Move over, Coachella. Dionne Warwick headlines Dogepalooza, a crypto festival in Sugar Land

The inaugural Dogepalooza Festival will be in Sugar Land

Photo: Dogepalooza / Dogepalooza

Dogepalooza, the festival inspired by the Dogecoin cryptocurrency, promises lots of forward-thinking concepts, young musical acts and endless dog memes.

The DogeClaren, a touring vehicle covered in images of the doge meme, is scheduled to make an appearance. There are also plans to film a documentary at the event which kicks off at noon Saturday at Sugar Land’s Constellation Field. It was rescheduled from October of last year due to COVID-19 concerns.

But the big draw is an 81-year-old, Grammy-winning singer with a must-follow Twitter account. Yes, Dionne Warwick will perform at the inaugural Dogepalooza.

It makes sense. Since shaking up social media over the past couple of years, Warwick has enjoyed a career resurgence. A duet with Chance the Rapper was inspired by one of her famously candid tweets. (“Hi @chancetherapper. If you are very obviously a rapper why did you put it in your stage name? I cannot stop thinking about this.”) Late last year, she appeared in an “SNL” skit about the fictitious “Dionne Warwick Talk Show” featuring Ego Nwodim as the singer.


“Everybody’s been stuck at home. We were all on social media, becoming friends. Now, people are wanting to get out. What better song that ‘That’s What Friends are For?’ It speaks volumes about the community and the friendships that we’ve all built,” says Greg Humble, Dogepalooza founder and owner. “I had to get Dionne Warwick to do this song at our event.”

More Information

Dogepalooza

When: Noon April 23

Where: Constellation Field, 1 Stadium Dr., Sugar Land

Tickets: $25-$150; free for children ages 3 and younger; dogepalooza.com

Humble, who has a home and family in the Houston area, says he first became familiar with Dogecoin in 2019 through videos by YouTuber Corinna Kopf. He was intrigued by the concept and the “do only good everyday” credo adopted by the Dogecoin community. Dogepalooza has since trademarked the phrase, though Humble says it was “to protect it for the Doge community” and has since transferred ownership to Dogecoin.

Dogecoin is a cryptocurrency that was originally created as a joke by software engineers Billy Marcus and Jackson Palmer. The name was inspired by the Shiba Inu “doge” meme and the enterprise was meant as a spoof on Bitcoin but quickly became legitimately popular. Elon Musk once called it his “fave cryptocurrency.”

Dogecoin’s credibility has also been boosted by endorsements from Snoop Dogg, Joe Jonas and Gene Simmons. Last year, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban began allowing fans to use Dogecoin to purchase tickets and merchandise. SpaceX announced a moon mission completely funded by the cryptocurrency.

Humble, for his part, hopes Dogepalooza attendees pick up on the viability of Dogecoin at the event. He’s capping attendance at 5,000 to ensure people get the most out of the experience. He’s worked closely alongside Sadie Pope, Dogepalooza’s executive director of brand development, who has been “instrumental” in bringing the concept to life.

“If I go to a brick-and-mortar store and say, ‘Hey, you gotta download this app,’ do this, do that, accept crypto — it’s easier to onboard you and teach you about the crypto and have a built-in audience of thousands of people who want to learn about crypto,” Humble says. “It’s a perfect environment to educate people.”

Along with Warwick, the entertainer lineup includes Damon Elliott, her son and producer; Grammy-winning new age group White Sun, Houston rapper Kilometerz and local pop singer Gammy Gonzz, who was impressed by the festival’s “great vibes overall.”

“I want to see everyone having a great time and forming connections while listening to great music,” Gonzz says.

Humble indeed frequently stresses the event’s community aspect and says 100-percent of ticket sales will go to local and national charities. Their main partner is 4MyCiTy Inc. whose focus is on “sustainable management of food waste” by taking leftover food from stores and restaurants that would normally be thrown out and donating it where needed.

And this, Humble hopes, is just the beginning. He plans to take the festival worldwide, with editions in several countries running at the same time.

“It’s just blown up to a huge thing. I still pinch myself, ‘oh my God’,” Humble says. “It’s not just a festival. It’s not just a concert. It’s a game changer for the world.”

joey.guerra@houstonchronicle.com





  • Joey Guerra

    Joey Guerra is the music critic for the Houston Chronicle. He also covers various aspects of pop culture. He has reviewed hundreds of concerts and interviewed hundreds of celebrities, from Justin Bieber to Dolly Parton to Beyonce. He’s appeared as a regular correspondent on Fox26 and was head judge and director of the Pride Superstar singing competition for a decade. He has been named journalist of the year multiple times by both OutSmart Magazine and the FACE Awards. He also covers various aspects of pop culture, including the local drag scene and “RuPaul’s Drag Race.”