayall, Reverend Horton Heat, Marcia Ball, and Cracker were on various bills. In 1994 PACE Concerts took over booking musical acts for the plaza concerts, upping the profile of the party and reeling in bigger names in the process. Some Houstonians might remember that back on May 12, 1998, Party on the Plaza turned into "Seinfeld on the Plaza" as fans of the iconic NBC sitcom were able to watch the show's series finale on four 60-inch screens before and after Soul Hat played. 

This new edition of Party On the Plaza offers Houstonians a jumping-off point to experience the wonders of downtown. As more and more development arrives, claiming that there is “nothing” going on is increasingly becoming a hollow, lazy statement. Street parking is free after 6 p.m. on weeknights, there are plenty of places to eat, drink, and get out of the humidity, and the skyline is picture-perfect. When the Houston Astros are in town at Minute Maid Park, the Houston Rockets are on the court at the Toyota Center, and the Houston Dynamo or Dash are hosting opponents at BBVA Stadium, the bustle in the area is palpable.  

With so much within walking distance or a short Uber drive away, and you can easily stay busy until 2 a.m.  

For more details on Party On the Plaza visit avenidahouston.com/party/.

 Party On the Plaza Spring 2020 Series

March 26: St. Paul and The Broken Bones with The Dip

April 9: Caloncho with Superfónicos

April 23: Robert Randolph and The Family Band and The Soul Rebels 

May 7: Ryan Bingham with Houndmouth

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