I’d thought about going to the Kerrville Folk Festival for years, but I was scared by all the talk of rain, floods, and fire ants.
I decided to brave all that and finally got around to attending for the first time this year. It was different from all the other folk festivals I’ve attended. This one is more like summer camp for adults. It’s not just a weekend of headliner acts, but 18 days long, and the emphasis is more on what goes on in the campgrounds, while the main stage is secondary. Many people I talked to never or rarely went to the main stage. Days were spent sitting around reading, talking, cooling off in the nearby river, or driving into the town of Kerrville for a little dose of civilization (Texas-style: the Barnes & Noble wannabe store devotes a full third of its books section to Christian books). Nights were spent watching the official acts, followed by staying up until 0400 wandering the campground listening to music emanate from various song circles.
This was also my first time in Texas, and it did seem like a different country. I liked how everyone is very polite and found myself adjusting my speech accordingly so I didn’t sound too much like a brash Californian. The HEB supermarket (more like a French hypermarché) was a favorite hangout of mine when I wanted to cool off and/or eat local cuisine like a brisket sandwich.
At the end of my trip, I spent a few days in Austin, staying at the local hostel and doing my best to check out the local music scene.