Old Settler's Music Festival is an annual event that features music from many different genres like bluegrass, acoustic jazz, country, and blues. It takes place in Tilmon, Texas, just southeast of Lockhart every year and is one of the state's signature music events.
The festival has been going strong since 1988, making it one of the oldest events of its kind in Texas. The first ever show took place in Old Settler's Park in Round Rock, Texas. It was then moved to the Stone Mountain Events Center in Dripping Springs and the Salt Lick BBQ Pavilion and Camp Ben McCulloch in Driftwood. The current venue is a sprawling area that stretches out over 145 acres in the tiny town of Tilmon.
The event has featured award-winning bands and musicians from all over the world. Artists like Karen Abrahams, Leeann Atherton, The Blackland Prairie Boys, The Waybacks, Good News Band, Libby Kirkpatrick, Railroad Earth, Monte Montgomery, Darrell Scott, Eliza Gilkyson, The Fireants, Brandi Carlile, and The Lone Bellow have performed at Old Settlers Music Festival in the past.
Over 16,000 fans attend the festival every year, and more than 30 musical acts are featured. In addition to the music, attendees can enjoy arts and crafts, RV camping, and delicious food. Its popularity is one of the reasons the region is considered the best destination for live music in the world.
Several different ticket tiers go on sale a few months before the start of the Old Settler's Music Festival: General Admission, Platinum, and Gold. Single-Day Passes are available as well as tickets for all four days. Prices range from $50 for Single-Day General Admission Passes to over $700 for the Gold Pass. Passes for camping and parking can also be purchased through the website.
It is an all-ages festival, and children under the age of 12 can enter for free if accompanied by a ticket holding adult. More information on ticket pricing and pass types is available on the festival website.
The Old Settler's Music Festival takes place in Timon, a small town about 10 miles away from Lockhart, Texas. Organizers encourage motorists to search for the Old Settler's Music Festival via GPS app for directions to the area. Carpooling is encouraged if you plan on driving to the venue. Detailed directions from Austin, San Antonio, and Houston are provided on the website.
There are paid parking options on the festival grounds. Both day and overnight parking are available. Cars and smaller RVs can be parked in the campground parking lot. A separate area will be designated for larger RVs. You will need an RV (Trailer) pass to park your RV on the premises.
Since the venue is a bit remote, so you won't find many buses or trains that can get you directly there. Your best bet is to book a taxi or a shuttle service in advance if you will need transportation to the venue and do not plan to drive. The organizers typically tie up with local companies to offer a limited shuttle service from downtown Austin.
Old Settler's Music Festival is the place to camp on site for both tents and RVs. You'll need a general admission pass and a camping pass for your RV length. Water fill-ups and pump-outs will be available for a fee, and you'll need an electrical permit to use the electrical hookups.
In addition to the onsite camping options, there are plenty of other RV parks in the area. These will get you close to the great outdoors, and some even have waterfront access. Several options are a short 10 to 20-minute drive from the festival grounds, so it's a good idea to check if anyone else staying at the site is planning to attend the festival. You may be able to carpool with them to the event if you choose not to stay on site.
You'll need to get around the venue on foot. Bikes, skateboards, scooters, ATVs or other personal motorized vehicles will not be allowed on the grounds. Most areas are accessible, and every effort will be made to accommodate patrons with disabilities. Patrons are requested not to wander too far away from the performance and camping areas.
The vibe at Old Settlers Music Festival is casual, and most people will be dressed in jeans and a t-shirt. It is recommended to dress in layers and carry a jacket in case a spring chill comes at night. Also, ensure you have some protective gear with you in case it rains.
Some useful things to take with you, especially if you plan on camping on the grounds are blankets, a first-aid kit, low backed chairs, warm clothing, sunglasses, a hat, sunscreen, and a portable charger. Try to bring everything you need to stay comfortable for multiple days of the event since to avoid having to leave the area for a nearby larger town.
Free filtered water stations will be located throughout the grounds. Carry a bottle with you and refill this frequently to stay hydrated. Wear plenty of sunscreen and take regular breaks to seek shade from the sun. Glass containers of any kind and illegal substances or weapons will not be allowed.
You can bring your food and drinks into the campground but not into the staging areas. Ice, coffee, and food will also be available for purchase. Cooking will be allowed on the stove in your RV or a portable grill. Campfires are permitted as long as they are kept under control and supervised at all times.
The region is known for its delicious barbecued meats. But if meat is not your thing, there's no need to worry. The food scene has really evolved over the last couple of years. You'll find plenty of plant-based dishes and food made with fresh, local ingredients. There are also a few good Mexican and Chinese restaurants in Lockhart.
Old Settler's organizers partner with local restaurants, caterers, and vendors to bring diverse food options to the event. They also tie up with different brewers every year so attendees can enjoy some excellent craft beers. There will be a ton of vegan, vegetarian, and organic food options on offer as well.
Volunteers and security personnel will be present at the entrance, and they will also be making rounds. All your belongings will be checked before entry. Patrons are asked to maintain a friendly ambiance and leave the campsites in good condition when they exit. This includes leaving with all the items they bring into the area.
The Old Settlers Music Festival is a rain or shine event. No refunds or exchanges will be given even if the performances are canceled. Cancellations may be issued on short notice if the weather conditions turn severe. It's a good idea to go prepared for rain, by carrying rain-proof camping gear, a raincoat, and boots.
First aid teams will be available on the campgrounds as well as at the music stage areas. They will be able to jump in if someone needs assistance. Every attempt will be made to meet the medical needs of patrons with disabilities. If you have any queries or special requirements regarding accessibility, you may want to contact the organizers in advance.