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Jam out at Jerryfest in Llano

An enormous portrait of legendary psychedelic rock icon Jerry Garcia adorns the walls of Shakedown Street in Llano. Jerryfest, a celebration of Garcia’s life, music, and spirit, is Saturday, July 30, at Shakedown Street. Courtesy photo

Jerryfest, a celebration of the life, music, spirit, and 80th birthday of legendary rock icon Jerry Garcia, is from 4:30-10:30 p.m. Saturday, July 30 at Shakedown Street in Llano.

Shakedown Street is a hidden outdoor venue behind longstanding institution Charlie’s Store. To reach it, you’ll have to slip down a chromatically curated, vine-covered, and mural-adorned back alley that lies between Main and Sandstone streets.

The venue is unmistakably an homage to The Grateful Dead, the genre-bending band for which the late Jerry Garcia was most famous. Rainbow-colored walls, an enormous portrait of Garcia, and the dancing bears that have become a symbol for Grateful Dead fans cover the venue and the street leading up to it.

While Jerryfest centers on a counter-culture, psychedelic rock star, it is a family-friendly affair — everyone is welcome. The Grateful Dead has a loyal and somewhat fanatical following of fans called “Deadheads," but you don’t have to be one to have fun, listen to music, grab drinks, and hang with your friends at the chillest spot in Llano.

Kids can handpaint a classic Volkswagen Beetle, adults can stop at the Llano Beer Co. or Llano Craft Distillery for a drink, and food will be available at Shakedown Street. Expect vendors hawking far-out, tie-dyed and Grateful Dead-themed merchandise.

Live music will be performed by guitarist JBone White from 4:30-7 p.m. and Twenty Hounds, an experimental psychedelic rock band heavily influenced by The Grateful Dead, from 7-10:30 p.m.

Shakedown Street has become a fixture in the growing Llano live music scene, and the Jerryfest performances are only a couple of the many shows you can catch this weekend.

Travis Ratliff, founder of Shakedown Street, was inspired by the historic music scene of 1960s' San Francisco that The Grateful Dead helped cultivate. In the spirit of community and Jerry Garcia, all shows at Shakedown Street are free.

Ratliff laid out Shakedown Street’s motto, plain and simple: “Don’t tell me this town ain’t got no heart, you just have to poke around.”

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