John Dickson has been a featured speaker at the Americana Music Association Conference, and his company, Dickson Productions, presents or consults on more than 100 performances and special events each year, including Fest Out West, Rio Frio Fest and MusicFest at Steamboat which is now one of the longest running music festivals in the country (34 years) and recently deemed “The Super Bowl of Texas Music”!
In addition to providing expertise consulting in advertising and marketing for artists, events, and major record labels, Dickson Productions publishes its widely distributed biannual MusicFest Magazine, whose pages include letters of recognition from artists, politicians, even Presidents. Also the force behind Right Avenue Records, Dickson Productions now can add ‘record label’ to its roster of qualifications, as the company recorded and released the acclaimed double CD live recording, Undone: A MusicFest Artist’s Tribute to songwriter Robert Earl Keen. Texas A&M University Press and the Center for Texas Music History joined forces to publish the John and Robin Dickson book series on Texas Music, designed to promote scholarship on a variety of topics related to the state’s musical heritage.
These are quite the accolades for a company that began in 1982 as the startup venture of John Dickson, at the time still a college student with a growing reputation as a fun-loving, music-loving event entrepreneur. While he wasn’t bartending at the historic Gruene Hall and Gristmill, watching legends like George Strait and Asleep at the Wheel launch before his very eyes, he was throwing the best area parties and events. He was one of the first to arrange group student travel to Cancun, Mexico, well before it became a favorite MTV Spring Break destination. Dickson began to gather friends together for discounted group ski trips to destinations including Crested Butte, Winter Park, Aspen, Snowmass, Keystone, A-basin, and Breckenridge, eventually becoming the popular National College Ski Week and finding a home in the laid back luxury of Steamboat Springs, Colorado.
Always a dedicated music fan, music naturally became an integral part of Dickson’s events, and he began to throw concerts throughout Texas to support the artists he believed in. Continually on the forefront, Dickson contributed to the Americana resurgence with his Outlaw Thursday series during the early 90’s, pairing acts such as Jack Ingram, Kelly Willis, and Charlie Robison with worldwide talents like Chris LeDoux, Merle Haggard, and Willie Nelson, helping to usher in new audiences for the burgeoning talents. As he began to incorporate then-newcomer acts like Roger Creager, Cory Morrow, Doug Moreland, and Cross Canadian Ragweed into the National College Ski Week, the MusicFest at Steamboat was born, and today the festival is a record-breaking event and a hallmark of the Americana calendar, where thousands of artists and fans converge for more than a week each January.
Over the years, Dickson Productions has worked with hundreds of esteemed national touring acts and up and comers alike and has successfully produced events across the nation.