The Lone Star state is known for having some of the best music festivals in the nation, satisfying a wide variety of tastes, certainly not limited to country music. From blues to country, heavy metal, punk, indie rock to reggae, you’ll find it all in Texas. Here is a look at the top five music festivals to consider attending in the largest contiguous state in the U.S.
Larry Joe Taylor’s Texas Music Festival
The LJT Texas Music Festival is a huge country music event that will take place from April 24-28, 2012 in Stephenville, Texas, about 70 miles southwest of Fort Worth. It’s one of Texas’ best music venues that will be held on two stages over four days and includes onsite camping. Five-day tickets have sold out, but one to four-day tickets are still available if you act quickly. Just a few of this year’s headliners include Cooder Graw, the Josh Weathers Band and Josh Grider.
Austin City Limits Music Festival
The Austin City Limits Music Festival in the state’s capital city will be held October 12-14, 2012. One of the largest and most popular music festivals in the country, it features more than 130 performers with a mix of music from various genres. Three-day passes are $200, and there are no additional service charges added. This is a real bargain when you consider this is three full days of entertainment. I’ve paid more for just one concert with only two bands performing.
Plan now to attend as both motels and campgrounds fill quickly during the music festival dates. The venue offers great travel packages that include tickets and three night’s accommodations at the Hilton Downtown, the Omni or the Marriott Courtyard. Although the line-up has not been officially announced yet, it’s said that Radiohead, The Shins and The Civil Wars are just a few of the bands on the bill for 2012.
Old Settler’s Music Festival in Austin
The central Texas region’s signature music event includes 30 bands on 5 stages, arts and crafts, performance workshops, camping, and much more. The music is centered on bluegrass, acoustic jazz and blues, with this year’s event the 25th anniversary of the long running show. It takes place from April 19 to April 22, 2012.
This year’s show features Iron & Wine, folk-soul singer Amos Lee, jam band Railroad Earth, and Florida bluesman JJ Grey & Mofro. Tickets can be purchased with camping included or without, starting at $125 without camping for three days of music, or $175 including three days with camping. Discounts are available for those who purchase before April 7, and if you plan on camping be aware that sites sold out quickly last year.
Kerrville Music Festival
The Kerrville Music Festival is an 18-day event filled with folk music at Quiet Valley Ranch in Kerrville, about 100 miles west of Austin. Camping is the best way to experience this event, taking place from May 24 to June 10.
Discounted tickets are available if you purchase by May 23, and start at just $25. Children under 12 are free with an adult admission. Although the full line-up is yet to be announced, a few who are scheduled to perform include Bluehouse, Warren Hood & the Goods and Steve Seskin.
Chaos in Tejas
For those who enjoy something decidedly different, Chaos in Tejas includes a variety of punk and metal bands, with this year’s line up including bands like Dropdead , Municipal Waste, Midnight, Ares Kingdom, the Rival Mob and much more. The event will take place in Downtown Austin from May 31 to June 3; four day passes are $150.
Camping is not available for this festival, and downtown lodging is not cheap. If you’re looking for budget options here, you might consider CouchSurfing or one of the many Austin area campgrounds. Alternatively, about 15 minutes north of the capital city, you can find less expensive hotel options such as the Days Inn Austin Crossroads for as little as $44 per night.