Texas dance halls have been the heart and soul of communities throughout our state’s history. In fact, at the turn of the 20th century, more than 1,000 dance halls flourished throughout the state as bastions of Texas culture and pride. Sadly, there are only about 400 dance halls remaining, and they need our help.
Texas music legend Ray Benson of Asleep at the Wheel created what he calls a “land cruise,” a tour of five historic dance halls in the Texas Hill Country and East Texas—including well-known names such as Luckenbach Dance Hall and Sengelmann Hall. This weeklong tour aimed to introduce visitors to the true charm of Texas and raise awareness of the growing need to help preserve our historic halls.Proceeds from the inaugural Texas Dance Hall Tour went to the Texas Dance Hall Preservation, a nonprofit committed to saving historic Texas dance halls and the authentic music and culture that is still found within their walls so they can be enjoyed for generations to come.
Attendees were given a unique and unforgettable experience with dance lessons—including the “Texas Two-Step”—as well as Texas-style dinners and various regional daytime activities that include trips to a Texas whiskey distillery, a winery and a buggy barn that features more than 140 buggies dating back to the 1860s. In addition to Ray Benson and Asleep at the Wheel, other well-known country music artists included Lee Ann Womack and Dale Watson.
Red Fan was tasked with boosting awareness of the Tour by outlining a strong media relations campaign with a focus on national and regional press. Red Fan used a variety of story angles to reach different audience segments both locally and regionally. While we were not tasked with increasing ticket sales, the awareness generated from media coverage played a role in this sold-out event.
When reaching out to the press, Red Fan positioned the Texas Dance Hall Tour as a unique experience, combining two things people love: Texas history and Texas music. This, combined with a variety of story angles, allowed Red Fan to secure coverage in publications like Texas Monthly, San Antonio Express-News, American Way Magazine, Austin Monthly, Austin American-Statesman, Wide Open Country, Cowboys & Indians, KEYE-TV and a slew of social media mentions.
“When we started “The Texas Dance Hall Tour,” we knew we needed help launching our brand. Red Fan immediately gave us the proper guidance to help us bring our concept to light. The entire Red Fan team from Day One to the last day of our event were always available and in our corner, providing us with wonderful opportunities to share our story, and strategies on how to build our brand. They are a fully committed partner, and fully embrace and understand your needs. Can’t say enough great things about Kathleen and the entire Red Fan team.”
—Sam Seifert, Event Manager at Texas Dance Hall Tour