Kacey Musgraves has been announced as one of the performers at the inaugural G Fest in honor of late country legend Merle Haggard. Set for June 16th through the 18th in the Haggard-immortalized town Muskogee, Oklahoma, the three-day festival also includes Old Crow Medicine Show, the Avett Brothers, Marty Stuart, Aubrie Sellers, Robert Randolph and the Family and others. See the full lineup here.
Additionally, a project five years in the making — the placement of Haggard memorial on the north lawn of the Muskogee Civic Center — is progressing, with the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame leading the charge. Plans call for the memorial to include a bronze sculpture of the entertainer, who will be depicted sitting on a bench with a guitar case and hat. An iconic line in “Okie from Muskogee” will come to life for memorial visitors, who will be able to take photos of “Old Glory down at the courthouse” near the Civic Center, where Haggard recorded his ACM- and CMA-winning live LP, Okie from Muskogee.
For Musgraves and many other artists, Haggard — who passed away on his 79th birthday last month — was an invaluable role model.
“Artists like Merle Haggard are important because they became legends and set trends not by worrying about money and fame but just by being themselves,” says the “Follow Your Arrow” singer. “So it just inspires me even more to uphold what’s important to me as a person and songwriter first and not worry about the rest.”
The Haggard memorial in Muskogee could also be the future site of a monument Haggard himself designed. Ponca City, Oklahoma, artist Dan Jones created a Haggard monument he planned to have placed at his ranch near Bakersfield, California, but now individuals within Haggard’s organization have expressed a desire to have the monument become part of the Muskogee memorial site. In addition, a “Merle Haggard Avenue” street sign will reportedly be unveiled in the coming months.