Waterloo Music Festival kicks off Friday despite lawsuit over name


AUSTIN (KXAN) — No rain or impending lawsuit can stop the Waterloo Music Festival from hosting its first event. The festival is jam-packed with three-days of All-Americana sounds blending folk and bluegrass.

“We just felt like there was a need for a jam Americana camping festival,” said Steve Sternschein, a producer at the festival. “The Americana roots of our music scene have been kind of underrepresented, so we felt like it was time to change that.”

String Cheese Incident will headline the festival all weekend. Leftover Salmon, Boombox and Sarah Grace and the Soul will also perform.

Camp out options include vehicle parking with a tent space, RV camping and “glamping” — a more glamorous way of spending the night. It’s a specialized tent set up with air conditioning options, cots or beds and other amenities. 

Those who spend the night will be able to attend Silent Disco Friday and Saturday from midnight until 4 a.m. and Sunday from 10 p.m. until 2 a.m.

Addressing weather conditions, a festival spokesperson said, “The festival has a full team of safety experts and plan in place, including advanced weather monitoring to monitor for any severe weather. The festival is rain or shine. Should anything change, messaging will be dispersed via festival social media accounts and to all festival pass holders.”

Single-day passes start at $99. Those who would like to camp out can expect to pay a couple hundred dollars. 

Doors open Friday at 2 p.m. and it all takes places at Carson Creek Ranch near State Highway 71 and US Highway 183.

A closer look at the lawsuit 

The longtime music shop in Austin, Waterloo Records, claims the festival used the store’s name without permission.

Waterloo Records’ president John T. Kunz says the name “Waterloo” may cause confusion in the local music communities.

Festival promoters tell KXAN they don’t plan on changing its name.

“We wanted to draw an analogy between the original settlers of Austin who took a chance and left everything they knew and settled on the bank of the Colorado River,” said Sternschein. “Here we are hoping to do the same thing and remind our city and our community of the Americana heritage that has been so important to it.”

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