For Houstonians of a certain age, the name “Gilley’s” represents quintessential Texas, as in country music, line dancing, Lone Star Beer and mechanical bull riding.
From 1971 to 1989, the Hollywood-famous venue featured some of the biggest acts in country music, as shown in the 1980 film “Urban Cowboy,” starring John Travolta and Debra Winger.
Houstonians dealt with a void after the dancehall closed several years ago, but, now, a new venue is working to rekindle the spirit of the legendary honky tonk, with some 21st-Century touches.
Covering 30 acres in northeast Houston near the Eastex Freeway and Winfield, the Houston Stampede Events Center holds up to 4,000 attendees, with room for another 15,000 spectators for its outdoor concert stage, and, just three years since opening its doors, the venue is already attracting some of the biggest names in country music.
Billboard-topping acts, such as John Anderson and Tanya Tucker, as well as contemporary country stars, including Aaron Watson and the Eli Young Band, are acts known to take the stage since the venue first went live in 2014, with upcoming concerts including Ronnie Milsap, John Conlee and Tracy Lawrence.
Besides the music, another attraction is the hall’s 2,400 square foot dance floor.
For those well-versed in the art of boot-scootin’ or Texas two stepping, live country bands every week give experienced dancers the chance to show their stuff, and, for those with two left boots, the venue also reportedly offers lessons in line dancing, two-stepping and traditional polka.
Concert goers can also host their next corporate party or event before the stage, like the New York-based online stock trading company E-Trade did this holiday season. Stampede also reported hosted the Oil and Gas Admins International Networking event on Thursday, January 18.
For those who want the country-flavored fun of the Houston Rodeo year-round, Stampede offers a “Total Texas Experience.”
See y’all there!