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Enter the Don’t mess with Texas® Song Search

By September 27, 2018No Comments

Are you or your neighbors passionate about litter prevention? Does seeing trash blemish majestic bluebonnet-lined highways make them sad? Is your city inspired to do your part and more to keep Texas beautiful? Are you or anyone you know musically-inclined?

Then your community may be the home of the next Don’t mess with Texas music legend. Music showcasing Texas pride and beauty has been a tradition since the campaign’s inception 32 years ago. This year the Texas Department of Transportation’s Don’t mess with Texas program is inviting the public to help find the next English and Spanish acts for its long running advertising campaign.

Musically talented Texas residents are encouraged to enter the Don’t mess with Texas Song Search to find undiscovered musical talent to feature in the iconic litter-prevention campaign. Winners can join the ranks of Texas artists such as George Strait, Willie Nelson, LeAnn Rimes and Grupo Fantasma by penning and filming an original 30-second song promoting Don’t mess with Texas and a litter prevention message.

Participants have until October 102018 to submit their video to be eligible for public voting. Videos will be uploaded to where the public will have a chance to vote for their favorites through October 25.

The top three finalists in English and Spanish categories will be judged in order to select two winners to represent the Don’t mess with Texas campaign in 2019. Entries will be selected based upon overall presentation, innovation, creativity, technical skill, brand messaging and ability to create a memorable song.


  • Be a legal resident of Texas and 18 years of age or older
  • Participants cannot be signed to a label
  • Song must mention the Don’t mess with Texas campaign and disposing of trash properly
  • Review the Official Contest Rules

 How to Enter


  • Be featured in a 2019 Don’t mess with Texas TV Spot.
  • Win a Gibson Guitar valued at $2,400 donated by Gibson.
  • Perform at an iHeart Radio Station Music Lounge courtesy of iHeart Radio

We can wait to see your entry! Visit us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to help spread the message!

Don’t mess with Texas partners with Keep Texas Beautiful on a variety of programs to educate Texans of all ages about the importance of not littering and encourage action to keep our state litter-free. Annual programs include:

  • Don’t mess with Texas Trash-Off – Since 1993 Keep Texas Beautiful and Don’t mess with Texas have joined forces to clear Texas roadsides of trash as part of the Keep America Beautiful Great American Cleanup. The 2019 Trash-Off will take place on Saturday April 6.
  • Don’t mess with Texas Scholarship – The scholarship recognizes the achievements of high school seniors who have taken leadership roles to prevent litter in their schools and communities and build awareness of the Don’t mess with Texas initiative.
  • Don’t mess with Texas Art Contest – Students K-12 are invited to send their best artwork for the chance to be featured in the Don’t mess with Texas Art Calendar.Be on the lookout for the 2019 contest launching in January.

Be on the lookout for future initiatives to expand and grow the campaign, including an appearance by the campaign’s newest mascot, Darrell the Barrel. Encourage your friends, family and community to always have a Litter Free State of Mind. 

Blog post written by Catherine Cromer, Campaign Coordinator and Statewide Adopt-a-Highway Coordinator at the Texas Department of Transportation