festival Archives - 365 Things to Do in Austin, TX

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    The “Red Poppy Capital Of Texas,” Georgetown, Texas, will celebrate its 20th Annual Red Poppy Festival April 26 – 28, in honor of red poppy season; it is one of the few locations in the United States where red poppies grow naturally. Georgetown hosts a free, three-day festival to honor the history and beauty of its poppy season. The weekend includes parades, a car show, live music, cooking contest, art, food and family-friendly activities including the Kid’s Fun Zone with a bounce house, obstacle course, toddler playground and more. Country musician and a Lone Star favorite, Pat Green, will headline the festival as it marks its 20th anniversary. Additional concerts will take place Friday and Sunday nights.

    The town’s deep-rooted history with the poppies began when Henry Purl Compton (aka “Okra”), a soldier in the American Expeditionary Forces during WWI, sent poppy seeds from Europe back home to his mother in Georgetown, Texas. His mother planted the seeds at her home located at 507 East 7th St. and with some help from the birds, bees, and people of Georgetown, the seeds quickly spread beyond her home all over town. In 1990, Georgetown was certified by the Texas Legislature as the “Red Poppy Capital of Texas.” The town embraces the 20th anniversary celebrating the vivid blooming, with three days of live music and festivities, free and open to the public.

      Art Alliance Austin is celebrating Austin’s diverse art scene with the 69th annual Art City Austin Festival in Republic Square park. This event will showcase their Convergence Fair art market, with up to 80 visual artists, designers, installation artists, artisans and makers showcasing and selling their wares. Fun for friends and family, the festival will also include local musicians, performance artists, live food demonstrations by local chefs, food trucks, boozy bevies, kid activities and other interactive experiences.


      The festival offers two ticket choices: General Admission and VIP. For GA tickets, guests have access both days to the Convergence Fair, plus can join guided gallery tours & artist talks around Austin during the weekend – provided by local galleries, studios and museums. VIP tickets include a private VIP lounge access with comfortable seating, a private bar and two complimentary drink tickets per day, plus exclusive access to special, curated guided gallery tours and artist talks. Quantities are limited. Event is rain or shine.

        Date: November, 4, 2018

        Time: 4-9 pm

        Location: AFS Cinema, 6259 Middle Fiskville Rd., Austin, TX 78752

        Tickets: https://autfest18.eventbrite.com

        At AutFest Texas we will raise awareness in a broader community about life with autism. Through film we can show a range of ages and abilities, challenges and triumphs, (however big or small), that living with autism can bring. Viewers can also witness the dedication and support needed to give individuals with autism the greatest chance of reaching their full potential. Through film, we tell our story.
        Event benefits Autism Society of Texas

        Contact: info@texasautismsociety.org

          Whisper Valley, East Austin’s uber-cool sustainable housing community, is hosting its second annual Taste of East Austin Festival. New this year, the event will kick off with a 5K run around the beautiful Whisper Valley community. The festival gets underway immediately after with live music and food from East Austin restaurants and food trucks, local artisans and boutiques, and fun activities for the kids. The event is free and open to the public. Participants will receive a complimentary craft beer as they cross the finish line in addition to an event swag bag, t-shirt and finisher’s medal. Tickets for the run are $25. Register today at tasteofeastaustin.eventbrite.com

          While at the Festival, come see this innovative community of zero-energy capable homes priced from the mid $200 to the $400s by Avi Homes and Pacesetter Homes and meet new builders joining the Whisper Valley line up. Homes feature ecofriendly geothermal heating and cooling systems, solar pv and high tech, smart home technology. Cooking demonstrations will showcase Whisper Valley’s healthy lifestyle with organic gardens for fresh, nutritious food delivered to your door. Fitness venues and resort-style amenities, cooking and nutrition classes are all part of the Whisper Valley lifestyle.

          Confirmed vendors and music for the Taste of East Austin Festival include:
          • Ladybird’s Austin Kitchen
          • Mission Dogs
          • Elgin Meadery
          • Moonstone Baking Co.
          • Mom and Pop’s All Natural Frozen Pops
          • Buddha’s Brew Kombucha
          • Casey’s New Orleans Snowballs
          • Suga’s Cakery
          • Succulent Native
          • SBS Soapery
          • Rocket Electrics
          • DJ Sydney Wright
          • FlecHaus

          WHEN/WHERE:
          Saturday, September 15, 2018
          5K Run—8 am
          Festival– 9 am- Noon
          Whisper Valley
          9400 Petrichor Blvd.
          Manor, TX 78653
          5K Run Registration: tasteofeastaustin.eventbrite.com

          Whisper Valley is located just east of SH-130 at FM 973 and Braker Lane within Austin’s Desired Development Zone, 20 minutes from downtown Austin, 10-20 minutes from Google, Dell and Samsung corporate campuses, and 10 minutes from Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. Whisper Valley was named Best New Community of the year from the Homebuilder Association of Greater Austin (HBA) and the Green Home Builder’s 2017 Community of the Year. More information on the development can be found here: http://tinyurl.com/ycdl7xbf

          After the disappointment of a hiatus year in 2017 LEVITATION, the original psych rock music festival produced by members of The Black Angels returns to downtown Austin April 26-29. Reborn a multi-venue festival after disastrous weather incidents at Carson Creek Ranch in 2015 and 2016 forced festival founders Rob Fitzpatrick, Alex Maas and Christian Bland to rethink the camping festival format for the internationally popular niche music fest. The secret to the popularity of the event is simple. The organizers curate lineups they want to see much like independent Austin booking company Margin Walker helmed by Graham Williams. The two groups share that philosophy. It doesn’t hurt that both have impeccable musical taste.

          This year’s lineup is appearing at venues primarily situated in the Red River Cultural District plus a few East Austin locales. As expected, the caliber of acts is solid from the bottom of the bill all the way to headliners; The Black Angels, Slowdive, Ministry and Ty Segal. Music fans won’t find a similar bill anywhere else in America. Bookers curating a lineup as unique as LEVITATION has become exceedingly rare with all the consolidation in the festival market which means you should care about this one music fans. Especially if you haven’t heard of most of the acts performing. This event is as much about music discovery as it is about booking great sounds and showing neo-psychedelic art.

          Honestly the entire schedule is worth checking out. Since you’re probably not going to buy tickets to every show, we’ll highlight a few we think are worth taking a second look at. Also worth taking a look at is are the incredible official LEVITATION posters the festival commissioned from various local artists ranging from Jaime Zuverza to the festival’s own Christian Bland. Fans can purchase the designs directly from the LEVITATION poster page.

          Poster by Mishka Westell

          Thursday, April 26

          This is going to sound counterintuitive but hear us out… Ty Segall is fun enough to watch and you should, except on Thursday (Segall performs again Friday at Barracuda) when you’d do better to hit Stubb’s BBQ early for openers A Giant Dog (Austin) and Parquet Courts (Brooklyn). Both are known for exceeding expectations live as we can attest. songwriting partners, Sabrina Ellis and Andrew Cashen have consistently made impressive garage punk recordings with their band A Giant Dog but it’s their astounding live performances that have gotten them the kind of attention deserving of an act this talented. Parquet Courts are similar in the way their recordings hint at the greatness you’ll see when you catch them on stage. Their mix of rock, punk with a dash of Americana is hard to classify. Let’s just agree they make good music.  After seeing the band perform at Primavera Sound Festival in Barcelona a few years ago we went from casual fan to avid. 

          After Parquet Courts finish, head down the street to Beerland for a noise bomb trifecta of Suspirians, Blushing and Ringo Deathstarr. All three are Austin-based. All three are really fun to watch perform. Besides there’s no better way to kick off LEVITATION than at the seediest, punkest bar on Red River. 


          Friday, April 27

          We’re truly torn on Friday given all the great shows listed on the LEVITATION schedule but one stands out to us for a few reasons. L.A. Witch, DIIV and Ariel Pink at Empire Garage presents a number of positives. This performance is presented by Desert Daze, a sister festival in California.  L.A. Witch were truly great the last time we caught this all-girl act when they come through town. Their Hotel Vegas set was something special. We’ve been keeping track of the West Coast upstarts led by Sade Sanchez. They’re riding the wave of great female-led acts into an exciting year. DIIV might be the most suspect recommendation of this lineup as lead vocalist, Zachary Smith must have been really high during his LEVITATION Fest set a few years ago. The performance was good, but not what was advertised.  He kept repeating the same lame stage banter. Perhaps he was nervous? That said we’re looking forward to a “make-up show” of sorts. Headliner, Ariel Pink put on a visually explosive performance when we saw the LA artist also known as Ariel Rosenberg at Mohawk in 2016. We missed seeing the band’s gig at The ‘Hawk last year thus the group’s appearance in this preview. 

          Poster by Robin Gnista


          Saturday, April, 28

          The conundrum that is Saturday’s lineup choices is one we wouldn’t put on any devoted psych-rock fan. There’s just too much good music happening on Red River. A clone (or two) would be nice.  Assuming you don’t have a clone either, we made some hard decisions for you. Get out early Saturday for The Rotten Mangoes set at Cheer Up Charlie’s. Known for great cocktails, this the perfect place to catch one of our favorite local acts deliver a sonically pleasing psychedelic experience while you sip a quality libation at happy hour. We recommend the Golden Ticket with kombucha, whiskey, ginger and lavender. After you can hang around for South Americans, Boogarins or try door number two… 

          Head across the street to Stubb’s for Alex Maas’ latest project, Mien. Comprised of Maas and members of the Horrors and The Earlies, the experimental psych rock group takes different approach to similarly dark material of The Black Angels.  Electronic horrorscape act SURVIVE perform following Mien. The group gained notoriety by writing the theme song to hit Netflix show “Stranger Things.” Headliner, Slowdive is an example of the type of act the festival founders loved as young music fans (the band formed in England in 1989) and booked for the festival when it became apparent the group had been relaunched via a new Twitter account after band members changed musical direction in 1995.

          Side note: If you’d rather dance your ass off late Saturday evening, head to Empire Control Room and Garage for Austin’s answer to LCD Soundsystem, The Octopus Project. DJ Dan Deacon will take it home after Octopus Project. 

          Poster by Simon Berndt


          Sunday, April 27

          Our recommendation for Sunday might seem obvious. Go see The Black Angels at Stubb’s BBQ. But don’t just go to see the legendary neo-psych pioneers headline the last night of their festival. Don’t get us wrong. It’s going to be amazing. Particularly with visuals from the Mustacio Light Show enhancing your viewing pleasure. But get there early for Austin’s Annabelle Chairlegs who open the show. The group is one of our favorite local acts precisely because their approach to psych-rock is decidedly different than many of their contemporaries. Lead vocalist Lindsay Mackin puts a decidedly pop spin on the songs while guitarist Matt Schweinberg melts faces with his solos. We’re eagerly anticipating their upcoming new album. 

          San Francisco sister act to TBA, Brian Jonestown Massacre is no stranger to the festival having played LEVITATION twice before. Catch them just prior to The Black Angels closing set. We usually trip out on tambourine player Joel Gion’s massive sideburns and retro-chic clothing while watching bandleader Anton Newcombe shred on guitar. 

          Tickets to LEVITATION are available for most shows scheduled. Check the festival website for more information. 

            Medieval Festival featuring over 40 stage acts, over 130 merchant shoppes, great food, and fun rides & games for the whole family!

            sherwoodforestfaire.com

            Santa Fe-based immersive art collective Meow Wolf left quite an impression yesterday at their Fractallage party when the organization made their first foray (outside their origin film release this week) into South by Southwest (SXSW). The group spent most of the night Monday evening transforming Empire Control Room and Garage into a Meow Wolf satellite installation complete with visual art, immersive activities (tube dating by Tinder for example) both inside and outside the venue while a roster of exceptional DJs entertained the crowd and set the mood for a surreal (and completely satisfying) experience.  

            We entered the venue through the Seventh Street side gate to find a bevy of tapestries and colorful banners artfully arranged over the exposed to the air space outside the Garage where Gold Room was performing. The chill-wave sounds being produced perfectly set the mood as fans slowly bopped along to the infectious beats while warm sunlight streamed into the garage and onto the languid audience milling about Empire’s backyard. 

             

            A post shared by j.smith (@bildings) on

            The backyard was an entirely different story albeit, fit nicely alongside the performance space adjacent to the decorated patio that featured Tinder Tube Dating (yeah, we don’t know either) using “Experience Tubes.” The exercise pokes fun at how we connect on social media versus real life. Light blue carpeting had been laid over the ground with colorful pillows and foam-stuffed couches to create a kind of chill-out area from space is the only way we can describe it. EVERYONE was smoking pot out there. 

             

            A post shared by Greg Ackerman (@g_ack) on

             

            Inside, an indoor exhibit had been set up. A man in a captain’s uniform stood near three oversized buttons inside the foyer to the Control Room. He explained (while in character) that the buttons controlled the lighted serpent affixed to the ceiling. Folks were invited to press the buttons to change the lighting sequence and music being piped into the room. Actors in costume milled about portraying sentient beings from another planet trying to suss out people and their actions while visiting the mysterious Earthlings. Costumes included LED lights that responded to the music being played. A giant, fantastic lighted “barnacle” held up the far wall of the Control room and held flowers in which touching the metal wire stamens activated the glowing lights in the display. High tables and seats along the wall allowed visitors to sit and absorb the peaceful environment Meow Wolf created. 

             

            A post shared by april (@fest_bestie) on

             

            We sat outside earlier chatting with staff who talked about working with the organization and their aggressive growth plans (which includes Austin.) Danny, a gentleman who works with sound and audio for Meow Wolf stated he’d been working for the New Mexico trendsetters since 2014 and felt blessed to be a part of something so cool. He was exceedingly kind as was each staffer who arrived in Austin with the collective as if a directive had been handed down that said Meow Wolf employees can only project happiness upon the world. Perhaps that is the credo of Meow Wolf? To project happiness. We know the perma-grin plastered on our faces while we were at Meow Wolf’s Fratallage installation was about as real as you get. Meow Wolf is pure joy. 

            Looking for a family-friendly alternative to ACL this weekend? Head north to the suburb of Round Rock for their annual Chalk Walk event taking place on Friday, September 30th and Saturday, October 1st.

            This FREE event features chalk artists creating masterpieces in the street, live music, vendors, children’s activities, food and drinks, a high school food truck battle and more!

            There is a great lineup of family-friendly entertainment including Joe McDermott, Ballet Folklorico, Round Rock ISD Symphony, and the Friday night headliner, Dale Watson.

            What: Round Rock Chalk Walk

            When: Friday, Sep. 30, 2016 from 5-10 p.m. and Saturday, Oct. 1, 2016 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

            Where: Centennial Plaza, 301 W. Bagdad Street in Downtown Round Rock

            Cost: Free Admission

            Image Credit: Round Rock Arts

            Round two of Formula One weekend is officially upon us! Even if you don’t have plans to go out the racetrack, there’s still plenty of FREE fun right downtown.

            logo

            True to our ‘Live Music Capital Of the World’ title, the Fan Fest is has a solid schedule of bands including Andy Grammer, Berlin, Los Lonely Boys, Everlast, Roger Creager, Civil Twilight, and many more.

            The Fan Fest has much more than just music planned. There will be an interactive maze, driver appearances, trivia games, cooking demos, a go-cart challenge, race simulators, a zip line, an inflatable rock wall and much more.

            On Friday and Saturday they’ll also have a Silent Disco. If you’re not familiar with this concept, a silent disco is a huge dance party where everyone is wearing wireless headphones. You can turn the volume as loud or as soft as you want, and you don’t have to scream to talk to your friends (just take your headphones off)!  It’s actually even more fun than my description entails; imagine a bunch of people dancing in silence. This event is 21 and up, and $19 if you buy in advance ($25 at the door).

            map3

            If you want to immerse yourself in Formula One themed activities you can, but there will be plenty of other stuff happening to entertain you even if you don’t care about the race!

            The Fan Fest is great for families and people of all ages.

            When: Today – Sunday

            Time:
            today: 5:00 p.m. – midnight
            Friday & Saturday: noon – midnight
            Sunday: noon – 8:00 p.m.

            Location:
            Downtown Austin
            Austin, Texas 78701

            http://austinfanfest.com

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            Round two of Formula One weekend is officially upon us! Even if you don’t have plans to go out the racetrack, there’s still plenty of FREE fun right downtown.

            logo

            True to our ‘Live Music Capital Of the World’ title, the Fan Fest is has a solid schedule of bands including Andy Grammer, Berlin, Los Lonely Boys, Everlast, Roger Creager, Civil Twilight, and many more.

            The Fan Fest has much more than just music planned. There will be an interactive maze, driver appearances, trivia games, cooking demos, a go-cart challenge, race simulators, a zip line, an inflatable rock wall and much more.

            On Friday and Saturday they’ll also have a Silent Disco. If you’re not familiar with this concept, a silent disco is a huge dance party where everyone is wearing wireless headphones. You can turn the volume as loud or as soft as you want, and you don’t have to scream to talk to your friends (just take your headphones off)!  It’s actually even more fun than my description entails; imagine a bunch of people dancing in silence. This event is 21 and up, and $19 if you buy in advance ($25 at the door).

            map3

            If you want to immerse yourself in Formula One themed activities you can, but there will be plenty of other stuff happening to entertain you even if you don’t care about the race!

            The Fan Fest is great for families and people of all ages.

            When: Today – Sunday

            Time:
            today: 5:00 p.m. – midnight
            Friday & Saturday: noon – midnight
            Sunday: noon – 8:00 p.m.

            Location:
            Downtown Austin
            Austin, Texas 78701

            http://austinfanfest.com

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