AUSTIN, Texas — Saturday, March 16 is the first official day of Rodeo Austin, but Friday night was the kick-off party.

This is the first time Rodeo Austin has thrown the 'Kick Open up the Chutes!' party. In the past, they closed out their two weeks of performances with a party, but this year they decided to change it up a bit.

RELATED: Annual ‘Cowboy Breakfast’ kicks off Rodeo Austin 2019

This was a chance for some people to see a little bit more behind the scenes, by seeing what normally only the animals and performers are able to see.

All of the events were down on the arena floor, including some rodeo games and photo ops.

But one of the biggest parts of the night was the musical guests, Wade Bowen and Sam Riggs, who performed on a rotating stage in the middle of the arena.

On Saturday, the true Rodeo Austin concerts start up with Aaron Watson. Also on the bill throughout the rodeo: Josh Turner, the Jacksons, Kevin Fowler and more.

Rodeo Austin announces 2019 lineup


Camila Cabello plays tribute to Selena Quintanilla at the Houston Rodeo

Verify: Who holds the rodeo attendance record – Cardi B or George Strait?

Video: Cardi B sings 'Como la Flor' backstage after RodeoHouston performance

Cardi B sets rodeo attendance record

Kacey Musgraves surprises RodeoHouston fans with Selena’s ‘Como La Flor’