Old Settler’s Music Festival Executive Director Steps Down Amid Property Sale Plans

“This role [...] has been particularly challenging in recent years”

Talia Bryce (Courtesy of Old Settler's Music Festival)

Talia Bryce announced Wednesday morning that she is stepping down as executive director of Old Settler’s Music Festival.

“Over the past few years, we have faced numerous challenges together – from managing a 145-acre ranch to COVID-19 lockdowns, to the ongoing impacts of inflation and staffing changes,” Bryce wrote in a newsletter and on social media. “It has been a journey that demanded dedication and fortitude. I am proud of the progress we've made during this fraught time.”

“However, after much contemplation and a well-deserved vacation, it has become clear that it is time for me to step down and reprioritize. This role, extremely demanding in the best of times, has been particularly challenging in recent years. I wouldn’t trade the rewards though.”

Bryce took over for previous Old Settler’s Director Jean Spivey in 2022. Bryce's departure follows news, announced just two weeks ago, that the longtime Americana festival would cancel its 2024 edition as organizers plan to sell its Dale, Texas property, which was purchased in 2017. The festival plans to return in 2025.

At the time, a statement on the festival’s website called the 145-acre homestead at 1616 FM 3158 – about an hour outside Austin, near Lockhart – “much larger than we need.”

In November, Bryce told the Chronicle: “Back when the Dale property was purchased [in] 2017, it was a different group than is currently in charge. Different decisions were made at that point that made sense for the org and what they were going through at that time. Just because it made sense then, the world looks different now. Now we’re doing what makes sense for us in 2023.”

Bryce previously revealed that she was unsure of where the festival would relocate and was open to striking a deal with a potential buyer of the Dale property, which is listed for $2 million. In a statement provided to the Chronicle this morning, festival organizers said the team was “saddened to learn of Talia’s decision to resign as Executive Director.” The statement continued:

She had many successes, as well as challenges, over her 2.5 years with the organization and we understand her desire to step back from the demands and fast pace of the ED position. Running a nonprofit, along with a festival, is not easy and coupled with a global pandemic and an economic downturn, it can be that much harder. We will miss Talia and wish her much success with her next chapter.

We see a bright future for OSMF and look forward to what's to come in 2024 and beyond. Sometimes taking a pause is helpful and we are gearing up for another 36 years of bringing music to our community. Stay tuned for more news and updates.

Read Bryce's full statement here.

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS POST

Old Settler's Music Festival, Old Settler's Music Fest, Talia Bryce, Jean Spivey, Betsy Boone

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