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FESTIVALS IN AUSTIN

Austin is a 24-hour town populated by an upstart mix of musicians, techies, film pros, athletes and foodies - and our yearly events calendar shows it. The Austin Marathon draws 20,000 runners from around the world. The Austin Food + Wine Festival welcomes visitors from across the nation and showcase the best innovative cuisine. Old Settler's Music Festival has been celebrating the best of Americana, bluegrass and roots music for more than 30 years; and Fantastic Fest, which features sci-fi, horror, fantasy and other genre films, has become a favorite of film buffs and celebrities alike. SXSW Music, Film and Interactive Conferences and Festivals expand every year and the Austin City Limits Music Festival will once again welcome 70,000 fans per day to Zilker Park for performances by more than 100 bands.

Chairlift at ACL Festival 2016 Weekend 1
Credit Charles Reagan Hackleman, courtesy ACL Festival.

Here are our top picks for must-attend Austin events in the new year.

January

Free Week
Red River Cultural District
Hundreds of local bands participate in this week of free live music that encompasses venues all over downtown Austin.

Martin Luther King Jr. March and Festival
Huston-Tillotson University
March from the University of Texas to Huston-Tillotson University to celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s legacy.

February

Austin Marathon & Half Marathon
Downtown Austin
Nearly 20,000 participants, 40 bands and a course through Austin’s scenic neighborhoods make this race a must-hit for everyone.

Austin Oyster Festival
Seaholm Lawn
Try every style of oyster at this annual food fest, while enjoying live Cajun and “newgrass” music.

Carnaval Brasileiro
Emo's
Experience authentic Brasileiro-style samba, costumes and wild abandon at one of the biggest Brazilian Carnaval celebrations outside Brazil.

OUTsider Festival
Various Locations
As one of Austin’s most progressive festivals, OUTsider brings together Austin’s LGBTQI community for five days of creation and inspiration. This multidisciplinary art festival showcases film, performance art, music, visual art and more.

March

ABC Kite Fest
Zilker Park
The nation's oldest kite festival features hundreds of kites in the air, kite flying contests, food, games and more all for free.

Austin Urban Music Festival
Auditorium Shores
Some 15,000+ fans converge on Auditorium Shores for this festival celebrating R&B, neo-soul and hip-hop music.

IndyCar Classic
Circuit of The Americas
The popular, American-bred IndyCar series tackles COTA’s curves, along with special COTA Super Stage performances from award winning bands.

Pirelli World Challenge
Circuit of The Americas
This racing series features more than 100 production-based cars that have been prepped specially for racing. There will even be access to the paddock to see the cars up close, hear the engines roar and speak with the drivers.

Rodeo Austin 
Travis County Expo Center
Over the years, Rodeo Austin has grown from a show featuring 16 animals into one of Austin's premier events, featuring ProRodeo events, daily concerts, livestock show and more.

St. Patrick's Day Festival
Jourdan-Bachman Pioneer Farms
This family-friendly St. Patrick’s Day fest celebrates all things Irish. Come enjoy authentic Celtic music and dancers, Irish language workshops, the finest Irish imports and plenty of good craic!

Ellen Page at SXSW Film

Ellen Page at SXSW Film. Photo by Robert A Tobiansky, Getty Images for SXSW.

SXSW® Music, Film and Interactive Conference and Festival
Various Locations
Noted filmmakers, musicians and thought leaders showcase music, film and interactive media at this international event.

World Golf Championships - Dell Technologies Match Play
Austin Country Club
The WGC - Dell Technologies Match Play returns to historic Austin Country Club, bringing the top 64 golfers in the world for a weekend of golf action.

April

Art City Austin Festival
Palmer Events Center
Nearly 200 national artists, local restaurants, two music stages and art activities make this one of the city’s favorite festivals.

Austin Food + Wine Festival
Auditorium Shores
Join top chefs, sommeliers and winemakers from across Austin and the nation for a three-day epicurean adventure unlike any other.

Austin International Poetry Festival
Various Locations
Poets from around the world, country, and all of Texas gather for four days of live performances, readings and workshops during the Austin International Poetry Festival in April.

Austin Reggae Fest
Auditorium Shores
A fundraiser for the Central Texas Food Bank, Reggae Fest features three days of reggae, world and dub talent, along with more than 50 vendors selling food and arts & crafts.

Fusebox Festival
Various Locations
This hybrid arts festival champions adventurous works of art in theater, dance, film, music, literature, visual and culinary arts.

Lonestar Round Up
Travis County Expo Center
A huge outdoor car show and live music festival with tons of vintage hot rods and custom cars driven here from all over the country, and bringing visitors from all over the world.

Artist MiYoung Lee and her booth from Art City Austin 2015
Art City Austin. Courtesy of Rich Merritt.
4/24/19 - 4/27/19

Moontower Comedy Festival
The Paramount Theatre & Other Locations
Moontower Comedy & Oddity Festival, presented by the Paramount Theatre, brings the funniest comics to Austin each April.

Old Settler's Music Festival
Tilmon, TX
Central Texas' signature music event features three days of Americana and roots rock live music from around the world, camping, family events, food and libations.

May

Cine Las Americas International Film Festival
Various Locations
Catch screenings of contemporary films and videos from Latin America (North, Central, South America and the Caribbean) and the Iberian Peninsula.

Finding Euphoria Music Festival
Carson Creek Ranch
Finding Euphoria is a progressive live music festival including electronic music, art, workshops, car camping and more.

Hot Luck Festival
Around Austin
Come hungry and thirsty, and bring your dancin’ boots, to this eat-with-your-fingers food festival highlighting culinary know-how and live music.

JMBLYA Music Festival
Circuit of The Americas™
This one-day music festival showcases the most sought-after talent in hip-hop music today.

Pecan Street Spring Arts Festival
East Sixth Street
Musicians, food vendors, artists and crafters turn Sixth Street–historically called Pecan Street–into a lively street fair.

West Austin Studio Tour
Across West Austin
The West Austin Studio Tour is a free, self-guided tour that celebrates Austin’s talented and wildly diverse creative community. 

June

African American Book Festival
George Washington Carver Museum
This free, annual literary event showcases new works by and about African-Americans.

Festival-goers share a toast at the Austin Food + Wine Festival 2015
Courtesy of Austin Food + Wine Festival 2015.

ATX Television Festival
Downtown Austin
The first festival devoted to television, ATX Television Festival features premieres of new series, current hits and cult favorites.

Austin Ice Cream Festival
Fiesta Gardens
Games, activities, contests, live entertainment and, of course, ice cream, will keep you cool and happy in the Texas heat.

Fun Stop 5K & Fest
Long Center for the Performing Arts
Dress up in your quirkiest costume and release your ninja skills as you hit the obstacle course stop and cool down at the foam party fun stop. Performances from local bands and more rocking into the night.

July

Fourth of July Fireworks and Symphony
Auditorium Shores
The Austin Symphony hosts an annual concert of patriotic music culminating in a spectacular firework display over Lady Bird Lake.

Hot Summer Nights
Red River Cultural District
Venues throughout the Red River Cultural District host four days of free live music, alongside local food and vendors.

Willie Nelson’s 4th of July Picnic
Circuit of The Americas™
This annual event features a star-studded lineup, headlined by Nelson himself, and a fireworks display at the end of the night.

August

Austin Chronicle Hot Sauce Festival
Fiesta Gardens
Join in one of the world’s largest hot sauce festivals, which attracts as many as 10,000 spectators each year.

Austin Pride Parade & Festival
Fiesta Gardens and Downtown Austin
Don’t miss the festival and parade down Congress Avenue during the largest annual LGBTQI advocacy and fundraising event in Central Texas.

Bat Fest
Congress Avenue Bridge
Celebrate the world's largest urban bat colony, which takes up seasonal residence beneath the Congress Avenue Bridge, with live music, children's activities and a costume contest. 

Capital City Black Film Festival
Austin Convention Center
Recognizing black filmmakers, the Capital City Black Film Festival provides a stage for burgeoning talent in the heart of Austin.

Bat Bridge Skyline Meeting Planner Toolkit MPG
Credit Pierce Ingram.

Out of Bounds Comedy Festival
Various Locations
Comedians from around the country head to Austin for this festival showcasing the best in improv, sketch and stand-up.

September

All Genders, Lifestyles and Identities Film Festival (aGLIFF)
Around Austin
The oldest and largest LGBTQI film fest in the Southwest is also the largest LGBTQI cultural event in Austin.

Fantastic Fest
Various Venues
The largest genre film festival in the U.S. specializes in horror, fantasy, sci-fi, action and more from around the world.

Pecan Street Fall Arts Festival
East Sixth Street
Musicians, food vendors, artists and crafters turn Sixth Street–historically called Pecan Street–into a lively street fair.

Texas Craft Brewers Festival
Fiesta Gardens 
The Texas Craft Brewers Fest is the largest beer festival for and by Texas Brewers, featuring the best of Texas craft beer and the thriving beer community across the Lone Star State.

Texas Tribune Festival
University of Texas at Austin
This annual event brings students, educators, journalists, politicians, policy makers and other political junkies to the Capital of Texas for three days of informative and engaging sessions.

Waterloo Music Festival
Carson Creek Ranch
An independent festival that celebrates the roots of Austin music culture, featuring nationally renowned jam bands and the city’s finest musical acts, along with a weekend of camping.

October

Austin City Limits Music Festival
Zilker Park
One of the country’s largest celebrations of music, this six-day festival includes 140+ musical acts over two weekends.

Austin Film Festival
Paramount Theatre & Various Locations
Recognized as one of the top film festivals in the country, this cinematic event shines the spotlight on both top-billed films and indies alike.

People wait in line at the Texas Book Festival in front of the capitol building
Courtesy of Texas Book Festival.

Texas Book Festival
Texas State Capitol Building
Enjoy readings, panel discussions, signings, cooking demonstrations, live music, local food, YA authors, children’s activities and exhibiting vendors.

Texas Teen Book Festival
St. Edward’s University
This one-day festival invites readers to engage with some of the best YA authors in the country.

Viva La Vida Festival & Parade
Downtown Austin
Viva La Vida is Austin’s largest and longest-running Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) festival, featuring a Grand Procession, art activities and demos, traditional foods, live music and performances throughout the day.

November

Austin Celtic Festival
Jourdan-Bachman Pioneer Farms
This annual festival is also the largest gathering of Celts in Central Texas. The event is home to four stages of Irish, Scottish and Breton music, dance, sports, storytelling, workshops and more.

Chuy's Christmas Parade
Congress Avenue
A procession of giant balloons, marching bands, vintage cars, celebrities and floats usher in the season of giving. 

East Austin Studio Tour
Various Locations
More than 70 eastside art studios and galleries open their doors for the public's viewing and purchasing pleasure during this bi-annual event.

Formula 1 United States Grand Prix
Circuit of The Americas
Experience three days of F1 racing, camping, live music events, headline performances by international acts and more.

LEVITATION
Downtown Austin
This independent festival has grown from a small word-of-mouth event to an internationally acclaimed, full weekend event that attracts attendees from all over the world.

Texas Monthly BBQ Festival
Long Center for the Performing Arts
Visitors are invited to sample as many of Texas’ best BBQ joints as possible at one of Austin’s most delicious festivals.

December

Armadillo Christmas Bazaar
Palmer Events Center
Shades of old Austin are reflected in the eclectic gifts and local entertainment from more than 160 artists and merchants here.

Austin Asian American Film Festival
Around Austin
Asian and Asian-American cultures and experiences are promoted at this fest showcasing cinema and the creativity of Asian-American artists.

Austin Trail of Lights
Austin Trail of Lights. Credit Dear Wesleyann Photography.

Austin Music Video Festival
Various Locations
AMVFest celebrates Austin’s long-standing music video heritage with screenings, awards, parties, panels and workshops around town.

Austin's New Year
Auditorium Shores
This alcohol-free, family-friendly event celebrates the diversity and creativity of the city with 4 stages, 22 bands, visual art installations, jugglers, storytellers, fire dancers and a grand fireworks finale.

Trail of Lights
Zilker Park
The Trail of Lights is part of the essential Austin experience, lighting up the season with a celebration of community, memories and fun. Plan your visit early and don't forget to take a spin under the Zilker Tree!

Winter Wonderland at The Circuit
Circuit of The Americas™
This holiday event features Santa’s workshop, skating, a petting zoo, carnival rides, movies, shopping, a tunnel of lights and more.