Started as a way to bring some business to local music venues during the university’s spring break when the students left town to get drunk and naked at South Padre, SXSW has bloomed into the biggest music festival in the country. Wristbands are hard to come by, but not to fear: wristbands are not required to partake in the incredible amount of music in town as other musical events, many of them free, compete for attendees. Our favorite thing is to spend Saturday at free shows along South Congress and then hit whatever else is happening around town that evening. And if there’s a SXSW show you really want to see, you can still get in without a wristband or badge: just show up early-early at the venue and get a ticket. We’ve never not gotten in a show this way.
One of our favorite festivals! Think punk marching bands where brass and drums from all over the country march across town blowing and going.
interwebs; all over town
round top (april)
eeyore’s birthday party (late april)
Started in the sixties by a University of Austin English professor and adopted by Austin’s hippie subculture, Eeyore’s continues today as strong as ever. Drum circles, costumes, music, food, and friendly mayhem. All the local (and area) weirdos come out to celebrate their favorite A.A. Milne character. Proceeds from the event support local nonprofits. Usually the last weekend in April.
pecan street (may)
bat fest (august)
hot sauce festival (august)
The Austin Chronicle hosts a hot sauce festival every year toward the end of summer (late August), and every year it seems to get bigger and bigger. Besides live music and a sampling of the state’s best salsas, there’s a hot sauce contest under the big tent with long lines of endorphin addicts waiting their turn for pain. “Watch out for that last table!” yelped the mo-hawked dude as he collapsed at the foot of a tree. Watch out, indeed…
fantastic fest (september)
pecan street (september)
vida la vida festival and parade (day of the dead) (october)
austin film festival (october)
acl fest (october)
round top (october)
texas book festival (october)
If you like books, this event is for you with signings, readings, panel discussions, music, and lots of kid-friendly events with a focus on Texas.
bbq festival (november)
east austin studio tour (november)
One of our favorite fall events, when East Austin’s artists open up their studios for a weekend to the public. Lots of good art, lots of interesting people, and (top secret…) Tito’s Vodka serves free drinks at its offices.
chuy’s christmas parade (november)