Austin and the surrounding Texas Hill Country are home to about a million amazing things to see and do. The only downside to this land we love is sometimes, well, getting around it all.
If you are planning a big day or night out soon, there’s a company that’s trying to make your life easier, much more luxurious, and worry free. Put it this way: Krystal Luxuries Transportation is basically your Austin-based fairy godmother. They’ve been locally owned and operated since 2013 and have perfected the art of leaving your house.
Big Nights Out
You really don’t need an excuse to do it up big in Austin, but if you are planning a major birthday, rehearsal dinner, or even just a Friday, a hired Limousine or Cadillac Escalade SUV and a driver will take the evening to the next level. Krystal has the highest caliber fleet of luxury vehicles in the industry—all at a competitive price—and they are always super clean, modern, and sleek.
Now that Austin has become the wedding party capital of Texas, Krystal has the transportation options to make your weekend celebration a party for the ages. If you host your party in one of their luxury limos or party busses, the fun never stops. Bar hop around Austin, visit LBJ Lake, or create a custom route of all your favorite places.
One of their options is a 2016 Mercedes Sprinter Van, for up to 14 passengers that includes a custom bar, leather seats, stereo sound system, LCD plasma screen, and more. You can bring your own food and booze to send your friend off to married life in style. Airport pickups and drop-offs can also be part of the plan.
If you want to create a real experience for your group, take them on a Texas wine tour—one where they never have to lift a finger. Krystal will cater to you and your guests specific needs. They’ve been known to fill a bus to the brim with balloons and create custom snack bars for day-long winery tours. If you can dream it up, just ask.
So step out of the same party routine and stop worrying about how you’ll get to the party and how you’ll get home. You, yes you, can have a chauffeur! A very friendly one, too.
Book online or call 512-944-8470 to be hero of your friends and family.
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.
Escape the heat this summer with the Austin Film Society and its new AFS Cinema, an arthouse theater with two screens, a lobby bar, and a café that features films seven days a week. With this cinema, AFS is creating a home for its celebrated programming, which has long included classics and new discoveries from throughout cinema history, often presented on 35mm film in addition to 2K and 4K digital presentations.
The AFS Cinema is a new option for seeing the best international and independent films—many that wouldn’t come to Austin screens otherwise. It’s a nice place to enjoy amazing films, and also a gathering spot for Austin’s community of film lovers to meet and chat over food and drinks.
Peter Klein, formerly of Olamaie, has crafted a menu with hot dogs from local provider Smokey Denmark, small-batch AFS Signature Popcorn, gourmet toasts (egg salad and pimento cheese), and of course, movie theatre candy! The cinema also features a full bar with signature cocktails, local draft beers, wine, and espresso from Stumptown Coffee.
The AFS Cinema is the next big move for the Austin Film Society, a nonprofit organization that has supported the art, culture and industry of film for over 30 years. Founded by filmmaker Richard Linklater, AFS’s mission is to empower the community to make, watch, and love film and creative media. In addition to the AFS Cinema, the organization financially supports Texas filmmakers through AFS Grants, and operates Austin Studios, a 20-acre production facility, and Austin Public, a space for the city’s diverse mediamakers to train and collaborate.
Animal ID: A744255 Sex: Nuetered Male Breed: Tabby Age: 1 Year Old Location: In Foster
He has been with Austin Animal Center since February!!
You can meet Dude and many other DHCs during our July Desperate Housecat Adoption Event this weekend at AAC. Saturday 11-7, Sunday 11-5.
WHO can resist a feline who sits in SUCH a relaxed position??? Dude had a very rough start in life. He’s missing four rear toes and parts of both ears. But none of this slows him down! He’s very affectionate, purrs, and loves attention, but is not usually a lap cat. Dude is very smart (he understands ‘No’) and wants to be near his human (he’ll sleep next to you). He loves play time, hide and seek, bird watching, and fuzzy blankets.
Dude gives sweet kisses and would do well in an active and lively household. He may be fine with other cats, and is probably great with children.
Tonight is Big Band night on the lawn at the Long Center’s Concert in the Park—a guaranteed good time for your family. There will be kids frolicking, couples lounging on blankets, old friends in their trusty folding chairs, lone bicyclists and pedestrians who have been distracted from their destinations—all united by the sound of music. Come experience the Austin magic for yourself.
In its 15th summer season, these free ensemble concerts take place in the Hartman Concert Park in front of the Long Center City Terrace and run on Sunday evenings from through August 27th. Each Sunday a different ensemble of the Austin Symphony will be featured at the new Hartman Park, located on the grounds of the Long Center for the Performing Arts, performing music from jazz and light classical to pops selections and film scores. Concertgoers are encouraged to bring a picnic dinner and blanket and make it a group outing.
When: Today, July 23rd
Time: 7:30 – 9:30 p.m.
Free Parking is available at One Texas Center located on Barton Springs Rd. @ S. 1st St.
*Paid parking is available at the Palmer Garage for $8
If you’re looking for an affordable stay-cation in downtown Austin, it’s hard to beat the price and location of Embassy Suites’ Downtown Austin location. Just a short walk south of the Congress Bridge, their convenient location provides easy-access to the Ladybird Lake Trails, sunset bat-watching, a plethora of local dining and bar options, and more.
We’re giving away a free night of your choosing (up to $300 value, blackout dates do apply) to getaway to Downtown Austin!
Investing in a new restaurant concept probably sounds like something only rich people do, but we’re living in the golden age of crowdfunding, so we can all get in on the ground floor of something big. Eight years ago, the founders of Peli Peli teamed up to bring South African fusion cuisine to Houston. From their initial start in Vintage Park, the team of Executive Chef Paul Friedman, Michael Tran, and Thomas Nguyen have now expanded to three locations throughout the metro area. Both Tran (BS ’99) and Nguyen (BA ’98, JD ’01) are UT Austin grads, so when it came time to expand beyond their home in Houston, they set their sights on ATX.
Plans are for Peli Peli Austin to take over a space in the downtown 2nd Street District and open its doors in September of 2017. The team now has an active expansion campaign on the NextSeed platform where the community can uncover more specifics on the business, team members, and follow up on updates about the restaurant.
To fuel its growth, Peli Peli had resounding success with a campaign in May 2016, raising $358,000 for its Houston Galleria location on NextSeed’s platform in Texas. The funds allowed the restaurant group to increase its working capital and invest in its infrastructure. In just eleven months, the team paid their investors back—well ahead of schedule—returning $409,513 to the members who invested.
Since its launch in 2015, NextSeed has facilitated over $4 million in crowdfunded investments in restaurants, bars, and other local businesses in Texas and around the U.S. using state and federal crowdfunding rules. For as little as $100, investors can invest in a project or concept that they feel passionate about—supporting local by investing local.
NextSeed provides the investor with an overview of each campaign, a detailed description of the business model and leadership team, market analysis, all of the investment details, and the opportunity to ask questions in a virtual community forum.
NextSeed was the first SEC-registered regulation crowdfunding platform in the country and is now operating from coast to coast.
To learn more about opportunities like Peli Peli, all the active as well as fully funded campaigns nationwide, visit NextSeed.
Any views expressed in this article reflect the personal views of the author only for discussion purposes and should not be viewed as investment advice or recommendation, and does not constitute any legal or tax advice with respect to any securities. Rendering of Peli Peli Austin dining room. Courtesy of NextSeed Rendering of Poitin interior. Courtesy of NextSeed Rendering of Poitin interior bar area. Courtesy of NextSeed.
If you need the perfect family friendly plan tonight, look no further. The Zilker Summer Musical, now in its 59th year, is a local treasure and something every Austinite should experience at least once. This year’s production is a classic: The Wizard of Oz.
Zilker Theatre Productions aims to share the magic of musical theatre with children as well as Central Texans and visitors from all over the world. This summer, they will welcome over 45,000 audience members to follow the yellow brick road “over the rainbow.”
A few pro tips for the uninitiated: Get there a couple of hours early to secure your spot with a blanket and some low-backed chairs, then go for a swim in Barton Springs! You’ll be so glad you did. And pack a big picnic—everyone gets snacky at this thing.
When: Thursdays – Sundays through August 12th
Time: 8:15 p.m. (There are two acts, with a quick intermission!)
This is summer’s best kept secret. Now through Labor Day, you can snag pool passes at the South Congress Hotel that will get you access to the rooftop pool and bar, free valet parking, and towels. Poolside dining is provided by Café No Sé. Guests can book their pool day at South Congress Hotel by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
When: Mondays – Fridays though Labor Day, 11 a.m.- sunset
People of the North: Rejoice! The owners of Home Slice Pizza are revealing the details of their much-anticipated expansion to North Austin. The new location will be in the North Loop area (which we are now apparently calling “NOLO”) near the corner of North Loop and Duval at 501 E 53rd Street. It’s currently under construction and slated for a late fall 2017 opening.
The new restaurant will have full-service dine-in, take out, patio seating, and indoor and outdoor bar seating, plus twice the parking of the South Congress store! They’ll also have a full bar in addition to all the draft beer and wine—because cocktails and pizza are soulmates.
“Our cocktail list will focus on simple, delicious drinks that have stood the test of time,” said Nano Whitman, partner and director of operations at the NOLO location, in a press release. That sounds good to us, Nano.
And more welcome news: Home Slice NOLO will have Buffalo wings! “Buffalo wings are part of almost every pizzeria experience where I grew up,” said Scoville Strickland, who hails from a small town near Buffalo, New York. “We are looking forward to turning Austin on to this regional delicacy done right!”
Lastly: The NOLO location will have the specialty Sicilian square pie seven days a week. Currently available at the South Congress location only on Mondays and Thursdays because of the space it takes to produce the specialty pies, this sheet pan pizza took years to develop and requires an entirely separate production process from Home Slice’s typical New York-style dough.
We’ll update you on a grand opening date ASAP, but the fall can’t come soon enough.