A Classic Music Festival – Old Settlers Music Festival Review

In Buzz, Music Festivals by JoLow

Established in 1987 and Set in Driftwood, Texas, outside of Austin, Old Settlers Music Festival was a weekend filled with big smiles, lots of bluegrass, dancing feet and great performances. We were so glad to be a part of the joyful craziness that took place at Old Settlers Music Festival. These were our highlights.

1) Salt Lick

salt lick

Old Settlers Music Festivals takes place at “Salt Lick BBQ Pavillon,” which is adjacent to the famous Salt Lick BBQ Restaurant. Festival goers didn’t even have to walk over to the restaurant as Salt Lick  was being served up every day on the festival grounds. Their delicious BBQ was a tasty treat for any hungry music fan, and the BBQ smoke smell enhanced the entire festival. If anyone wanted to experience the restaurant they didn’t have to go too far.

2) The Vendors

FlasksOld Settlers Music Festival offered a great array of vendors. From beautiful art, to handmade handmade jewelry, and enough tie-die and long skirts to keep any hippie satisfied. Some of our favorites included custom designed leather flasks and a vendor who made necklaces out of quarters.

3) McCrary Sisters

The McCrary  lit up the main stage on Saturday afternoon with their beautiful harmonies and powerful voices. The passion and excitement they put into their performance radiated off the entire crowd that was dancing and singing along as they lifted their hands and sang “Let It Go.”

4) The Festival Brochure

This may sound kind of strange, but having a full length Festival Brochure really enhances the overall festival experience.  Most festivals pass out a “festival lineup.” Old Settlers provided people with artist information, a detailed map, and even documented some unique festival goers. This is something we feel other festivals should surely take note of.

5) Workshops

At Old Settlers artists don’t just play shows, but they teach and answer questions to festival goers. This is one of the more unique aspect of Old Settlers and really allows festival goers an opportunity to have intimate sessions with musicians. Our favorite was watching Jake Shimabukuro give his insight on the ukulele and cover Queen’s  Bohemian Rhapsody to mesmerized crowd.

6) Late Night Jam Sessions


Camp Ben McCullah was no place for anyone trying to go to bed early.  From the hours of midnight to sunrise It didn’t take very long to walk around the site and hear  people jamming out. Many artists would join the parties, as festival goers made music until the sun came out!

7) Old School Austin VibesFree Hugs

Even though Old Settlers Festival didn’t take place right in Austin we definitely got the feeling that the festival perfectly exemplified life in Austin 30 years ago. At a time when Austin was extra weird. The festival goers were mixed in age, but all shared a common love for good times and music.

8) Pokey LaFarge


Pokey and his band played two excellent sets at Old Settlers Music Festival and one of them being one of the last shows of the weekend. The group combines old school sounds with new school flares. We particular enjoyed the bands versatility and great use of the trumpet, sax, and clarinet.

9) Smiles Rain Or Shine

old stttlers
Despite some night time thunder storms it didn’t stop people from having a good time! A little mud and some rain simply added to the shear craziness for Old Settlers Music Festival. In fact many festival goers made the most out of the storms and danced/drank enough until the stormy weather passed.
Thanks for doing this music festival the right way.