October 20-22, 2023
Camp Ben McCulloch, Driftwood, TX
The 16th Annual Austin String Band Festival is coming up on the weekend of October 20 - 22, 2023, at Camp Ben McCulloch in nearby Driftwood, TX. Join us for a weekend of music, camping, jamming, dancing, and friends!
This family-friendly festival brings together musicians and roots music enthusiasts from Central Texas and beyond. In addition to two stages of live string band performances, there'll be dances, workshops, kids' activities, tons of campsite jamming and, for the first time, Festival Yoga!
This year, we're excited to welcome the Daiquiri Queens from Lafayette, LA to the String Band Festival!
The Daiquiri Queens are fronted by guitarists Jamie Lynn Fontenot and Miriam McCracken, and they bring a fresh new take and style to traditional Louisiana French music! Their sibling-like harmonies, paired with the seasoned playing of accordionist John Dowden and fiddler Tysman Charpentier, infuse their music with a homespun and energizing feel. Chelsea Moosekian provides the drums in the rhythm section.
If you've never attended the Austin String Band Festival, you're missing a real treat! The String Band Festival is a truly relaxed, uncrowded and joyful affair; the campground is bucolic, the stage shows are riveting, the workshops are fascinating, and campground picking is sublime!
It's no wonder that many Austin area acoustic music fans and musicians consider the String Band Festival their favorite festival!
More information on performers, performance schedule, workshops, food vendors, kids' activities, etc. will soon be posted as we finalize details. Stay tuned!
We have a most excellent line-up this year! Read about them in the October 2023 issue of Reel Times!
Check out this Spotify playlist for a preview of our performers
Admission & Tickets
Tickets will be available on-site at the admissions gate. Cash, cards, and checks will be accepted.
Kids under 15 are free!
AFTM members get discounted prices online or at the gate. Active members should have received a discount code in their email. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our membership site to check your status, using your email address to log in.
Volunteers for PRIME slots will get a full weekend pass and a festival poster (new this year)!. There are limited numbers of prime slots so grab one quickly if you can! Prime slots are evening shifts that are marked with the word "PRIME" on our sign-up page. Work one Prime slot and get a weekend pass. Camping is extra.
Volunteers for regular slots will get a day pass for a day of their choosing. That is, if you volunteer on Friday, you can use your free day pass on Saturday (but you'll need to pay for Friday if you stay longer than your volunteer time slot -- we appreciate your help keeping the festival affordable for all!). You can volunteer for two regular slots to get passes for both days. Camping is extra.
Email email@example.com with any questions.
Saturday 11:00 AM
- Rich MacMath - Square-Dance Workshop - Square dance rule number one is to have fun! Reel, allemande, do-si-do, swing and promenade - learn five figures and you’re ready to dance. We’ll have a caller and live music.All ages invited and no partner needed.
- Lloyd Wright - Beginning Clawhammer Banjo - Learn the basics of everyone's favorite instrument from a master picker
- Lindsay Haisley - Autoharp - Lindsay Haisley has been playing autoharp for audiences for about 40 years and was inducted into the Autoharp Hall of Fame in 2004. The subjects covered in this workshop will largely depend on what the workshop attendees would like to learn, so questions and feedback will be welcome. Please bring your autoharp, tuned as well as you can get it tuned. A handout will be provided.
- Daiquiri Queens - Louisiana Twin Fiddling/Seconding - Learn the techniques and principles behind the great twin fiddle sound of the Daiquiri Queens
Saturday 12:00 PM
- Jacqui Woolley - Cajun dance - waltz, two-step, and jitterbug taught with live Cajun backup music
- Nokosee Fields Trio - The art of playing and singing together in a string band
- Belen Escobedo - Tejano Fiddle Traditions, taught by a master fiddler
- Daiquiri Queens - Cajun French Singing - you don't need to be a native French speaker to sing in French!
Saturday 1:00 PM
- Luke Bulla - Bluegrass Fiddle - Luke will talk about and demonstrate melody and harmony fiddle parts to the classic Bluegrass tunes, such as Wheelhoss and Roanoke, as taught to him by the great Bobby Hicks during Luke’s time playing in Ricky Skaggs’ band, Kentucky Thunder.
- Sharon Sandomirsky with Aaron Zischkale and Adam Brodkin - Oldtime Backup Guitar, with stories about Sharon's history, including her work with the Fuzzy Mountain String Band.
- Daiquiri Queens - How to play proper Cajun rhythm, with triangles, guitar
- Blake Miller of the Daiquiri Queens - Cajun Accordion Techniques
Sunday 10:00 AM
- Sunday Morning Gospel Jam - led by Sharon Sandomirsky and Georgia Canfield, in the pavilion
Friday, October 20
|6:45 PM||Silver Alert Ramblers (Mini-Set)|
|7:00 PM||Last Shot Got Him|
|7:45 PM||Two Fosters; One Price (Mini-Set)|
|8:00 PM||Nokosee Fields Trio|
|8:45 PM||The Slaughter Creek Drought Busters (Mini-Set)|
|9:00 PM||Daiquiri Queens|
|10:00 PM||Two Goat String Band|
Saturday, October 21
|2:00 PM||Lloyd & April|
|2:45 PM||Stubble in Mind (Mini-Set)|
|3:00 PM||Luke Bulla|
|3:45 PM||Pending (Mini-Set)|
|4:00 PM||Belen Escobedo|
|4:45 PM||Creekbed Carter Hogan (Mini-Set)|
|5:00 PM||Alley Grass|
|5:45 PM||Rusty Nut and the Wheel Ruts (Mini-Set)|
|6:00 PM||Lost Patterns|
|6:45 PM||Dog Days String Band (Mini-Set)|
|7:00 PM||Lost Pines|
|7:45 PM||George Rios & Friends (Mini-Set)|
|8:00 PM||Austin Lounge Lizards|
|8:45 PM||Everett Wren and Bird Calls (Mini-Set)|
|9:00 PM||Nokosee Fields Trio|
|10:00 PM||The Joymakers|
|11:00 PM||Daiquiri Queens|
There is plenty of primitive tent camping, and a small number of RV sites with hookups. All camping fees are to be paid upon festival entry, on a first-come-first-served basis. You may pay with cash, check or credit card.
Friday and Saturday camping should be paid at the festival admissions tent. You may arrive earlier than Friday to camp. If you do, please pay Camp Ben directly for the nights before Friday.
Check-out is Noon on Sunday.
Tent site: $20 per night
RV site: $30 per night
Trash & Recycling
Pack-it-in, Pack-it-out. Campers who have recycling at their residence are encouraged to take recyclables home with them; a bag will be furnished for use on site or to take trash home. This helps us greatly - Thanks!
No dogs or other pets
We love dogs, but please leave them at home.
NO DOGS ALLOWED except service animals.
No amplified music
Out of courtesy to fellow campers, jammers, and official performers, please no amplified music in the campground.
We'll have on-site food trucks: Big Frank's Tacos and Linda's Texas Street Crepes
Festivalgoers can also bring their own food and beverages (no glass, please). There's ample space and tables to picnic, and campers can of course cook at their campsites.
Camp Ben McCulloch
18301 FM 1826
Driftwood, Texas 78619
Google Maps Link
Camp Ben McCulloch is within a few minutes of Austin, located 11 miles south of Highway 290 West on Farm Road 1826. From I-35, take Loop 4 to downtown Buda. Head west on Farm Road 967 for 11 miles, then turn left on Farm Road 1826 for 1/2 mile -- Camp Ben McCulloch is on the left.
Camp Ben McCulloch’s grounds are lovely, with plenty of big old shade trees, a gurgling creek and room for camping and jamming. Some of the best music is off-stage in sessions lasting till the wee hours. There is also a very nice, shady playground close to the pavilion.
Lettered spots are approximate workshop areas, subject to change depending on conditions at the grounds.
A Few Reminders
The string band festival is a family friendly event. If you are planning to come to the festival please note the following:
- NO DOGS ALLOWED (except service dogs).
- BRING YOUR OWN CHAIR FOR THE WORKSHOPS, FOR JAMMING, OR FOR EXTRA COMFORT.
- BRING YOUR OWN COOLER AND ICE.
- NO GLASS BOTTLES. CANS ONLY.
- NO FIRES - THERE'S A BURN BAN IN HAYS COUNTY
- NO FIREWORKS OR WEAPONS.
- NO AMPLIFIED MUSIC.
- BRING CASH AND CREDIT CARDS FOR TICKETS, CAMPING FEES, FOOD, and MERCH.
- PACK-IN & PACK-OUT AS MUCH OF YOUR TRASH AS POSSIBLE
Thanks to our generous sponsors for helping keep the Austin String Band Festival affordable and fun! We really appreciate it!
Become a member of AFTM to support our efforts, and to get discounted tickets. Join today!