Spring brings a bumper crop of festivals in Austin
Oh, you thought we were done with festivals once South by Southwest was over? You must be new to Austin. There are fests aplenty, especially in spring, before those tripledigit temperatures kick in (well, hopefully before they kick in). Music, movies, art, food, comedy and more — in the next couple of months, there’s a festival for just about everyone. Here are some of the highlights.
Urban Music Festival, March 31-April 1. Get excited, fans of 1990s R&B. The 12th annual two-day festival at Auditorium Shores features MC Lyte, Tony! Toni! Toné! and Keith Sweat and, as always, takes place on Texas Relays weekend. urbanmusicfest.com
Honk!TX, March 31-April 2. The free, communitydriven festival brings street and brass bands from around the country to Austin for a series of performances in public spaces throughout the city. Expect talent from Rio de Janeiro, Vancouver, Seattle, New Orleans, Houston, Chicago and beyond. honktx.org Art City Austin, March 31-April 2. Art Alliance Austin’s three-day festival returns to the Palmer Events Center with works from 20 contemporary art galleries and an art festival featuring 125 self-represented artists from across the U.S. The familyfriendly event also includes arts and crafts activities and live music. artallianceaustin.org/artcity
Live Fire, April 6. The Austin Food and Wine Alliance’s centerpiece fundraiser, which features a roster of almost two dozen celebrated Texas chefs cooking meat over open flames, has long been held on the edge of town but this year will take place at Camp Mabry. The seventh annual event has a Global Flare theme, meaning chefs like Aaron Franklin of Franklin Barbecue, Rene Ortiz & Laura Sawicki of Fresa’s Al Carbon and Launderette, Kevin Fink of Emmer &
Rye, Michael Fojtasek of Olamaie, Ryan Shields of Bullfight, Reina Morris of Buenos Aires Café, “Top Chef ” competitor John Tesar of Knife in Dallas, Diego Galicia & Rico Torres of Mixtli in San Antonio and others will put a global spin on live-fire cooking. austinfoodwinealliance.org Texas Burlesque Festival, April 6-8. Burlesque, vaudeville and cabaret reign at this three-day festival, which strives to foster a supportive community among performers across the U.S. Lola Frost, Mod Carousel, Coco Letric and Kitty Kitty Bang Bang are among the headliners at the Stateside and Paramount theaters. texasburlesquefestival.com
Euphoria, April 6-9. The electronic music and jam band festival returns to Carson Creek Ranch. Performers this year include Alesso, Young Thug, Wiz Khalifa, Chromeo, Knife Party, local artists Magna Carda and more. Early electronic music innovator Moby will put in aD J set. We hear that camping arrangements have been improved and Euphoria weddings have been added. euphoriafest.com
Fusebox Festival, April 12-16. The 13th annual contemporary arts and performance festival champions adventurous works of art in theater, dance, film, music, literature, visual and culinary arts at multiple locations. Among the most anticipated pieces, “Pancho Villa from a Safe Distance” combines the talents of Graham Reynolds, Shawn Sides and Lagartijas Tiradas El Sol. New this year is the Fusebox Eve benefit dinner on April 11. fuseboxfestival.com Austin Reggae Festival, April 14-16. The spring celebration of mellow music and laid-back vibes is also the largest fundraiser of the year for Central Texas Food Bank. Headliners this year on Auditorium Shores include Jesse Royal and Tarrus Riley. austinreggaefest.com Moontower Comedy
Festival, April 19-22. Have a laugh with comedians and podcasts at venues like the Paramount Theatre, ACL Live, Stateside at the Para-
The Old Settler’s Music Festival returns to Camp Ben McCulloch and the Salt Lick Pavilion in April.
From left, Hazel Stallion of Austin and Audrey Williams and Sylvia Emeya of Dallas dance during the Urban Music Festival at Auditorium Shores.
Sixth Street fills with people each spring and fall for the Pecan Street Festival.
Get your laughs at the Moontower Comedy Festival.
Deborah Stevens dances in a drum circle during Eeyore’s Birthday festivities in Pease Park.