Cherokee Creek Music Festival 2017

Imagine this - a beautiful setting with grass,beautiful flowers, a creek and waterfall, bench swings under the trees, and even a windmill; a stunning covered stage with a huge wood beam ceiling, stone pillars supporting the ceiling, lush artificial turf that looks and feels like real grass, rows of perfectly aligned white chairs, fantastic colorful floral decorations covering the entire front and sides of the stage;

Cherokee Creek Music FestivalCherokee Creek Music FestivalCherokee Creek Music Festival 5 stations of free food plus desserts and soft drinks/water; camping very close to the stage plus a golf cart shuttle to run you back and forth to your campsite; a fun, friendly, outgoing, mature, small crowd of music fans; picnic tables along the creek and next to the stage with floral decorations, white table cloths, and umbrellas used for socializing and enjoying the music and your food; extremely friendly and helpful event staff and volunteers; very dog and kid friendly even including some kid playscapes; bring your own beer, wine, whiskey, and lawn chairs; and for those of us who drink a lot of beer there are a couple VIPs which are very impressive sparkling clean potties with air conditioning, tile countertops, dual sinks with running water, toilets with doors; and probably best of all a fantastic lineup of artists from across the United States!. Got all that? If so, that's what Cherokee Creek Music Festival is like - unbelievable and clearly one of the best music festivals in Texas. It's like being at a small private dinner party in a beautiful location with music! Which is why we haven't missed this event since we found out about it 5 years ago.

Cherokee Creek Music Festival cajun food station Cherokee Creek Music Festival music fans Cherokee Creek Music Festival Cherokee Creek Music Festival is held on Kelcy and Amy Warren's beautiful hill country ranch just outside of Cherokee, Texas. Where in the heck is Cherokee you ask - it's in San Saba County about equal distance (15 miles or so) between San Saba and Llano. The small town of Cherokee has a blinking yellow light, a small stone country store, and five or six old and empty stone buildings around the yellow light plus around 175 folks who claim Cherokee as their hometown.

The Cherokee Creek Music Festival started in 2007 and it's an annual non-profit event to raise money for several children’s charities and to date they have raised over $2 million dollars for various charities!

Cherokee Creek Music Festival Lineup

Sponsors of the Cherokee Creek Music festival were treated to music by Colbie Caillat at the Majestic Theater the week before the festival kicked off. On Friday there was a golf tournament at Horseshoe Bay's Ram Rock and Apple Rock courses followed by a sporting clay event that was held at a ranch in Llano called Thunder Hill. 

Friday's music started around 5:30 and included:

  • Blind Pilot - wow, we loved this American indie folk band based in Portland, Oregon
  • Dave Barnes - a great personality and grammy nominated singer songwriter who has both written and co-written songs with artists like Reba McEntire, Blake Shelton, Tim McGraw, and more
  • The Wallflowers  - two Grammies from this band with Bob Dylan's son Jakob Dylan as the lead singer - his voice on some songs sounds similar to Bob
Blind PilotDave BarnesWallflowers

What a fantastic day of music - Blind Pilot was outstanding, Dave Barnes was great, and The Wallflowers were very entertaining. Very seldom do we buy a CD but we liked Blind Pilot so much we had to get one of their CDs.

Friday after the music ended on the main stage the party started in the campground where John Nolan had set up a huge tent, hired and brought in a band, and cooked some delicious ribs for anybody who showed up.

Saturday at Cherokee Creek Music Festival started with a good breakfast and Bloody Marys supplied by John Nolan at no charge and the music kicked off at 11:30 and included:
  • Bryce Bangs and the Snags - Dallas based Bryce combines a style of blues, rock and soul, while pouring passion and warmth into each note
  • Shawn Mullins - another Wow - an incredible singer songwriter who specializes in folk rock, instrumental rock, adult alternative, and Americana music
  • Jimmy LaFave - Jimmy wasn't able to make his appearance due to terminal cancer which took his life two days later, a loss of great legend - but his band played with Jamee Harris singing a tribute to Jimmy - we'll sure miss him

Bryce BangsShawn MullinsJimmy LaFave tribute

  • Bob Schneider - an Austin staple who has played every venue in and around Austin combines the traditional singer/songwriter aesthetic with elements of funk, country, rock, and folk
  • Mat Kearney - Nashville based, his lyrics provide thoughtful, faith-filled insights and his music has been featured in countless television shows and films
  • Paul Thorn - a former professional boxer and the son of a preacher, Thorn brings energy and humor coupled with a mix of blues, country, and southern rock to the stage and Saturday's performance featured four very good gospel singing sisters
Bob SchneiderMat Kearneypaul thorn

What an outstanding day of music - Shawn was unbelievable, the Jimmy LaFave set was a tear jerker and excellent mix of his songs, and Bob Schneider's acoustic show was surprisingly good. It's always a pleasure to listen to and watch Radoslav Lorkovic play the piano and squeeze box with such emotion - love that guy!

Radoslav Lorkovic Radoslav Lorkovic Radoslav Lorkovic

And again after the music stopped the party continued at Nolan's tent.

Food at Cherokee Creek Music Festival

Food at Cherokee Creek Music FestivalFood at Cherokee Creek Music FestivalFriday dinner, Saturday lunch, and Saturday dinner are provided as part of the price of the tickets - and it's good food and available all day on Saturday, which means I ate way too much because I felt compelled to sample everything. There were five food stations: BBQ with sausage on a stick; BBQ pork, beans, and cold slaw; Cajun food with fried catfish, hush puppies, fries, grilled corn, etouffee, and more; Italian with lasagna, mashed potatoes and gravy, and chicken cordon bleu; beef and chicken fajitas and all the fixings including fresh guacamole; a station that offer healthy stuff like salads and fruit as well as desserts including chocolate chip cookies, peach cobbler, ice cream, brownies, and lots more. Plus there were two food trailers offering tacos, nachos, burgers, fajitas, and other good stuff. There was also soft drinks, iced tea, lemonade, and water. Good stuff and I wasn't surprised when I found out I gained 5 pounds.

Camping at Cherokee Creek Music Festival

RV parking at Cherokee Creek Music FestivalRV parking at Cherokee Creek Music FestivalTo thoroughly enjoy the Festival, you should camp - a great way to meet and make some friends, reacquaint with people you've met at previous festivals, sing and pic around the campfires, enjoy Nolans after party and Bloody Mary mornings, and walk or ride the golf cart to the music - and best of all no need to worry about driving back and forth after a long day of music and most likely several drinks. Like everything else at this Festival, the rental RV's are lined up perfectly in several straight rows. Some of the Sponsor programs include a rental RV or you can rent one and it will be delivered, set up, and ready for you to enjoy - try one of the RV Rental companies on our RV Rentals page. There are some lodging options in San Saba and Llano, including some B&Bs. There are also shuttles that run back and forth to the Horseshoe Bay Resort.

We really hated to see this festival end! Our thanks go out to all the friendly and helpful volunteers and staff and the gracious hosts, Kelcy and Amy Warren who open up their beautiful ranch and stunning facilities to music lovers and make sure that everything runs perfectly. See you next year.

Kelcy & Amy Warren

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