Since this was Thomas Michael Riley's 13th Annual Music Festival, I thought it was appropriate to let you know our top 13 reasons why we have kept coming back to this Festival for over 10 years and think that you ought to consider attending Thomas Michael Riley's festival next year:
Hope to see you at the 2021 Thomas Michael Riley Music Festival!
To say thanks to the sponsors who help make this festival a success, Thomas Michael Riley had a fun sponsor's party on Thursday night at Cave Creek School, a one room school house built in 1881, just outside Fredericksburg. Chicken Express served delicious fried chicken and all the fixings - rolls, green beans, mashed potatoes and gravy - and TMR provided beer and wine! Following dinner Thomas Michael Riley, Max and Heather Stalling, and Kenny Grimes entertained us for a couple hours. What a great time! You should consider becoming a sponsor for the next festival. In addition to the sponsor party, sponsors get recognized during the festival, have tables right in front of the music stage, and have a back stage area to enjoy beer and wine, the music, and mingling with the artists.
Every year that we've been to the Festival, we've enjoyed the line-up and this year was no exception. This year's lineup included:
Part of what makes this festival fun is the dry camping just up a small hill (a two minute walk) from the music stage - it's called Thomas Michael Riley's "Red Neck Riviera!" There is a small fee for camping and plenty of room to spread out. Camping is the best way to truly enjoy this festival - you'll get to meet fellow music lovers and share a beer or some stories, pick around the campfire until 5 in the morning, and not have to worry about driving home! If you don't have a camper, you should rent one or you can stay in Fredericksburg which is loaded with quaint cabins, lots of B&Bs, and plenty of hotels.
The best part about camping at the Festival is that after the Festival ends each evening, the picking and singing starts around the campground campfire and it typically lasts until four or five in the morning. There are usually 20 to 50 people, including several of the performing artists, who attend and take turns singing and playing. It's amazing how talented the vast majority of the singers and pickers are and how fantastic they all sound together with guitars, banjos, harmonicas, spoons, and more. Everybody's welcome - just bring a drink, a chair, and a good attitude!
In addition to great music, a perfect setting, and camping, the fans who attend Thomas Michael Riley's Festival are one of the reasons we keep coming back year after year. It's a great group of folks from all over Texas who love country music, good times, drinking, and dancing. They range from 2 to 82 and most are probably around 45 or so. The are friendly, outgoing, fun loving, and attentive to the music! It's impossible to go home without getting to know several new people that you look forward to seeing again!
Thanks to COVID-19 restrictions, Luckenbach removed the outdoor dance floor that was in front of the stage. However, that didn't seem to stop the dancing!
Click here to see more pictures of the fans at Thomas Michael Riley's Festival.
I mentioned that every year, TMR has some activity with the proceeds going to the winners and Cave Creek School. In the past, it's been "Chicken Sh_t Bingo" - fans place a bet, are given a number, and then hope that a chicken in a cage poops on your number! I've never seen so many people yelling and screaming and waiting anxiously for a chicken to take a poop!
This year, Thomas Michael Riley had "Chickin' Flickin' Golf." Teams of four each grab a rubber chicken and from the designated tee box they toss the chicken and try to hit a paper plate (the golf hole) several yards away. I think there where 5 holes and the lowest total score wins the pot with most of the proceeds going to Cave Creek School!
If you've been to Luckenbach where "everybody's somebody," you know it's loaded with history and a great venue for cold beer, a burger, socializing, and great music almost every day of the week. Within the last three years Luckenbach has added new modern bathrooms (no more having to pee in a horse trough!), a new outdoor stage (the chicken and roosters that used to run wild and had a tendency to poop on your head from their perch high in the trees seem to have disappeared) which is where the TMR artists perform, and a new Crescent Moon Saloon beer barn. In addition to all of that, Luckenbach is home to a "feed lot" which serves great burgers, pulled pork sandwiches, fries, and lots more; a general store loaded with interesting stuff; a funky bar; a hat store; and one of the oldest dance halls in Texas - Jerry Jeff Walker, Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Robert Earl Kean, Pat Green, and just about every famous country music singer has played in the dance hall.
Our thanks to Thomas Michael Riley and Courtney who had to jump through hoops to make this festival happen thanks to COVID-19 restrictions! We also appreciate all the hard work from the staff and volunteers who make this festival fun and painless for all of us!
Don't miss next year's Thomas Michael Riley Music Festival - see you there!