Former Inquirer reporter to host unique festival


Former Gonzales Inquirer staff reporter and current film maker Erik McCowan is not afraid to beat to the rhythm of his own drum. So, when the question of how he wanted to handle getting married to his partner Laurie Rector came up, McCowan decided to go an unconventional route.  

“Why have a boring wedding when you can throw a music festival and really have some fun?” McCowan asked, and so Hitchfest was born.

Taking place at McCowan’s land 11.5 miles south of Bastrop near Rosanky, Hitchfest is a celebration of fun, metal and love. The Aug. 3 event features four distinct acts and DJ John Bovi spinning the hits in between sets.

Transit Method, a rock band hailing from Austin by way of New Jersey, kicks off the evening at 6 p.m. Austin popstar Kady Rain follows at 7:15 p.m. After that Texas-style country specialists Sean Orr and Texas Gold go on at 8:30 p.m. The night caps with none other than the “best Metallica tribute band in America” ONE - The ONLY Tribute to Metallica beginning at 10 p.m.

Metallica holds a special place for Laurie and Erik. After winning once-in-a-lifetime ‘Snake Pit’ passes to see Metallica live at the Austin City Limits Festival in 2018, the couple got engaged at the concert.

In keeping with continuity, the couple will officially get hitched right before ONE – The ONLY Tribute to Metallica performs.

No outside food is allowed into the festival gates. However, Hitchfest is happy to have Mad Chow as their food provider. They are an Afrofusion comfort food vendor with a wide variety of options from vegan/vegetarian food to steak, chicken or pork falafels, Mad Chow has you covered.

To cool you off in what will likely be a hot day, Kona Ice will be selling shaved ice.

Tickets are $15 for general admission and are available at the gate day-of-show. Children under the age of 12 can get in for free. You will not be charged tax, users fees or any other hidden fees. Tickets are cash only and there aren’t any ATMs, so plan ahead. Parking is free.

The event takes place 2467 Hwy 304, Smithville 78957.

For more information, visit or search Hitchfest on Facebook.