Maria Elena open to new Holly festival in Lubbock
Maria Elena Holly wants to bring the Buddy Holly Music Festival back to Lubbock, and she’s in negotiations with local promoter Gary Boren.
“I have people calling me from the UK and other places, and they would like to see a Buddy Holly Festival,” Holly said. “I think it would be a great idea if we start again to do it with the right people in Lubbock.”
Lubbock hosted a Buddy Holly Music Festival several years ago, she explained, but arrangements fell apart when the city’s negotiations with the widow broke down.
“Unfortunately, the wrong people were involved,” Holly said, “and then there were a lot of problems – trying to get this, trying to get that, people trying to put feathers in their cap – when that’s not the idea. The idea was to bring revenue to the city, build whole new hotels, everybody’s happy. Unfortunately, the wrong people got involved. Or the right people that were there at the time were not willing to do it.
“They had a problem with me,” she said, laughing. “I have a middle name: Scapegoat. That’s my middle name.”
However, she thinks she may have found the right person this time.
Boren, head of Llano Estacado Music, has been in discussions with the widow about the possibility of reviving the festival for several months, though she admits that his credibility took a big jump with this summer’s successful execution of the Bob Dylan Show at Jones AT&T Stadium.
“He’s a wonderful individual, very nice,” Holly said. “And he’s responsible. I know he just finished a big concert there. I understand that it was perfect. The man knows his business because, and as far as I know, he did a great job.”
According to Boren, the feelings are mutual.
“She’s been a very delightful person for me to work with,” Boren said. “And I’ve always found her to be straightforward and honest. She’s always been very agreeable, trying to make things happen, and it’s just been a real delight in my life to get to know her.”
And they’ve had a little time to get to know each other. As it turns out, Boren and Holly tried once before to revive the Buddy Holly Festival, but fell a little short.
“We were working with the Bob Dylan concert, using that as a Buddy Holly overlay, and they were very open to it,” Boren said. “They were trying to work with us, but things happened so fast we couldn’t make it happen. Bob Dylan was very respectful of Buddy.”
No Bob Dylan, then. Anybody else on the performer wish list?
“Well, we would like it to be someone top notch, so I’ve asked her with help on Paul McCartney, and she’s offered to do anything she can,” Boren said.
“It’s just a matter now of working out details,” he said, “and Mrs. Holly and myself are on the same page as far as wanting something to be done.
“She wants it to be first class. She wants it to be a gift to Lubbock, to be something that’s special, and we’re not far apart on working something out. It’s just a matter of working out the format. She’s very complimentary of the city of Lubbock – the mayor and city council for the way they’ve worked with her.”
Boren also said that, if things go according to plan, Lubbock shouldn’t have to wait long for this new festival to come to fruition.
“We’re open for any date, anything we can put together, and she’s willing to do it,” Boren said. “Best case, I’d love to do something on the 50th year of the tragic death of Buddy Holly (2009) – Lord willing. I can’t say it will happen, but it just seems right to. But if we can’t make it, we’re certainly shooting for 2010.
“The main thing is we do it right in a manner that honors the name, honors the family that’s here in Lubbock and Mrs. Holly,” Boren said.