One of Texas's largest country music festivals has found itself in the nationwide spotlight after an incident that occurred with one of its guest musicians last week.
Saving Country Music broke the news late last week after one of artists featured during The Larry Joe Taylor Festival in Stephenville, Texas, doused an acoustic guitar with gasoline and set it ablaze. The artist, Sam Riggs, held the burning guitar in the air while beating his chest with his hand before smashing the guitar on the stage.
According to Saving Country Music, Riggs claims to have received permission to perform the dangerous stunt, but the festival host's wife, Sherry, has a different story. Sherry states that Riggs asked permission six months prior to the festival and was told that there was to be no fire.
“When [Riggs’] tour manager was setting up for his show, he brought a fire extinguisher on stage,” Sherry Taylor told Saving Country Music. “John Tadlock, our stage manager (and ironically a fireman in the Metroplex) asked what he was going to do with the fire extinguisher. The tour manager said they were having issues with their equipment and it was a safety precaution. Tadlock immediately responded, ‘Well, when I see a fire extinguisher I’m thinking there is going to be a fire.’ The tour manager promised it was just a safety measure.”
Videos of the incident were captured by festival attendees and quickly made their way around the internet. In the clip, Riggs can be seen pouring gasoline from what appears to be an empty soda bottle all over the front of the guitar. Gasoline runs off of the guitar onto the stage before the singer carelessly tosses the open bottle aside.
“Larry Joe told [Sam Riggs] he had no respect for music, our event or our family,” says Sherry Taylor. “He was immediately thrown out of the festival by Larry Joe Taylor. Both Larry Joe and Zack [Festival Production Manager] told Riggs to get off the property. When he realized they were serious Riggs asked one of our festival managers if she could send a film crew to film them getting kicked out of the LJT Festival.”
Sam Riggs has yet to release an official statement, but made a brief post to Twitter regarding the incident.
Watch Sam Riggs' guitar burning stunt in the video below.
If you ain't at ljt.. wyd?! Part 2 pic.twitter.com/OLyDiTBZZ4— Andrew James Chapman (@Chapstickthehic) April 27, 2017
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