With a temperate climate and a reputation as the live music capital of the world, you’d expect Austin to have exciting festivals taking place all year-round. Were you to make such an assumption, you’d definitely be right. Even in this beautiful oasis of year-round entertainment, however, the summer stands out as an exceptional time to hit the festival circuit.
If you’re trying to work more fun into your schedule this summer, check out these hot Austin festivals.
Austin Sketch Fest
Live music is what Austin is best known for, but the city also has some mean improvisational comedy and scripted performances. Austin Sketch Fest offers the most concentrated lineup of first-rate acts all year. Join comedic geniuses from throughout Texas and around the world at this one-of-a-kind event, returning for its sixth year from May 19 through May 24, 2015 at the ColdTowne Theatre, just a mile from AMLI at Mueller.
ATX Television Festival
From June 4 to June 7, 2015, downtown Austin will be all about TV as the ATX Television Festival takes over. Screenings include new series premieres, episodes of the most popular shows on TV, and old episodes of shows with cult followings. The screenings are supplemented by panels and Q&A sessions that give attendees the chance to understand the inspiration for, inner workings of, and keys to success of their favorite television series. Events take place at the Paramount Theatre, State Theatre, Alamo Drafthouse Ritz Cinema, and other centrally located venues.
X Games Austin
Are you passionate about extreme sports? If so, X Games Austin 2015 should be on your radar. Circuit of the Americas hostsskateboarding, BMX, motocross, and rally between June 4 and June 7, 2015. One of this year’s headliners is Grammy-nominated hip hop superstar, Nicki Minaj. Talib Kweli, Pennywise, and Deltron 3030 are also among some of the first musical guests to be announced.
Go Texan Restaurant Roundup
Austin’s restaurant scene can hold its own against just about any U.S. city of its size. During the Go Texan Restaurant Roundup, dozens of Austin food purveyors join hundreds of restaurants throughout Texas in donating proceeds made during the week to local food banks. For the most up-to-date list of participants, visit the event’s website.
Keep Austin Weird Fest and 5K
Food, beer, music, and “exercise” come together for a fun-filled time at the Keep Austin Weird Fest and 5K. Another event with a cause, the fest supports the Capital Area Food Bank of Texas. It takes place on Saturday, June 27, 2015 at 1:30 PM across the river from AMLI Downtown and AMLI on 2ND on the Long Center grounds. The 5K, which takes place following the festival at 7 PM, covers a stretch of Riverside Drive near the Long Center.
Austin Pet Expo
Pet lovers, brace yourselves. The Annual Austin Pet Expo is slated to take place on August 1 and 2, 2015, and will feature more cute pets waiting to be adopted than you’ve probably ever seen in one place before. The abundance of dogs, cats, toys, and accessories on display, coupled by pet costume and talent contests, ensure the weekend will be fun for you and your pet. The expo takes place at the Palmer Events Center in Butler Park, just south of downtown.
Austin Ice Cream Festival
Another pet-friendly summer festival in Austin, the Austin Ice Cream Festival is unparalleled in the sweetness of its offerings. Returning to Fiesta Gardens on August 8, 2015 for its ninth straight year, this summer festival is the antidote to the summer heat. Cool down and treat yourself at this family-friendly affair, centered around ice cream and made even more exciting by the presence of interactive games, activities, contests, and quality live entertainment. Proceeds also support local charities.
There’s nothing quite like watching over one million Mexican free-tailed bats embark on an evening flight. For several minutes, the stream of bats leaving their daytime hideout under the Ann Richards Congress Avenue Bridge seems truly never-ending. It’s a wonder they don’t knock each other right out of the sky. Processing the phenomenon over live music, food, and drinks further lends to the experience. Once you go to Bat Fest, you’ll want to attend year after year. This year’s event takes place on August 22 from 4 PM until midnight.
There are no shortages of ways to make the most of summer in Austin. Do yourself a favor and be sure to attend at least one of these events this year.
What’s your favorite summer festival in Austin?
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