For decades, folk music fans, including bluegrass lovers, have flocked to the Kerrville Folk Festival for several days of live performances from musicians around the country. Come early September, the Kerrville Wine and Music Festival continues the small town's love of good tunes. With a wide range of musicians and performance after performance, Kerrville's music festivals are bound to impress bluegrass fans, as well as anyone who enjoys live music.
The Kerrville Folk Festival and the Kerrville Wine and Music Festival both take place at Quiet Valley Ranch in Kerrville, Texas. The small Hill Country town of Kerrville is situated west of San Antonio and Austin, making it easily accessible for folk music and bluegrass lovers who live in the two cities.
What started as a small gathering dedicated to peace and music has led to a well-known festival that draws folk music fans from all over. Rod Kennedy established the first Folk Festival in Kerrville back in 1972, three years after Woodstock. With the help of Kennedy's promotional touring, the event has reached the fame of other major musical gatherings, such as the Newport Folk Festival, which has been around since 1959. While initially a three-day event, the Kerrville Folk Festival now spans for 18 days at the end of May through June. The Wine and Music festival began in 1991 and continues to provide delicious wine and great music every Labor Day weekend.
The Kerrville Folk Festival attracts a number of folk artists every year, and covers a wide breadth of styles, including bluegrass, traditonal folk, blues, country, acoustic rock and Americana. Adding new acts each year, the festival is dedicated to promoting emerging artists and ensuring that the festival is constantly evolving. In addition to new material, the event also celebrates the roots of folk and bluegrass by featuring legendary, seasoned performers as well. While the Wine and Musical Festival doesn't feature as many acts, it still boasts three 6-hour evening concerts, as well as two 2-hour afternoon concerts, showcasing a variety of singer-songwriters.
Many visitors who attend the concerts choose the energetic camaraderie and cheery atmosphere of a campsite over the comforts of a hotel. Nearly 60% of the festival crowd stay for multiple nights in tents or RVs on the fairgrounds. With approximately 25,000 to 30,000 guests in attendance, the Folk Festival is clearly a popular event. Despite the promise of great music and a fun environment, attendants must be aware of the possibility of rain: in 2007, severe storms interfered with the show. While late spring tends to be a drier period, the festival remains dependent on the weather.