Founded by Rod Kennedy, the Kerrville Folk Festival has run annually since 1972. It is the longest continuously running music festival of its kind in North America. For 18 straight days and nights each May and June, over 30,000 guests come from all over the world to experience the magic of what we simply call “Kerrville”. The Festival is known internationally as a Mecca for singer songwriters of varying musical style. It’s a place where those just developing their skills have the opportunity to play their music along- side master craftsmen.
Over 1500 outstanding singer-songwriters have been presented on the Festival’s stages since the beginning. More than just a “folk music” festival, Kerrville offers music of many styles including traditional folk, bluegrass, acoustic rock, blues, country, jazz, and Americana. The common thread is songwriting. The focus of the festivals is to promote emerging artists while giving our audience exposure to both new and recognized, seasoned talent. Major label artists such as Lyle Lovett, Willie Nelson, Michelle Shocked, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Robert Earl Keen, Lucinda Williams, and Nancy Griffith played Kerrville early in their careers. Through the years, the Kerrville stage has seen other nationally known artists like Peter Paul & Mary, Judy Collins, Janis Ian and Arlo Guthrie, while others such as singer/songwriter/actor Ronny Cox play on our stages any given year.
While many folks come out just to see the evening main stage shows, the heart and soul of the festival is in the campgrounds. This is where you can truly experience and appreciate the abundance of talent we are blessed to have in our midst each year. Impromptu jam sessions can pop up at any time around a campfire or anywhere there are people willing to listen. A 24-hour a day treat for musicians and music enthusiasts alike.
In addition to the live music there are also special concerts and activities for children, songwriting schools, music business seminars, hill country bike rides, canoe trips on the Guadalupe River, Sunday Folk Song Services, and our annual New Folk Competition and concerts for emerging songwriters. There is something for everyone who enjoys music, camping, the outdoors, and making new friends.
So whether you come out for a day, weekend or for the entire Festival, you’ll find that the music, the ambiance, and the spiritual optimism combine to make this America’s most beloved and respected songwriters gathering.
The Kerrville Wine & Music Festival, or “Little Folk” as some call it, has a similar musical format to that of the Kerrville Folk Festival, but the focus is also on Texas Wines. Held each year over Labor Day weekend this annual 3-day event, combines camping, music, and the best wines Texas winemakers have to offer. In addition to afternoon and evening concerts, there are Saturday and Sunday wine seminars which pair food morsels with the vintners choice of wine.
Come on out and enjoy the magic of one of the Kerrville Music Festivals. You’ll be glad you did and you will want to come back every year.