This year, the Festival celebrated its 25th birthday by expanding the festival to 4 weekends, making the full length 25 days. This is the only year that it was this length.
There was a 2nd Cruise called Folk Cruise of the Caribbean and the 19th Kerrville On The Road was the 2nd Press Tour.
25th Kerrville Folk Festival staff according to the program:
"This was the year Tag-A-Child was invented. It ran a booth in the theatre that offered a bracelet to any child at the festival that corresponded to an identification of who the parents were and where they were camped."In September came the 5th Kerrville Wine & Music Festival.
"By some subterfuge on the part of Holly and Vaughn, I was named, along with Charlie O, volunteer of the year. I got a silver jacket and Rod suggested not to wear it because I might melt. It was too short anyway. I recall being here for 32 of the 25 days. Like most, I don't remember what we built. Gael Montana called me Big Bird, but she also called me Rico and a few other choice names."
"This was my first year at the festival, I was brought into the fold by Vern Crawford. Needless to say I don't remember much, it was overhwhelming, so many cool people all in one place, supportive listeners, fellow songwriters, I came from a really small town and this was something I had not often experienced.
I worked my first day on tickets and realized it was too fast paced for me, so then I joined up with the trash crew and met fellow songwriter Wilson, Jerry was driving the trash truck.
I stayed all 25 days. wrote a song called "Sidewinder" which was my first campfire "hit" Unexpectedly got the attention of a TV crew from Switzerland that was there filming a documentary about folk music, many people were filmed, including myself and my Canadian friend Samantha Parton who was backing me up on 'Sidewinder.'
A New Camp I remember from that first year was "Brain Dead" which didn't last long, also Camp Tarps-a-Lot and Camp Duct Tape.
What a great first year to have attended, 25 wonderful days of music & friendship!"
"I joined Communications this year."
"I came and worked on trash crew again all three days and stayed an extra day. The most notable things I recall from this festival is that I spotted a really talented acoustic bluegrass band from Arkansas that were kinda shy and only there for a day, so very few people saw them that first year, I asked everyone I met "did you hear that quartet Still on the Hill?" and no one knew who I was talking about. By the next year everyone knew them. I designed and hosted websites for them and several of my Kerrville Kohorts that were not web savvy back in 1996. This was also the first time I discovered the Medina river, and met ahhhh!"The end of the festival year saw the 5th Nashville Kerrville Reunion, the 4th Kerrville Music Awards and the 13th Kerrville Christmas Reunion.
I was doing sound at “Pickers Spply Songwriters Showcase” in Fredericksburg Virginia, three in the round, when one cancelled. The promoter asked iof I would play, I said sure, and found out I’m playing with this guy from Texas, Allen Damron. I met him and his girlfriend outside the guitar shop, saw his dusty, long cadillac, and took them out to lunch. He started talking up this festival in Kerrville Texas, and I got real interested. We were practically a comedy act on stage, and so began a mutual music admiration has well as a friendship. To my surprise, he offered for me to stay at his condo in Austin for a week, before going to the festival together! They were also helping a girl that was staying there, a safe house from her abusive boyfriend. That’s the type of guy Allen was. Before getting in our cars for Kerrville, that’s when Allen told me that he was co-founder of Kerrville Folk Festival. That was a bit of a jaw-dropper, and certainly gave me something to think about on the way there from Austin. So, we pull up through the front gates and park, and Allen starts waving me toward the performers table. He says “Go ahead and sign yourself in”. A wave of anxiety filled my head as I thought that somehow I had mistakingly had led the co-founder of the fest to believe that I was a signed performer. I nervously whispered in his ear, “Allen, you know, I’m not performing here”. He goes, “Well, ya are now!”, and handed me my performers badge. It was the 25th anniversary of Kerrville, I smiled at Nancy Griffith backstage, which made my year, and opened up a balled tree, the one Allen was going to open. Performers truly feel the hippie red carpet treatment at Kerrville, that was magical for me, and I miss Allen. Missed only one year on the ranch since then, the year my son was born :)