What is Headphone Disco? Waxahachie bringing new events to Railyard Park

Chris Roark
Waxahachie Daily Light
A DJ plays music while fans listen through their headphones and dance to the music in Headphone Disco.

A mix of new events and the return of fan favorites are expected to make Railyard Park in Waxahachie a popular place this year.

Coming up quickly is Headphone Disco, which will take place at 7-9:30 p.m. May 20. This is the first event of its kind at the park, and Kelly Skistimas, cultural arts and programming manager for the city, hopes the unique attraction draws a large crowd.

At Headphone Disco a DJ will be on stage playing popular dance music, but people can only hear the music if they’re wearing the headphones provided at the gate.

“The audience who have headphones can hear the music, but to any other observer it looks like the group is dancing to nothing,” Skistimas said. “It’s really popular at colleges and in cities that have strict noise ordinances.”

Skistimas said she came up with the idea of bringing this event to Waxahachie after hearing about it at a college conference.

Skistimas said there will be 500 headphones available for the event, and guests must provide an ID to check one out. There is no cost to participate.

She said the music played will be mostly pop/dance music, and the lyrics should be clean.

Another new event coming to Railyard Park is Railyard Nights, a series of live music that will take place at 7 p.m. every Saturday in June.

The first concert is set for June 4 and will feature local artist Bailey & The Bad Habits opening up for Mark Powell.

On June 11, local band Blind Dog Cooley will perform before headliner Def Legend.

Texas music star Holly Beth, as well as Hanna Kirby, who was on Season 8 of “The Voice,” will co-headline June 18.

Local musician Holly Beth is expected to perform June 18 at Railyard Park.

The series concludes June 25 with Burning Slow and Sons of Mystro, a duo that entertains the crowd with their violins.  

The free event will also include food trucks and drinks.

“Concerts on stage have always been major goals for the park,” Skistimas said. “But with COVID we didn’t have any events for two years. We missed out on the summer events. So this is the first time for us to host a summer series.”

The city will bring back several events to Railyard Park as well. On Aug. 6 the city will partner with Waxahachie ISD for its annual Back to School event.

“We have a wonderful partnership with WISD,” Skistimas said. “At this event there will be cheerleaders, the book mobile, a DJ and a performance from the band. It will be a great way to kick off the school year.”

Family Day will take place Sept. 17. The event is expected to include games like lawn twister and giant checkers and bingo, where children and families can win prizes. Skistimas said that last year’s prizes included gift cards to The Arcade, Urban Air, Showbiz, etc. There will also be inflatable ax throwing and bounce houses. 

“This year we are hoping to work with the local artist community and add vendor booths,” she said.

Railyard Park will host several events as part of Stampede of Speed Fan Fest, hosted by NHRA and the Texas Motorplex in Ennis. Festivities begin Oct. 7 with the cattle drive, followed by Big Al’s Down the Hatch five-year anniversary party Oct. 8. The NHRA Fall Nationals Fan Fest will take place Oct. 13.

On Oct. 29 the park will be home to the Grown Local Stage as part of the Texas Country Reporter Festival. Skistimas said the stage will feature local performers from Ellis County.

“This way we can showcase our local performers to 40,000 people,” Skistimas said.

Submissions will be open June 1-30, and residents will vote on which bands will be chosen July 1-30. Results will be announced in mid-August. Visit the Railyard Park Waxahachie and Visit Waxahachie Facebook pages for more information.

Railyard Park will also be home to Brewed – Waxahachie Coffee and Tea Festival on Nov. 12. The event took place for the first time last November with four vendors. Skistimas said the plan is to have more vendors this year and possibly to have performances from local musicians.

Railyard Park will also be involved in the Christmas Parade on Nov. 29 and Christmas Movie Night on Dec. 3.

Railyard Park is located at 455 S. College St.