Liz Lambert Talks Festival of Music & Love


Intrepid travelers and lovers of adventure: the 6th Annual Trans-Pecos Festival of Music and Love is just beyond the horizon. September 22 - 25, 2011.

El Cosmico in Marfa, Texas - part vintage trailer, yurt and teepee hotel/ campground meets creative lab and amphitheater. Liz Lambert, hotelier/creative behind Austin’s boutique accommodations, Hotel San Jose and Hotel Saint Cecilia, plus San Antonio’s Hotel Havana, *talks to Refueled's Chris Brown.

Liz, what is it that harkens you back to the vibe of the 60’s and 70’s with your designs and lifestyle?
I don’t really know – I’m interested in handmade and hand drawn things, in things that are crafted instead of mass marketed . . .

Having grown up in the desert in West Texas, what was the music that you were first exposed to? And by who?
The first record I remember buying was Neil Young’s Decade – I was directly influenced by my oldest brother who played guitar in the bedroom across from mine late at night. Of course, I listened to a lot of country music. It was just part of the culture.

What was your first glimpse at rock n’ roll?
I actually saw Elvis in concert at the Odessa Coliseum when I was twelve or thirteen, not too long before he died.

How has music influenced your life, your hotel designs & your creative thought in general?
The same way it influences everyone, I think. It just becomes part of you and your sensibility.

You are always surrounded my musicians, actors, designers & creatives. They hang at your house and your hotels, soaking up this atmosphere you have created. How cool is that?
Pretty cool.

Let’s talk about Marfa, Texas. What is it that attracts you to the area?
Well, my family ranches in the area, and I have been going out to that part of the country as long as I can remember. Big sky, secret pastures.

A perfect place for a creative commune like El Cosmico, right?
Of course. There are a lot of creative people in Marfa and a lot of creative folks that travel there.

What was your vision for El Cosmico?
Let’s see. I wanted to do a combination of a campground and a hotel and a traveling circus, something that would evolve over time, become more and more. Something where you could sleep under the stars, something in the landscape.

How did the Trans-Pecos Festival of Music & Love come about?
We wanted to have a party, invite everybody out to El Cosmico.

The past couple of years there has been an “official” house band develop.
Yes. Bands that have played there before often want to come back and play again. So we just decided that we should combine them all – make one big band every year on Saturday night. The only rule about it is that you have played El Cosmico before.

The Garuda, a creature from Hidu & Buddhist mythology, acts as the “deity” of not only El Cosmico but seems to appear throughout most of your creative spaces. Do you feel a connection with the creature?
Well, most especially for El Cosmico. He’s an image that got me going down a certain path in imagining El Cosmico, that informed things as varied as the saturated color on the trailers.

What are you thoughts and ideas for keeping the creative process of El Cosmico alive and growing?
We’re trying to do some serious building and adding out there in the next year – we’d like to add a number of creative spaces like a ceramic studio and a permanent stage.

Dance In a Wide Open Field
Live Music nightly starting at around 8 pm . . .

Thursday Night: Tift Merritt, Patty Griffin with special guests, Barbara Lynn.

Friday Night: El Cosmico Family Band with David Garza, Josh Block of White Denim, and Jesse Ebaugh of the Heartless Bastards. Featuring performances by Adam Bork, Kat Edmonson, Tift Merritt, Amy Cook, Alejandro Escovedo, Erika Wennerstrom and Ben Kweller.

Saturday Night: Alejandro Escovedo, Black Angels.

Eat, Drink...
This year, the festival has expanded they selection of food and beverages, including
Food Shark on Thursday night, Mrs. Dominguez's burritos on Saturday evening from 6-9 pm, renowed Texas chef's Lou Lambert and Larry McGuire will be roasting some meat on an open fire and offering a delicious taco dinner at the event (view menu). Price for the dinner is $12 and you must pre-register for the meal.

On Sunday El Cosmico is hosting a charity breakfast benefiting Marfa Public Radio - pancakes and breakfast sausage. And of course They’ll have plenty of cold Shiner, hot coffee from Jo's, and Topo Chico.

...and Be Merry.
Shop the vendor marketplace for art, clothing and other survival necessities from
Squashblossom Vintage, Alabama Chanin, Jack Sanders, Posters by Roothouse - Jaime, Satch, Bootleg, Chia Hats, and others.

Stop by the
Imogene + Willie trunk show in the El Cosmico lobby. Sign up for a 2 hour sewing workshop from the very talented and inspiring Alabama Chanin.

* Interview taken from Refueled Magazine, Issue No.06 / 2010 Fall/Winter

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