News last month that the long-running Old Settler’s Music Festival would move from Driftwood to the Lockhart area in 2018 got a new wrinkle on Tuesday when a website appeared showing a new festival is in the works at the former Old Settler’s location.
The Driftwood Music Festival website indicated a plan to use the same Salt Lick Pavilion and Camp Ben McCulloch property where Old Settler’s was held for the past 16 years. The dates listed were for the same 2018 window of April 19-22 as the first Old Settler’s event set to be held in Dale just outside Lockhart.
In early August, Salt Lick Pavilion owner Scott Roberts informed Old Settler’s staff that the property wouldn’t host the 2018 Old Settler’s festival. Old Settler’s then accelerated its plans to move to the Dale site for 2018, ahead of its original 2019 plan.
Old Settler’s festival director Jean Spivey said Tuesday that when the announcement of the move to the new site was made Aug. 10, she wasn’t aware the Salt Lick Pavilion had plans for another festival. Spivey said she learned of it shortly thereafter from volunteers who’d been contacted by the new festival. She said she also began to hear from artists’ agents that another festival might be in the works.
Records from the Texas secretary of state’s office show that Ryan Brittain and Scott Marshall filed to form Driftwood Music Festival LLC on July 11. Marshall had been director of operations for Old Settler’s. Spivey claims that the new festival’s incorporation paperwork was filed “well before Scott Marshall gave us his resignation.”
She added that before he resigned, Marshall had a two-year contract with Old Settler’s that ran through the 2018 festival. Asked if legal issues might arise from the split, Spivey said, “Possibly.”
A Driftwood Music Festival representative countered Wednesday that Marshall “was a subcontractor for OSMF and thus no non-compete clause existed, allowing Scott to work on as many events and festivals as he likes.”
Marshall said Wednesday that “we have reached out to Old Settler’s Music Festival to come to an agreement on the conflicting dates, but no decision has been made at this time.”
The Driftwood Music Festival website listed no specifics about performers or ticket prices. A Driftwood festival representative said that although the site was live at driftwoodmusicfest.com, it “was only live for internal use. It is not a searchable website and it was shared publicly without our knowledge.” As of early Wednesday evening, the website remained openly accessible on the internet.
Spivey said she has “a handful” of artists confirmed for Old Settler’s in Dale, with the booking process generally continuing until the end of the year or into January.
Austin musician Kevin Russell suggested that his band Shinyribs, a fixture at Old Settler’s in recent years, might not play either festival in 2018. “We are booked at Merlefest (in North Carolina) the following Thursday so we expect to be touring in the South at that time anyway,” he noted.
Russell confirmed that both festivals have extended offers to Shinyribs. “Jean Spivey and Scott Marshall are both people I consider friends,” he added. “So it is rather disappointing and frustrating.”