Something strange happened at last weekend’s Trans-Pecos Festival of Music and Love at El Cosmico, in Marfa. Five hundred concertgoers—most staying in one of a hundred tents, six trailers, four safari tents and four yurts—three security guards, four soundmen, and one lighting specialist heard the voice of Led Zeppelin perform onstage. It seemed random, and a little surreal, but somehow, there was Robert Plant, live in the middle of nowhere.
The “somehow” was a well-timed invitation from Liz Lambert, the Austin-based hotelier behind Marfa’s El Cosmico, a campsite “hotel” built around restored vintage trailers. Plant’s appearance was supposed to be a surprise, but in the days leading up to the festival—which, with the tents and abundance of free-roaming dogs and children, felt more like a 1960s-style “gathering”—there was buzz that the singer-songwriter Patty Griffin would