Western New Mexico University is welcoming students and the community back to campus by hosting two nights of live music on Friday, August 20, and Saturday, August 21. The WNMU Cultural Affairs Back Together Bash celebrates the return of in-person events and marks the debut of campus’ new outdoor venue, The Fountain Stage at Regents Square.
“The Back Together Bash is all about our continued efforts to host the community on campus,” said WNMU President Dr. Joseph Shepard. “This year’s fall kickoff is extra special because our community has patiently been persevering through a difficult time of isolation and hardship.”
Headliner Bri Bagwell, who was named Texas Female Vocalist of the Year, will be joined by The Yarbrough Band on Friday night. Tejano favorites Elida Reyna y Avante with Lucky Joe take the stage Saturday. WNMU asked them to return after canceling their performance at ¡Fiesta Latina! 2020.
While both concerts start at 7:30 p.m., the doors will open at 6 p.m., allowing concert goers to enjoy dinner and drinks from on-site food trucks and a beer garden hosted by Q’s Bistro.
“My parents met at Western New Mexico University and got engaged in Silver City, and August 20th is their actual anniversary! I took that as a big sign to make this happen,” said Bagwell, a native of Las Cruces. “I wouldn’t miss this gig for anything!”
Her father played basketball for the Mustangs, and her mother was a cheerleader at WNMU. “The school and town have a lot of historic significance for my family,” Bagwell said.
The rising country star wrote all but one of the 10 songs recorded for her latest album, In My Defense, which is a collection that gives fans a peek into how she has chased a dream for over 15 years.
A self-proclaimed “big fan” of The Yarborough Band, which is opening for her, Bagwell said she is looking forward to seeing the other performers in the weekend’s lineup.
“Our campus reopening is definite cause for celebration. This event launches a packed and varied WNMU Cultural Affairs season lineup, which includes performances by acts ranging from pianist George Winston to the State Street Ballet,” said WNMU Special Assistant to the President for Cultural Affairs Faye McCalmont.
Tickets are available for purchase at wnmu.edu and at Hunter Hall on campus. Admission Friday night is $20 in advance or $25 on the day of the show, while admission Saturday night is $30 in advance or $35 on the day of the show. WNMU students, faculty and staff get free admission with their current Mustang ID.
If reserving rooms at the Murray Hotel, guests can mention the WNMU Back Together Bash for a discounted rate.