Festivals Archives - 365 Things to Do in Austin, TX
Austin, Texas festivals are always a huge draw for people who live here and visitors alike. Austin festivals always provide the best in food and music!

By the time Spoon got on the Stubb’s BBQ Stage last Friday several articles had been published about their show stopping set at Austin City Limits Music Festival the previous weekend. The beloved Austin act reaffirmed their status as Austin’s favorite indie rock band once again. This time is was in a headlining slot at the festival which Spoon hadn’t played yet.  Britt Daniel and company stole the spotlight from headliners Red Hot Chilli Peppers and Chance the Rapper.

Friday evening’s show was more of a celebration of that joyous homecoming with three thousand of their friends on a familiar stage. The tone of the performance was lighter and more relaxed as opposed to the fierceness the band attacked the ACL Fest set with. The music was just as compelling. An expanded 20-song setlist (the same used on this tour) allowed the band to delve into deeper cuts over the 90 minute performance. Beast and Dragon Adored, My Mathematical Mind and Rainy Taxi appeared in the setlist amid fan favorites, I Turn My Camera OnDon’t You Evah, Don’t Make Me a Target and The Underdog

The four-song encore included the title track from this year’s “Hot Thoughts” followed by a a blistering Rent I Pay. Spoon is performing at the top of their game which is no small statement considering Daniel and drummer Jim Eno have been at it 24 years. There’s a sense of renewal in the energy that comes from the group these days. It is as if newish keyboard/guitarists Alex Fischel and Gerardo Larios have changed the group dynamic to the benefit of the band amid a particularly fruitful writing period for Daniel and Eno in the past four years. 

Spoon continue touring through the end of the year with four more U.S. dates left before heading to Europe then swinging back stateside. If you live in one of these cities, do yourself a favor and go experience Spoon at peak performance level. 

 

Next week the 16th edition of Austin City Limits Music Festival (October 6-8 and 13-15) kicks off with a new slate of headliners. Jay-Z, Solange, The Red Hot Chili Peppers and The Killers will all make appearances at Austin’s Zilker Park amid a cacophony of  exciting acts listed in the middle of the bill. While it’s a no-brainer to catch top hip-hop artist Jay-Z on the opening night of the festival, there are plenty of homegrown acts and buzz bands you should add to your schedule. It’s the bands scheduled earlier in the day and on peripheral stages that offer a chance at real music discovery. With nearly 200 acts slated to perform, finding new bands to fall in love with should be a priority for true music fans. 

Yes, like everyone else we want to know if Beyonce will make an appearance. After all, her husband, Jay-Z and sister, Solange are both playing the festival. It is probable the current queen of pop will be there. Will she appear on stage? That is the big question festival ticket holders are asking. There’s so much more to the event which will feature Austin-bred acts Spoon, The Black Angels, Lukas Nelson, Mobley and The Wild Now at the festival this year. 

Find a break-down the first weekend of the festival listed by day and learn which acts still have Late Night Show tickets available below. Our focus is on Austin bands because these local artists make some of the best independent music in the country along with a few bands that should be on your radar we think you’ll like. 

Included in the list of recommendations are links to official Austin City Limits Music Festival Late Night Shows. Grab tickets to those performances for a less crowded, headliner version of each artist’s festival set. 

Friday, October 6

The Wild Now – Miller Lite Stage – 11:45 a.m.

The Wild Now, an Austin duo comprised of vocalist, Taylor Baker and guitarist, Drew Walker make their first ACL Fest appearance first thing on Friday. While listening to Baker sing beautiful pop melodies along with Walker’s impressively intricate guitar work you’ll notice the couple is also easy on the eyes. Not a bad way to kick of the festival in our humble opinion.

If you’re one of those folks who set up camp chairs when the gates open, posting up at Miller Lite for the day might be a good way to go. Besides catching these up and comers, the Barton Springs Beer Hall is adjacent to the Miller Lite stage. Willie Nelson’s son Lukas and his band play later in the day before petulant indie songwriter, Ryan Adams. 

Lukas Nelson and the Promise of the Real – Miller Lite Stage – 5:15 p.m.

How good is Lukas Nelson and POTR? They were Neil Young’s backing band on his 2014 tour and album. Nelson is the Willie Nelson offspring most like his father in terms of musical ability. That doesn’t mean he’s the next outlaw country star. The guitarist likes to play Americana-tinged rock with abandon, often leaping into to the air with his axe. After ten years of POTR he knows how to entertain an audience. He’s also got decent pipes like his iconic father. 

You’re going to thank us for this recommendation later, especially after you learn his ACL Festival Late Night Show at Antone’s  Nightclub on October 11 already sold-out. 

Bonobo – Tito’s Vodka Stage – 6:15 p.m.

After watching Lukas hype up the crowd, you’ll be ready to get your dance on with DJ Bonobo doing a full live set at the Tito’s Vodka Stage. While we’ve seen Bonobo perform solo, we’re excited about the cutting edge DJ’s full band performance. Bonobo’s given name is Simon Green. Green got noticed with his second album “Dial M for Monkey” (2002) becoming one of the “new downtempo pioneers” in the process. We’re curious how the live arrangement will play in a sundowner festival setting. Betting it’s going to be a crowd pleaser. 

Fans have a second chance to catch this London-born, LA-based DJ at Emo’s on October 7 with Jeremy Sole during his ACL Fest Late Night Show.

Saturday, October 7

Mobley – Miller Lite Stage – 11:30 a.m.

Since we love Austin acts so much, pop singer Mobley should be the first artist you should see on the second day of ACL Festival. This singer might the be hardest-working solo act in town. The man wrote, produced and played every instrument on his debut album, “Fresh Lies.” The singer defies categorization, drawing a number of styles to create his music. After committing to music full-time his career has begun to take off as evidenced by his first ACL Festival slot and non-stop touring with Phantogram, JUNGLE, Mute Math (also on the festival bill) and Robert Delong. He’s an entertaining performer who should jolt you awake Saturday morning if you’re struggling after partying on opening day. 

Mobley performs with BADBADNOTGOOD on October 7. Get tickets here

Car Seat Headrest – Honda Stage – 2 p.m.

We first caught Pitchfork Magazine darlings Car Seat Headrest at SXSW a couple years ago. While we were impressed with the young Will Toledo (he was 23 at the time) at the helm of his solo act-turned full band, it wasn’t until CSH’s appearance later that year at Primavera Sound Festival that we were drawn into the cult of Car Seat Headrest like their huge online following and corresponding writers at Pitchfork, Rolling Stone and Paste Magazine. At only 25 years-old, Toledo and his band have years of great music ahead of them. 

Car Seat Headrest sold-out their ACL Festival Late Night Show on October 12 at The Mohawk if that tells you anything about the band’s popularity.

The Black Angels – Barton Springs Stage – 5 p.m. 

If you’re a fan of psych-rock then you cannot miss neo-psych pioneers, The Black Angels on Saturday. The Austin band that reinvented psychedelic rock for the new millennium is one our favorite local acts. The DIY group has their own music festival, LEVITATION (formerly Austin Psych Fest) and their own unique style of psych-rock that features guitarist Christian Bland’s sublime work along with Alex Maas’ heavily distorted vocals. Drummer Stephanie Bailey might be the area’s most underrated percussionist. 

Take a listen to their latest, “Death Song”  released earlier this year. It may be The Black Angels’ best effort yet. We recommend grabbing tickets to their Emo’s Late Night Show on Thursday, October 5 for full visual effects by TBA visual expert, Bob Mustacio. Psych rock pioneer Roky Erickson opens. 

Ice Cube – American Express Stage – 6 p.m.

No one could have predicted whenIce Cube broke into music with the debut of N.W.A in 1986 with Dr. Dre and Easy E, the rapper would become a staple in major films like “Boyz in tha Hood” and “Friday” to this year’s movie “Fist Fight” but there he is appearing on screens everywhere.

Less often O’Shea Jackson performs as Ice Cube, after leaving West Coast gangsta rap pioneers, N.W.A. in 1989, which is what makes this set intriguing, particularly amid less established performers like Chance the Rapper and red-hot duo Run the Jewels. In three short years, Ice Cube was on his way to becoming an icon of American culture which makes him relevant despite his waning musical output. His first three solo records were huge hits beginning with 1991’s controversial “AmeriKKKa’s Most Wanted,” cementing Cube into the annals of great hip-hop artists. 

Spoon – Miller Lite Stage – 7 p.m.

We love that C3 Presents booked two of our favorite Austin bands, the aforementioned Black Angels and hometown heroes, Spoon nearly back-to-back on Saturday. Spoon has played the festival before but gets a coveted evening slot on the Miller Stage this year on the heals of Matador Records release, “Hot Thoughts” and an ongoing world tour to promote the record. 

What is not to like about the kings of Austin indie rock led by Britt Daniel (vocals, guitar) and Jim Eno (drums)? The band has been putting out incredible albums for over 20 years culminating in a return to the label they started out on. Not only does the album signal a homecoming of sorts, it’s a great listen

Grab tickets to Spoon’s Late Night show on October 13 at Stubb’s while you still can. 

Sunday, October 8

Middle Kids – Miller Lite Stage – 1:15 p.m. 

Australian three-piece pop-garage rockers, Middle Kids impressed last March at SXSW where we saw the band play before Spoon’s Waterloo Records show. When we spotted this Sydney act on the bill we knew we had to see them again. Led by Guitarist/vocalist/songwriter Hannah Joy, Middle Kids represent a world-wide trend of female-led acts similar to Austin’s Moving Panoramas and A Giant Dog. 

Following SXSW, Rolling Stone named the group one of ten bands to watch, confirming their buzz act status. Catch Middle Kid’s Late Night Show at Antone’s on October 12 with Austin’s Summer Salt. Tickets are still available

BADBADNOTGOOD – Tito’s Vodka Stage – 6:15 p.m.

Besides having an unforgettable moniker, BADBADNOTGOOD presents unconventional, free-form jazz in a way that appeals to young and older fans alike. The trio that is now a foursome hails from the wintery confines of Toronto. BBNG’s collaborations with Wu-Tang’s Ghostface Killah and Kaytranada have thrust the group into the forefront of the modern jazz/hip-hop trend best reflected locally by Brownout’s occasional performances with Ghostface’s bandmate and ringleader, GZA. 

Their latest album IV is on regular rotation at our office for good reason, the album is refreshing, employs multiple styles (elements of kraut rock, & futuristic hip-hop are present).  It’s a really great listen. If you’d rather see the group headline their own performance versus seeing them during the day at ACL Fest, grab a ticket to their Mohawk show on October 7.  Austin act, Mobley opens the show. 

Girl Talk

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All Photos: Andrea Dane

In it’s fourth year, blazing hot Float Fest near San Marcos at Cool River Ranch graduated from small festival of primarily Texas acts to an expanded slate of popular national acts. Bigger acts, Weezer, Cage the Elephant, Mac Miller, MGMT, Girl Talk and more attracted enough interest to sell-out the event.

Organizers doubled down on the layout of the grounds, increasing the size of the festival footprint while spurning the permanent stage at the east end of the property for a larger Sun stage positioned near the front gates, further from the main Water Stage located near the back of the property. The new stage set-up was big enough to hold Matt Schultz (Cage the Elephant) and his band in front of the weekend’s largest crowd. Carnival rides from last year’s event returned to entertain fans between performances. Overall, Float Fest 2017 was a hit.

While most of the attention over the weekend focused on headliners, Texas acts turned in stellar performances . Yes, Arianna Grande showed up for her boyfriend Mac Miller’s set but Sweet Spirit, Wild Child, Walker Lukens, Neon Indian and Heartbyrne all delivered great performances despite the 100-degree weather and high humidity.

Talking Heads cover band Heart Byrne kicked off music on the Sun Stage Saturday with a deep cut set list that ended with 1979 radio hit, “Take Me to the River.” Sporting matching day-glo green outfits, Heart Byrne turned David Byrne’s funky, eclectic legacy into a bonafide jam. Fans who want a Talking Heads experience by a group that plays music to the strength of their ensemble will love how tight this act is. Heart Byrne regularly plays Austin. Catch them next at The Mohawk August 12.

Denton’s Neon Indian took the Sun Stage just prior to Mac Miller. The band is led by Alan Palomo who also performs solo. The indie-synth-pop act took the opportunity to showcase songs from their latest effort, “Night School.” Stream the new album on Spotify to get a feel for the set list. The heat and humidity during the warmest part of the day may have put a damper on the audience but Neon Indian never faltered, offering an impassioned set that was a treat for hardcore and new fans alike. The band will begin a West Coast and South American tour mid-August.

While popular rapper, Mac Miller attracted hordes of young fans to his performance on the Water stage, an equal number of fans arrived early at the Sun Stage to get a good spot for a set by Girl Talk (Greg Gillis) which followed his show. Although Miller primarily sings original songs, the rapper and producer could learn a few stage tricks from Gillis who specializes in DJ mashups and sampling. As Girl Talk, Gillis displays non-stop energy, inviting fans to dance behind him on stage while inflatables, a confetti cannon and stage hands propelling toilet paper into the crowd via customized guns enhanced the party atmosphere. Typically we find similar DJ sets at festivals lacking something but Girl Talk somehow overcomes those obstacles to induce an hour of sheer bliss that is shared by the performer and his audience. With the sun going down along with the temperatures at Float Fest, there was not a better act to put in that time slot. Girl Talk has only two dates listed on his tour schedule currently.

The first day of Float Fest concluded with shows by Passion Pit and Zedd. Sometime after those performances Passion Pit frontman, Michael Angelakos announced via Twitter he would not be pursuing commercial music work while he focused on development of his The Wishart Group, an artist support organization Angelakos created to help musicians maintain mental health while pursuing a career in entertainment. He made a statement to Pitchfork to clarify he is not going on hiatus and new material would be forthcoming but would be concentrating on his project in the wake of suicide by peer, Chester Bennington of Linkin Park. Angelakos has previously made public his own challenges in dealing with mental illness which led to his creation of The Wishart Group.

Sunday, following Walker Lukens‘ vocal gymnastics on the Sun Stage, red-hot Austin glam/indie-rockers Sweet Spirit played for a modest crowd while many fans were still in the water tubing. That didn’t stop bandleaders Sabrina Ellis and Andrew Cashen from powering their group through a slate of of fantastic songs. They led off with new single, “The Power.” Ellis punctuated drum beats by thrusting her hips forward, setting an aggressive tone for the show. The group soldiered on with fan favorites, “Baby When I Close My Eyes” and “If You Wanna.” The former song’s sound evokes Spoon’s influence on the band. Austin’s KUTX had the tune in heavy rotation after it was released. Drummer, Danny Lion once mentioned he moved to Austin because Spoon made it here.The group has since toured with Spoon as frontman, Brit Daniel is a fan. Sweet Spirit might be the next great Austin rock act to make it nationally like their idols. The band just announced a surprise show at Barracuda in Austin on Thursday. Tickets will be available at the door.

Celebrated Central Texas act, Wild Child appeared on the Sun Stage with an expanded lineup featuring seven players including an electric violin backin Kelsey Wilson (lead vocals/violin)  and Alexander Beggins (vocals/ukulele). The pair share songwriting duties. After shifting from a raw, folksy sound to a more polished approach with their last album, “Fools” (2015) Wild Child is poised to gain more prominent national radio play with their amalgam of folk, rock and Americana. Fans who made the trek to Float Fest were rewarded with a one-off show by the band who just announced their only upcoming show is at Utopia Fest in late September. Beggins told us the group has been spending most of the year working on their highly anticipated new record and expect to begin touring again this fall. View the set list here.

An expectedly trippy set by MGMT took place on the same stage an hour later. The dance/psych-rock outfit led by Andrew VanWyngarden and Ben Goldwasser powered through the hot weather accompanied by psychedelic visuals on the screen behind them. We were struck by similarities between MGMT and Australia’s Tame Impala both of whom have implemented a fair amount of electronic beats and effects into their approach, pushing neo-psych in a more accessible direction for young fans. See the full set list here. The group has a handful of festival dates upcoming including Panorama Festival (New York) and Life is Beautiful Festival (Las Vegas).

The most energizing set of Float Fest belonged to Cage the Elephant and their tireless vocalist, Matt Schultz. Older fans might draw comparisons to the Rolling Stone’s Mick Jagger while watching Schultz cavort non-stop across the stage while his band laid down familiar riffs you’ve heard on the radio. Schultz’s brother, Brad, (rhythm guitar) ventured into the audience a few times, amping up an already elated crowd. Ubiquitous song, “Ain’t No Rest for the Wicked” garnered a big reaction as did hits, “Too Late to Say Goodbye” and ballad, “Cigarette Daydreams.” Pyrotechnics were employed as four columns of flames blasted fans late in the set.

An obviously warm Matt Schultz even joked he took drugs before the set and might have a heart attack. Nothing terrible like that took place as the frenetic singer closed out the set list with “Come A Little Closer” and “Teeth.”  A Texas music manager called Cage the Elephant the best working rock band touring in a social media thread. It’s hard to argue that any band lends more energy to their work. See the complete set list here.

The festival closed with 90s rockers Weezer. Rivers Cuomo appeared on stage wearing a rainbow colored shirt and stark white pants. He later donned a matching sombrero as he led the group through hit song, “Beverly Hills.” See fan-generated video of the song on Instagram. Weezer threw in a cover of Outcast’s “Hey Ya!” midway through the set then invited a tireless Matt Schultz on stage to sing “Island in the Sun” with the group. Whatever Schultz uses to fuel himself on performance days must be strong.

Weezer finished the show with “King of the World” and “Say It Ain’t So” then returned for an encore to cheers for hit “Buddy Holly” and fireworks over the Float Fest site. The complete set list can be found here. Weezer will continue their national and European tour in support of their tenth studio record, “Weezer” also known as the White Album.

SpringFest, the annual event put on by the Lake Travis Chamber of Commerce, is always a blast—and now, with the lake full for the first time in ages, there is really something to celebrate! The 9th-annual festival, presented by St. David’s Emergency Center, will take place on Saturday, April 30 at the Hill Country Galleria. As they like to say in Lake Travis: “It’s the biggest time in the smallest town!”

Stroll and shop unique artisan vendors, let the kids run wild in the KidZone, and check out kid-friendly performances and live music all day in the amphitheater. With all of that water in Lake Travis, be sure to stop by the BoatExpo to see the latest and greatest in watercraft. And check out the popular Craft BrewHaus and WineStomp where you can sip local and regional craft beers and wines.

Bruce and Kelly looking at each other

When: April 30,  10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Where: The Hill Country Galleria in Bee Cave

Cost: Admission and parking are totally free!

And here’s our advice: Make the most of the fest and stay for the weekend. Visit LakeTravisSpringFest.com for overnight accommodations more information.

For updates about the event, like and follow the fest on Facebook at facebook.com/LakeTravisSpringFest.

 

The Texas BBQ scene is vast. One could spend a lifetime wandering the state in search of a BBQ king. Some of the most amazing meats can be found between Llano and Lockhart, but that’s just a 100 mile stretch of this massive state. From cities as small as Sweetwater to the metropolis landscape of DFW, every Texas community has a spot they claim has the best brisket…. and sausage, and ribs, and sides, and so on…

Sponsored by Texas Monthly, this BBQ extravaganza brings the magazine’s list of “The 50 Best BBQ Joints in the World!” together under one roof for a day of smoked meat heaven.

TMBBQ-Austin-1

From hometown favorites Franklin and La Barbecue to institutions like Llano’s Cooper’s Old Time Pit Bar-B-Que and Spicewood’s Opie’s Barbecue (a personal favorite!), this a veritable taste of Texas that BBQ lovers can’t miss.

Every year, TMBBQ selects a “Newcomer” to join in on the fun. This year, Austin’s own Freedmen’s joins its peers under the Long Center roof. In a city known for its competitive smokehouses, Freedmen’s manages to stand out thanks in part to its creative smoked menu items like jalapeño pimento cheese, and house made sausages. Joining the ranks of recent “Newcomers” including Franklin, Deep Ellum’s Pecan Lodge, and Pearland’s Killen’s, Freedmen’s is an exciting and welcome addition that can’t be missed.

TMBBQ-Austin-3

This year has another newcomer—desserts! Treat yourself to a selection of treats from some of Texas’s favorite confectionaries. Choose between donuts from Gourdough’s, gelato from Tèo, Crown Royal Whisky mini-cupcakes, chocolates from Katherine Clapner’s Dude, Sweet Chocolate, and tiny pies from, well, Tiny Pies. Wash it all down with libations provided by sponsors Crown Royal, Don Julio Tequila, and Shiner Beer.

If the food isn’t enough to draw you in, fun activities including giveaways and interactive festivities by sponsors Central Market, Texas A&M University, and YETI Coolers will be there to entertain as well. There will also be live performances by Flaco Jiménez Y Su Conjunto and LaTasha Lee and the Blackties.

Other featured BBQ joints include:

Snow’s BBQ Lexington

Louie Mueller Barbecue Taylor

The Original Willie’s Bar-B-Q

Tyler’s Barbeque Amarillo

John Mueller Meat Co. Austin

Lamberts Downtown Barbecue Austin

Stiles Switch BBQ & Brew Austin

Miller’s Smokehouse Belton

Fargo’s Pit BBQ Bryan

Brooks’ Place Cypress

Lockhart Smokehouse Dallas

Austin’s BBQ and Catering Eagle Lake

McMillan’s Bar-B-Q Fannin

Cousin’s Bar-B-Q Fort Worth

Longoria’s BBQ Fort Worth

Cranky Frank’s Barbeque Company Fredericksburg

Leon’s World’s Finest In & Out Bar-B-Que Galveston

Meshack’s Bar-B-Que Garland

City Meat Market Giddings

Bartley’s Bar-B-Q Grapevine

Bob’s Bar-B-Que Henderson

Gatlin’s BBQ & Gatlin’s BBQ & Catering Houston

Virgie’s Bar-B-Que Houston

Billy’s Old Fashion BBQ Jasper

Joseph’s Riverport Barbecue Jefferson

Buzzie’s Bar-B-Q Kerrville

Hitch-N-Post BBQ Livingston

Black’s Barbecue Lockhart

Kreuz Market Lockhart

City Market Luling

Whup’s Boomerang Bar-B-Que Marlin

Hutchins BBQ McKinney

Kirby’s Barbeque Mexia

Hashknife on the Chisholm Peadenville

Cowpoke’s Pearsall

Pody’s BBQ Pecos

Hatfields BBQ & Blackjacks Beer Garden Rockport

The Granary ‘Cue and Brew San Antonio

Two Bros. BBQ Market San Antonio

Hays Co. Bar-B-Que and Catering San Marcos

Zimmerhanzel’s BBQ Smithville

Corkscrew BBQ Spring

Stanley’s Famous Pit Barbecue Tyler

Mumphord’s Place BBQ Victoria

Big Boy’s Bar-B-Que – Sweetwater

TMBBQ-Austin-2

Get your tickets at TMBBQ.com

$80 for general admission, $145 for VIP, and $10 for children 5 and under.

Location:
The Long Center
701 W. Riverside Drive
Austin, Texas

The Texas BBQ scene is vast. One could spend a lifetime wandering the state in search of a BBQ king. Some of the most amazing meats can be found between Llano and Lockhart, but that’s just a 100 mile stretch of this massive state. From cities as small as Sweetwater to the metropolis landscape of DFW, every Texas community has a spot they claim has the best brisket…. and sausage, and ribs, and sides, and so on…

If you’re about to break out the calendar and begin planning your Texas tour, we have a simpler solution. Clear your schedule this Sunday, November 1st for the Texas Monthly BBQ Fest, held here in Austin at the Long Center.

Sponsored by Texas Monthly, this BBQ extravaganza brings the magazine’s list of “The 50 Best BBQ Joints in the World!” together under one roof for a day of smoked meat heaven.

TMBBQ-Austin-1

From hometown favorites Franklin and La Barbecue to institutions like Llano’s Cooper’s Old Time Pit Bar-B-Que and Spicewood’s Opie’s Barbecue (a personal favorite!), this a veritable taste of Texas that BBQ lovers can’t miss.

Every year, TMBBQ selects a “Newcomer” to join in on the fun. This year, Austin’s own Freedmen’s joins its peers under the Long Center roof. In a city known for its competitive smokehouses, Freedmen’s manages to stand out thanks in part to its creative smoked menu items like jalapeño pimento cheese, and house made sausages. Joining the ranks of recent “Newcomers” including Franklin, Deep Ellum’s Pecan Lodge, and Pearland’s Killen’s, Freedmen’s is an exciting and welcome addition that can’t be missed.

TMBBQ-Austin-3

This year has another newcomer—desserts! Treat yourself to a selection of treats from some of Texas’s favorite confectionaries. Choose between donuts from Gourdough’s, gelato from Tèo, Crown Royal Whisky mini-cupcakes, chocolates from Katherine Clapner’s Dude, Sweet Chocolate, and tiny pies from, well, Tiny Pies. Wash it all down with libations provided by sponsors Crown Royal, Don Julio Tequila, and Shiner Beer.

If the food isn’t enough to draw you in, fun activities including giveaways and interactive festivities by sponsors Central Market, Texas A&M University, and YETI Coolers will be there to entertain as well. There will also be live performances by Flaco Jiménez Y Su Conjunto and LaTasha Lee and the Blackties.

Other featured BBQ joints include:

Snow’s BBQ Lexington

Louie Mueller Barbecue Taylor

The Original Willie’s Bar-B-Q

Tyler’s Barbeque Amarillo

John Mueller Meat Co. Austin

Lamberts Downtown Barbecue Austin

Stiles Switch BBQ & Brew Austin

Miller’s Smokehouse Belton

Fargo’s Pit BBQ Bryan

Brooks’ Place Cypress

Lockhart Smokehouse Dallas

Austin’s BBQ and Catering Eagle Lake

McMillan’s Bar-B-Q Fannin

Cousin’s Bar-B-Q Fort Worth

Longoria’s BBQ Fort Worth

Cranky Frank’s Barbeque Company Fredericksburg

Leon’s World’s Finest In & Out Bar-B-Que Galveston

Meshack’s Bar-B-Que Garland

City Meat Market Giddings

Bartley’s Bar-B-Q Grapevine

Bob’s Bar-B-Que Henderson

Gatlin’s BBQ & Gatlin’s BBQ & Catering Houston

Virgie’s Bar-B-Que Houston

Billy’s Old Fashion BBQ Jasper

Joseph’s Riverport Barbecue Jefferson

Buzzie’s Bar-B-Q Kerrville

Hitch-N-Post BBQ Livingston

Black’s Barbecue Lockhart

Kreuz Market Lockhart

City Market Luling

Whup’s Boomerang Bar-B-Que Marlin

Hutchins BBQ McKinney

Kirby’s Barbeque Mexia

Hashknife on the Chisholm Peadenville

Cowpoke’s Pearsall

Pody’s BBQ Pecos

Hatfields BBQ & Blackjacks Beer Garden Rockport

The Granary ‘Cue and Brew San Antonio

Two Bros. BBQ Market San Antonio

Hays Co. Bar-B-Que and Catering San Marcos

Zimmerhanzel’s BBQ Smithville

Corkscrew BBQ Spring

Stanley’s Famous Pit Barbecue Tyler

Mumphord’s Place BBQ Victoria

Big Boy’s Bar-B-Que – Sweetwater

TMBBQ-Austin-2

Get your tickets at TMBBQ.com

$80 for general admission, $145 for VIP, and $10 for children 5 and under.

See y’all there!

If you’re dying to celebrate the harvest season at the number two Oktoberfest in the country as voted by US Today, you’ve probably already made plans to attend Wurstfest this year. From November 6th through the 15th, people from around the state will gather in New Braunfels to celebrate German culture, and to party like crazy.

Attendees will sample German-style fare, dance to the live bands, and take in the various Alpine and Bavarian style shows that celebrate the fall. The Wurstfest grounds are in New Braunfel’s Landa Park, but there are various other events and activities going on throughout the town and Comal County.

The best week in sausage brings some of the best German fare right to Austin’s backyard and chances are you’re going to want to wash it all down with a beer… or four. Needless to say, a designated driver is a must.

Photo by Reddit user: svartorn

Photo by Reddit user: svartorn

We’re partnering up with Austin Tour Company this year to make sure you make it to the fest and back in one piece. We’re offering round-trip transportation on our sweet party busses for only $40 per person. Parking for Wurstfest is actually offsite, so you still end up taking a bus from the parking area to the grounds if you decide to drive yourself. Our busses pick up in Austin and deliver and pick up to/from the front gates of the fest. Your first beer on the bus is on us, byob for the rest.

Additionally, the $40 doesn’t just cover the ride; it gets you into the festival! We get the party started early with fun music and the hilarious movie Beerfest to entertain you on the ride home. We also provide a little education (we promise, it’s not boring!) on the history of the festival and why it’s so significant in Central Texas.

Once we’re at the Wurstfest Grounds, you have three hours to enjoy the festival to your heart’s desire. Then we’ll be waiting for your group at the entrance ready to safely bring you back to Austin. It’s as easy as that.

Wanna learn more? Check out the Wurstfest official site for more information about the sausage party and book your spot on one of our Austin Tour Company party buses here. It’s a small price to pay for a time you won’t soon forget… if only you could remember.

gettickets black

Cover photo courtesy of Do512 Family.

It’s Texas Book Festival time again! This is an absolutely fantastic event that is fun for the entire family.

This annual book-a-palooza was the brain child of former First Lady, Laura Bush. I think the coolest thing about the festival is that it gets people excited about reading and raises tons of cash for Texas libraries.  Since the fest started they’ve awarded over $2.5 million in grant money to state libraries. That is downright inspiring!

The festival will have everything from book signings, panel discussions, author readings, and more.

Check out the Weekend Top Picks for other events happening this weekend.

Admission: Free

When: today, October 18th

Time: 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Location:
The Capitol
between 10th
 & 11th
 Streets
Austin, Texas 78701

http://www.texasbookfestival.org/

Photo Credit: Texas Book Festival Facebook Page

Two weekends. Over 150 artists and 75,000 people to push through each day in order to see your favorite bands. How on earth are you going to decide which artists to see? Don’t stress; we’ve done the dirty work for you (or at least some of it).

If we were crazy enough to do it all again this weekend (and we might be), here are 10 artists we wouldn’t want to miss out on. 

10. alt-j
Genre: Indie Rock, Art Rock

Photo by: Charles Reagan Hackleman

Photo by: Charles Reagan Hackleman

If Aaron Paul from Breaking Bad loves alt-j, shouldn’t you? Their music has made waves on the big screen, including being featured on popular television series and movie soundtracks. But, this is not your conventional band singing happy-go-lucky, festival tunes.

The clean drum beat, psychedelic lights, and muffled voice of front man, Joe Newman, all contributed to the weird, but awesome experience at their Sunday ACL set. They began their set by busting out the ever so catchy “Every Other Freckle,” shortly followed by mellow tune, “Something Good.” 

Of course, there was no better finale to their live show than hit single, “Breezeblocks,” which involved the crowd effortlessly chanting lyrics “I love you so, I love you so.” It’s true, alt-j, we love you so. If you came to ACL to get a little weird, it would be foolish to miss out on alt-j.

9. Shakey Graves
Genre: Blues, and what some refer to as “hobo-folk”

Local Austinite, Alejandro Rose-Garcia is a well-known hometown hero here in Austin. Over the past five years, he’s continued to hone his musical talent, by booking bigger shows and building an increasingly large fan base in Austin and across the country. If playing Blues On The Green earlier this year wasn’t enough, booking ACL and bringing a massive crowd with him is a pretty big deal.

For newcomers to Rose-Garcia’s music, he’s notorious for keeping the listener engaged through his constant shift in tempo and tone. As a result, the crowd was nothing short of entertained and observed musicianship at its finest as Shakey delivered an original performance, homemade suitcase drum and all.

He began his performance with one of his oldie’s, “Roll the Bonesand played the popular song, “Dearly Departed” mid-set. Yes, Austin definitely claims Shakey Graves. If you want to support one of our favorite local musicians, don’t miss out on Shakey Graves.

8. Brand New
Genre: Pop-punk

With an unusually large, cult-like following in the punk/emo scene, Brand New is no stranger to Austin. Their previous shows within the last 12 months (Stubbs Outdoors 2014 and ACL Fest Late Night Show 2015) both drew a sold out crowd. Generally, they attract a younger demographic of 20-somethings and this year’s festival was no different.

For fans of the band, they played hits from all four albums of their discography, and finished their set strong with slow-tempoed, crowd favorite, “Jesus Christ.” Without question, this band knows their fans and delivered exactly what the crowd was looking for. If you listened to this band in your glory days and/or can dabble in the punk, music scene, don’t miss Brand New.

7. The Weeknd
Genre: R&B

Photo by: Roger Ho

Photo by: Roger Ho

When your competing headliner acknowledges how good you sound from their stage, and that headliner is The Strokes, you know it’s real. It was a tough decision for most on Sunday night with the schedule clash between R&B artist, The Weeknd and highly-acclaimed rock band, The Strokes.

It was a risky move to check out The Weeknd and one that would be hit or miss. We’re glad it was hit. Despite how new the Canadian is to the scene, the R&b artist has gained solid recognition in the genre by fans and fellow artists. His live performance made it apparent that he’s a natural-born performer and has a voice pure as gold. If you want to hear someone sing the likes of Beyonce and Ariana Grande and actually do them  justice, don’t miss out on The Weeknd.

6. Drake
Genre: Hip-hop/rap

Photo by: Cambria Harkey

Photo by: Cambria Harkey

Cue the waterworks. Just kidding, Drizzy did not shed tears during his ACL performance (I know, emotional Drake jokes are so last year). However, it is Drake and of course organizers went all out by ending Saturday night at the Fest with fireworks during recent number one hit, “Legend.” 

Arguably, one of the most popular hip-hop/rap artists today, Drake owned the stage and brought a high level of confidence and energy that didn’t make you question how he got there. His set included song snippets/songs from If You’re Reading This it’s Too Late, several covers, crowd favorites from Nothing was the Same, and previous hits for old school fans (“Miss Me” and “Over”).

Given their collaboration on Drake’s newest album, it was only fitting ACL Weekend 2 artist, Future, was brought on stage. Here, they rapped to several songs (including “Jumpman”) from current number one album, What a Time to be Alive. Although it was a slight interruption to the Drake show that we were all there to see, there were no complaints from the crowd. For the best crowd sing-alongs and the biggest party, don’t miss Drake.

5. Sturgill Simpson
Genre: Alternative country

Photo by: Nick Simonite

Photo by: Nick Simonite

It’s certainly atypical for Austin City Limits to choose a generic, country artist to take a slot on the bill. And of course, this year was no exception. With two full-length albums and just breaking through as a solo artist (2013), country music lovers can tip their hat off to this guy for being true to his Southern roots, all the while remaining unique among country music artists making it big, today.

Whether you were among friends, family, or flying solo, Sturgill put on a show anyone could respect and enjoy. Honky-tonk appreciators looking to add a little country dancing into your day – Sturgill is your guy.

4. TV On The Radio
Genre: Indie Rock with electronic influences

These indie rockers know how to make an entrance and live up to it. Based on all band member’s backgrounds and mix of sounds (including indie rock, funk, jazz, soul and electronic), it’s no surprise that TV On The Radio brought an undeniably unique presence to the festival. Kudos to the lead singer, Tunde Adebimpe for how smoothly he can slide across the stage, like he owns the place.

Hit songs, “Wolf Like Me” and “Happy Idiot” were highlights and crowd favorites that left you dancing on your feet. For a unique band you can’t categorize, and one that has been doing something right for over a decade, check out TV on the Radio.

3. Hozier
Genre: Indie rock with gospel and blues influences

Photo by: Greg Noire

Photo by: Greg Noire

Did anyone else feel like they had died and had gone to heaven witnessing the masterpiece that is Hozier? Hozier only recently came out of the woodwork in the last few years, after hit song “Take Me To Church” went viral and then later received enormous amounts of radio play.

Irish singer/songwriter found no barriers to pulling on Austin’s heart-strings from start to finish of his Sunday evening set. From his first EP (2013), he started his show with mesmerizing ballad, “Like Real People Do,” and kept it interesting by covering Ariana Grande’s “Problem.” As expected, the finale of his performance involved Hozier belting out an “Amen” during his hit single, “Take Me to Church.”

He delivered an authentic performance, and as a fan standing in the crowd, you couldn’t help but feel every word he sang. If an Irish man with a man bun that can really sing is your thing, don’t miss Hozier.

2. Foo Fighters
Genre: Rock

Photo by: Cambria Harkey

Photo by: Cambria Harkey

After headlining the first night of ACL and truly killing it, Dave Grohl might be the world’s most lovable guy. From all age ranges (even 10-year olds), die hard Foo Fighters fans were a-plenty on Friday night. Although currently in a leg brace, frontman, Grohl sacrificed no areas of his performance.

They played their most-loved songs across their 20-year discography, such as “Everlong,” “The Pretender,” “Best of You,” and even ‘95 hit, “Big Me.” As Foo Fighters have been selling out stadiums for years, it goes without saying that this band knows how to engage a crowd. If you want to see the king on his throne (Dave Grohl, literally), don’t miss out on Foo Fighters.

1.  Alabama Shakes
Genre: Southern rock, Soul, Blues

Photo by: Cambria Harkey

Photo by: Cambria Harkey

Bad-ass female award goes to the lead singer of Alabama Shakes, Brittany Howard. Their hit single “Hold On” from their debut album was nominated for multiple grammies and their 2015 sophomore album, Sound & Color also skyrocketed to number one in the US. That being said, when the world first heard Alabama Shakes, they were obviously ready. Undeniably, so was the entire crowd at ACL on Saturday evening.

After experiencing their soulful, and completely unique performance, headed by female lead singer and her guitar, it’s no wonder people like this band. For something different, bluesy, and certainly ACL-epic, don’t miss Alabama Shakes…next time. Because unfortunately they will not be making an appearance for Weekend Two.

 

Photo by: Roger Ho

Photo by: Roger Ho

Honorable Mentions:
21 Pilots – for scaling up to the top of the Samsung Stage
The Strokes – for being The Strokes
G-Eazy – for having the most fan girls in a crowd
Gary Clark Jr. – for being cool enough to hop on stage during Foo Fighters’ headlining set
BØRNS – for being one of the most enjoyed and talked about up-and-coming artists
Dwight Yoakam – for staying true to ACL’s roots
Tame Impala – for providing us with the best jam (“Elephant”) to get you hyped you’re at ACL
Ben Howard – for playing the shortest set…it’s okay we still love you, Ben.

Written by Danielle McIntosh
Cover photo by Maclay Heriot

Everything you need to know to be a pro at ACL: who to see, where to eat, what to bring, and how to get there.

It’s the most wonderful time of year in Austin, Texas. Earlier this year, you were pumped when the ACL Lineup was announced with superstar headliners Drake, Florence + The Machine, The Strokes, and Foo Fighters. You were also ecstatic to see some of your favorite local acts make the bill (Shakey Graves and Gary Clark Jr). Then, you anxiously waited for tickets to go on sale.

You experienced a couple of website crashes, but you finally got through and purchased your tickets. It was all worth it because you knew you weren’t missing out on one of the best weekend(s) of the year in Austin.

Now the moment you’ve been waiting for has almost arrived and you’re ready to take ACL by storm. We’ve got everything you need to know to have a great ACL weekend. No amateurs allowed here!

How to get there?

  • Free shuttles! Free shuttles! ACL shuttles will pick you up downtown and drop you off right in front of the festival grounds. We’ve found this to be one of the easiest and most cost effective way to get to and from the festival. Arrive at Republic Square (4th and Guadalupe) starting at 10 am. Shuttles will run till 11 pm and drop you off back at Republic Square after the festival.
  • Be a true Austinite and bike to the festival. ACL organizers make it easy with bike racks at each festival entrance.
  • Uber and Lyft are also a good, alternate way to go! Uber is offering a free ride to new users who sign up for Uber. To redeem your free ride to ACL, follow this link, sign up for Uber (must be a new user) and get a free ride to ACL (cost of up to $25).

What to bring?
It’s October in Texas and we expect the weather to be a little on the warm side. Dress light and be sure to stay hydrated. 

Items to include on your ACL checklist –

  • Camelbak – keep in mind it will have to be empty upon arrival but can be filled at the free water stations once you get to ACL.
  • 2 factory sealed water bottles – stay hydrated!
  • Sunscreen (no aerosol) – don’t be a rookie and miss the remaining days of ACL because of a bad sunburn. 
  • Blankets/towels – if you’re looking to chill out and relax for the day
  • Comfortable shoes – this one’s a no brainer!
  • Rain poncho – because you never know. Right, Weekend Two attendees?
  • Sanitizing hand wipes – this is a festival staple. Stay fresh!
  • Cash – bring cash for easy transactions. ACL does also offer a cashless option which you can sign up for once you activate your wristband.

Be sure to check out our online store for what to wear. Our tanks make great festival gear! Just sayin’.

Where to eat?
Trailer food will be prominent and ACL is always a great excuse to indulge for the weekend. Here are some of our favorite local vendors and festival treats we won’t regret breaking our diets for! 

Burro Cheese Kitchen 
If you want to start the day off with a hearty grilled cheese

Chi’lantro
For world famous kimchi fries

Salt Lick BBQ
If you’re searching for some of the best Texas BBQ 

Good Pop
If you want to cool off with a refreshing, afternoon treat

Tiff’s Treats
If you’ve got a sweet tooth and would like warm cookies, fresh out of the oven

If your mouth isn’t already watering, you can find the full list of vendors here.

Who to see?
It’s no surprise that the ACL lineup this year is filled with great international and local acts on both weekends of the festival. Here are some of the artists we’re most excited about (Weekend One) and our top picks for each day.

Friday highlights:
2:00 – 3:00 pm Nate Ruess
4:00 – 5:00 pm Leon Bridges
5:00 – 6:00 pm Brand New
6:00 – 7:00 pm Tame Impala
7:00 – 8:00 pm Gary Clark Jr.
8:00 – 10:00 pm Foo Fighters

Saturday Highlights

12:45 – 1:30 pm Milo Greene
1:30-2:30 pm Ryn Weaver
2:30 – 3:30 pm Glass Animals 
3:20 – 4:30 pm Shakey Graves /3:30 – 4:30 pm Houndmouth
4:20 – 5:20 pm Sturgill Simpson

6:20 – 7:20 pm Alabama Shakes / 6:30 – 7:30 Jose Gonzalez
8:30 – 10:00 pm Drake

Sunday Highlights
2:30 – 3:30 pm BORNS
3:30 – 4:30 pm Sylvan Esso 
4:30 – 5:30 pm Ben Howard
5:30 – 6:30 pm Vance Joy
6:30 – 7:30 pm Alt-J
7:30 – 8:30 pm Hozier
8:30 – 9:30 pm The Weeknd / 8:30 – 10:00 The Strokes

To get you pumped up for the festival, don’t forget to check out our featured ACL playlist here!

That’s all folks. Happy ACL weekends and stay tuned for our recap of which artists blew it out of the park!

Written by Danielle McIntosh for 365 Things Austin.

Cover photo by Nick Simonite