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Eight upcoming music festivals in Austin, Texas: the live music capital of the world


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Austin, the state capital of Texas, has been voted the best place to live in the U.S. by the U.S. News and World Report for two years running.  The people of Austin say it is 'the city with everything', home to Hollywood stars, the iconic Amy's Ice Creams stores offering over 350 out-of-this-world flavours, and a plethora of yoga-detox experiences. Most importantly, however, it is Austin's wealth of live music events which give Texas' capital city a soundtrack all its own.

Austin has helped to start or grow the careers of big-time music artists including the likes of Janis Joplin, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and Willie Nelson.

Easily reached with over 380 daily flights and non-stop services to over 80 destinations, Austin is home to a massive number of unique attractions, museums, and beautiful outdoor spaces. Across the city, you can explore the work of designers, painters, sculptors, writers, photographers, filmmakers, and dance at any time of year, any day of the week.

Image credit: Ryan Loughlin on Unsplash

Austin’s early German, Swede and Mexican settlers brought their musical heritage with them. In the 1920s, Austin became home to several jazz venues and during the 1930s and 40s, country and classic big-band music took centre stage. In later years, rock and roll became popular as well as country and folk.

The television show Austin City Limits, which showcases a variety of musical styles, began as a series in 1976 and continues strong today. 

Today, the music scene in Austin encompasses a range of genres from folk to country and ethnic to rap and reggae.

You name it, Austin has it.

The city's official motto is 'the live music capital of the world', housing hundreds of live music venues with live music even being performed at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport.

Image credit: Aditya Ali on Unsplash

The good folk of Austin don’t need an excuse to celebrate their love of music and festivities. Visit at any time of the year and you are guaranteed to join the throngs of music-lovers at the many festivals and events running throughout the year.

1. Samba Party, 9th February 2019

February kicks off the festival season with Samba Party which claims to be the largest carnival celebration outside Brazil. Expect lots of costumes, spirits and wild abandon.

2. Urban Music Fest, 29th-30th March 2019

In March, Urban Music Fest combines R&B, jazz, funk and reggae to create national and local entertainment for a laid-back family-centric two days.

The Urban Music Fest was created in response to the African American Quality of Life Initiative to create an experience in Austin that lovers of R&B, Jazz, neo-soul, and gospel could enjoy.

3. Pecan Street Festival, 4th-5th May and 21st-22nd September 2019

For a new take on a street party, people flock to Pecan Street Festival for different reasons. Some come to buy art, others come for the food or the music, but everyone arrives to take part in a tradition that has thrived in Austin for over three decades.

4. Republic of Texas Biker Rally, 13th-16th June 2019

If bikes, as well as music, are your thing, then be sure to check out the state's largest motorcycle gathering. The rally attracts thousands of bikers for rides, live music and a large parade down Congress Avenue.

5. The Austin Symphony, 4th July 2019

The Fourth of July is an excuse for several patriotic music festivals. For a classical option, The Austin Symphony hosts an annual concert of patriotic music, culminating in a spectacular firework display over Lady Bird Lake.

6. Willie Nelson's 4th of July Picnic, Circuit of The Americas, 4th July 2019

This day-long event features a star-studded lineup headlined by Willie Nelson himself, and with even more fireworks at the end of the night.

7. Viva La Vida, 1st-2nd November 2019

The party does not stop for autumn. Austin’s largest and longest-running festival Viva La Vida takes place on Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) featuring live music performances throughout the day.

Day of the Dead is an important Latin-American tradition that takes place every November. It is a time when friends and family gather to honour and remember loved ones, not through mourning but through celebration. Expect amazing costumes, music, and food.

8. Utopia Fest, 14th-16th November 2019

Finally, for a true, immersive Texas festival experience do not miss Utopia Fest. A weekend of music, camping, and wellness workshops, the event combines all the best things about music festivals to create an amazing uplifting experience.

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