Kerrville Folk Festival canceled due to COVID-19 outbreak in Texas

Organizers are now dependent on community fundraising efforts to stay afloat

Banjo, image from Pixabay. (Pixabay)

KERVILLE, TX – In a statement on social media and its website, organizers of the Kerrville Folk Festival say the rescheduled folk festival will not be held in October and is now taking donations to stay afloat amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“You probably saw this coming, but it’s now official; with very sad hearts, we will not be holding an in-person October KFF,” Organizers said in a statement.

The festival was originally rescheduled in March with the hopes that the country would return to “some semblance of normalcy by October.”

However, organizers are hopeful are now restructuring the October festival to be a virtual celebration.

According to the festival announcement, organizers are offering refunds to those who purchased 2020 tickets, RV spaces and craft booths because “it is the right thing to do.” However, organizers say that if everyone who purchased event tickets receives a full refund, organizers will be forced to close the ranch and shut down Kerrville Folk Festival operations by the middle of August, the statement said.

Organizers released the following statement in regards to the organization’s financial situation:

This may surprise some of you, but KFF has never been a “flush” organization. The typical annual cash flow is:

  • Our fiscal year begins Oct. 1, and we rarely have more than a 4-figure number in the bank. Then we begin sales for RV spaces, and Season Tickets to fund our off-season operation for the coming Festival. Ticket sales through April and early May carry us to Land Rush.
  • By May, when we open the gates to welcome Festival attendees, we’re dependent on proceeds from stake sales and electric permits at Land Rush to get us to Day 1.
  • Tickets, food & beverage, and merchandise proceeds generate enough money for us to pay the artists, pay the post-Festival expenses, and survive until the next October rolls around.

Not having a festival in May changed “everything” for the organization, according to the statement. Reportedly, the organization has been scraping by since.

“Effective, Aug. 1, 2020, one of our employees has resigned and all others are taking deep pay cuts, but will continue their work as long as possible,” the organization said in a statement. “The KFFF Directors have donated their entire purchases back to the Festival and are hopeful that our community will do the same. They are determined to do everything in their power to keep this festival intact. Our survival is dependent on raising $150,000 between now and the end of the year.”

The organization said in a statement that a “guardian angel” has agreed to match every dollar donated to the Kerrville Folk Festival Foundation between now and Dec. 31, 2020.

You probably saw this coming, but it’s now official; with very sad hearts, we will not be holding an in-person October...

Posted by Kerrville Folk Festival on Monday, July 20, 2020

“Thankfully in this time of great need, we have an extraordinary guardian angel who has agreed to match every dollar donated to KFFF between now and December 31, 2020,” the organization’s statement said. “If you donate funds to KFFF, the value doubles toward ensuring the survival of our beloved Festival.”

Additionally, the organization said there has been “overwhelming interest” in community members becoming members of the KFF Foundation and renewing KFFF Memberships. Membership dues are tax-deductible and directly support the foundation’s mission, the organization said.

Details of the foundations about the October virtual festival will be published when they become available.

About the Author:

Jakob Rodriguez is a digital journalist at KSAT 12. He's a graduate of Texas State University, where he served as the editor-in-chief of the student-run newspaper, The University Star.