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Kerrville Fall Music Festival: A Hill Country Extravaganza

Kerrville’s upscale dining, boutique shopping, and can't miss community festivals have made it one of the top destinations in the Texas Hill Country. The city resides on the banks of the Guadalupe River, and its lush riverside parks offer stunning views and a variety of activities from kayaking to cycling. Any fan of art and culture should make their way to The Museum of Western Art, which features hundreds of artifacts, paintings, sculptures that highlight the history of Texas during the 19th and 20th Centuries.


The Kerrville Fall Music Festival has worn many different hats over the last two decades. This year’s event will take place September 1-3, at the Quiet Valley Ranch, and will feature a variety of musicians from all over the country including Pike & Sutton, The Honey Dewdrops, and South Austin Moonlighters. Fans of wine will love taking part in the Texas Wine Seminar, featuring wine samples and seminars from some of the top wineries in Texas. Attendees will also have the opportunity to participate in the Texas Craft Beer Seminar which includes beer tastings and pairings, seminars from Texas craft brewers, and a complimentary tasting glass. Yoga classes will be held at Threadgill Theater, hosted by Willy McDaniel, and craft vendors will sell a variety of unique handmade items each day of the event. Some event proceeds will go to the Kerrville Folk Festival Foundation, which aims to raise awareness and appreciation for folk music in the Kerrville community. We got the chance to interview Dalis Allen, producer of the event, to learn more about this great celebration of music and community.  


RAL: How long has the event been running?

DA: The Fall Music Festival has been running for 23 or 24 years under different names, but it always lands on Labor Day weekend.


RAL: How many annual participants do you draw?

DA: We anticipate between 2,500 - 3,000 attendees for our Fall event.


RAL: What demographic does your event attract? Children? Families? Couples?

DA: We see all ages in attendance. This is a family friendly event.


RAL: What makes this event unique?  

DA: The Kerrville Festivals are more of a phenomenon than just a Festival. The campgrounds are full of folks that have been camping together for decades. We have some fourth generation staff and campers. Our team is primarily made up of volunteers (except for the few full-time employees.)


The artists presented are all songwriters, our mission to promote and perform original music. You might hear many familiar songs on the radio that have been covered by other artists, but what you hear at Kerrville is the original songwriter.


RAL: Take me through a day at the event.

DA: We have afternoon concerts at the Threadgill Theater from 1:00 to 3:00 pm in the campground. Sometimes it’s two artists splitting the time, and other times it’s a collaboration of many artists. We like to include performances by youth from our Music Camp for Teens.


There will also be the Texas Wine and Craft Beer Seminar from 3:00 to 5:00 pm at the Threadgill Theater and the evening concerts will begin at 7:00 pm The food and craft booths are open from 6:00 pm until the end of the show. We feature five different artists each night. There will also be craft booths in the Kennedy Theater area that are open during the evening shows.


Visit our website for a the full activity schedule.


RAL: What dining options will attendees encounter?  

DA: We have a variety of food choices in the Kennedy Mainstage Theater from nachos and wraps to gyros and funnel cakes. The campgrounds will feature a set of different food vendors including Kerr Kafe, Big Easy Bistro, and Grilled Chi.


RAL: Tell us about the overall atmosphere.

DA: The Festival atmosphere is always about community and music. We have 50 acres brimming with folks that are there to camp together, share meals, listen to the concerts and jam with their friends around campfires. The Kennedy Mainstage Theater is an outdoor facility with plenty of wooden slat benches and also room for folks to place their blankets or chairs. The Threadgill Theater is fully covered and also has benches and room for chairs. The stage at Kennedy is covered, but the seating is open air. You can see the stars and hear the crickets, a lovely way to get away!


RAL: Our travelers seek out unique and boutique accommodations, where can they find these in your area?

DA: Kerrville has two unique hotels, the Y.O. Ranch Resort Hotel and the Inn of the Hills. People will also find a variety of B&B’s in the area, as well as most chain hotels.


RAL: Does this drive business to your local economy?

DA: Absolutely, our festivals bring in over $1 million to the Kerrville community.


RAL: Does the event support a particular cause in the community?

DA: The Festival is the largest event presented by the Kerrville Folk Festival Foundation which aims to increase public appreciation for folk music and artists through a variety of classes, seminars, and workshops. We have an Outreach Program that takes our artists into the VA Hospital, State Hospital, senior homes, kids camps, etc., and we have collaborations with other organizations in the community. A great example is The Music at the Mansion Concert Series that is a collaboration with Schreiner University to present songwriters all year long. We have six concerts during the year and sell out the season passes. We are part of a co-op that has representatives from all of the Arts organizations in the community to figure out together how best to promote what is wonderful about Kerrville.


RAL: Why should people come to your event?

DA: To connect with a community that loves to listen to great music and share an experience of community, crafts, food, campfires. While guests might not be familiar with the musicians, they will become fans as soon as they hear them live.

For more information about the Kerrville Fall Music Festival, please visit the event website.