The Old Settler's Music Festival, one of the oldest fests in Austin, is on the move — again. The 30-year-old fest will relocate to the Lockhart area for its 2018 run.
Old Settler's roots reach back to Round Rock, where it first launched in 1987. In 2002, the festival transitioned to the Salt Lick BBQ Pavilion in Driftwood and Camp Ben McCulloch in Austin.
Plans were already in the works to move to Lockhart in 2019, but Scott Roberts, owner of the Salt Lick BBQ, informed the Old Settler's team this week that they would need to terminate their partnership a year early. According to festival organizers, "Roberts said in his letter that his decision was based on changing use of the surrounding property and concern about alienating his new neighbors."
"We have enjoyed our 15-year association with the Salt Lick," Old Settler's executive director Jean Spivey says in a release. "They have been very generous over the years, as have the officials and people of Hays County."
Old Settler's just bought a 145-acre plot in Dale, Texas, about 20 minutes outside of Lockhart. The new permanent space boasts twice the footprint as the previous locations, creating more room for vendors, campsites, and expanded children's area, and other amenities.
Old Settler's will introduce its new home April 19-22, 2018. Organizers are planning to eventually build an enclave onsite.
"While we really wanted another year to prepare the property, we are excited to have found a permanent home for the festival," Spivey says. "Festival-goers should continue to expect great lineups; an intimate, but more breathable atmosphere; and all the hallmarks of a well-run event."
"The purchase will allow Old Settler's to design and develop a festival site and camping-oriented facility that will soon be known as one of the premier event locations in Texas," adds Old Settler's board president Johnny Harvey.
Salt Lick BBQ is keeping busy. The team is in the process of building a unique development on Roberts' family land next to the original restaurant. The aptly named Driftwood will feature a housing community, mixed retail and restaurant space, boutique hotel and spa, winery, and commercial town center. Salt Lick BBQ is also bringing its 'cue to Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium and opening a third standalone location in Grapevine, slated to open in 2018.