Old Settler’s Music Festival Announces Last-Minute 2024 Comeback

The Spring Pickin’ Party runs May 9-12, despite property sale plans

Old Settler’s Music Festival is back on. After canceling its 2024 edition late last year, the long-running roots music event announced plans to return, May 9-12.

Hosted on its 145-acre homestead in Dale, Texas – near Lockhart – the surprise comeback pares down from the festival’s typical 30-plus acts to 14 total. The lineup includes Uncle Lucius; Kelly Willis, Brennen Leigh, and Melissa Carper (known collectively as the Wonder Women of Country); the South Austin Jug Band; Luke Bulla; Kalu & the Electric Joint; Hot Club of Cowtown; Tomar & the FCs; Texas String Assembly; HalleyAnna Finlay and Dustin Welch; the Hillsiders; Everett Wren; Good Looks; Elijah Delgado; and Audry Bryant.

Most of the music takes place on the festival’s campground stage on Friday and Saturday, but gates open at 12pm on Thursday, May 9, for the fest’s traditional open mic. The event wraps at 3pm Sunday, on the morning of which organizers promise special Mother’s Day programming.

Speaking to the Chronicle Thursday, Old Settler’s Executive Director Diana Harrell said the 2024 edition will be an “intimate,” back-to-basics party.

“Old Settler’s is known for picking circles. So after the music ends, all the campers get together and do a picking circle until about 2 o'clock in the morning,” Harrell says. “We're getting back to our roots with this festival.”

Single, two-day, and three-day tickets are available through the Old Settler’s Music Festival website, as are camping passes. Single-day passes start at $85, while multi-day tickets start at $125.

In November, the 1987-launched Americana festival announced plans to sell its Dale property, located at 1616 FM 3158. At the time, the organization’s then-executive director, Talia Bryce, told the Chronicle the spacious estate was “much larger than we need,” but that the nonprofit was open to working out a deal with prospective property buyers to stay in the current spot. Bryce then stepped down from Old Settler’s in December.

According to Harrell – who held the festival’s top title once previously, in 2021 – the land is still for sale. Harrell says she’s confident that Old Settler’s will return in the future, even if it moves to a new location.

“We've been around for 37 years and we're planning to be around for 37 more, if not longer,” Harrell says. “If the land sells and it's not something that works for us to stay with the new owners, we will return.

“It's not the property that we stand on. It's the people dancing to the music.”

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS POST

Old Settler's Music Festival, Diana Harrell, Good Looks, Tomar & the FCs, Talia Bryce, Texas String Assembly, Wonder Women of Country

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