This is the longest-running Folk fest in the country, so suffice it to say it's huge. It takes place on a 50-acre ranch in the Texas hills. It's hot and it's fun! The highlight is the New Folk competition, and Kerrville's New Folk winners have gone on to become some of Folk's biggest stars. Be ready for impromptu late night jam sessions!
Because it's been around so long, Kerrville is able to get some really top players. The line-up tends to cater more toward Singer/Songwriters. Two of the main attractions at Kerrville are the late night song circles and the New Folk compeition. Both are swarming with original singer/songwriters, and are great for fans of that sub-genre.
I found camping to be one of the only difficulties at Kerrville. People have been going to this festival for years, and camping in the same place each time. It would serve you well to ask around to make sure you're not camping in a spot that's being saved for someone. You can't drive to your campsight, either, so be sure to only pack what you're willing to carry what could be a long way in the hot Texas sun!
Considering the amount of people at Kerrville, the food selection isn't too extensive. Most people bring their own food and cook out. It's important, though, to check ahead with weather stations in the area to make sure it'll be ok to cook out. When I went, the area was in a fierce dry spell and fires were prohibited.
What to Bring:
I couldn't stress enough the need for insect repellent! This is Texas hill country, which means there are plenty of deer ... which means there are more than enough ticks to go around. Water is very important. You are in the desert, after all. Bring a mug if you want to get coffee in the morning. Otherwise you'll have to buy a Kerrville mug, plus coffee.
What to Expect:
Plenty of people come to Kerrville for no reason other than participating in late night song circles. So don't camp on site if you don't want to be up very late listening to music. This is an ideal festival for people who are players! The showers are community showers, so don't be shy. The best time to shower is in the afternoon after the water has warmed up a bit.
Eric Schwartz, Ellis Paul, Vance Gilbert, Tracey Grammer. Check out a list of what artists you don't want to miss at Kerrville Folk Festival 2008