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Austin’s spring festival season is just around the corner, and we’re all gearing up for the big one (SXSW), as well as some of the smaller ones. But one of the best things about Austin is there’s almost always a festival for just about everything. Some of those events may not get as much attention, but they’re just as fun and provide great cultural and educational opportunities for Austinites. So expand your horizons a bit with some of these smaller Austin festivals this year.
These are 9 lesser known Austin Festivals happening this Spring.
Editor’s note: Not all festival information for each year is available at time of publishing. Please be sure to check each event’s website for more information.
The City of Austin has temporarily banned public gatherings. Please stay home. The Austin.com calendar is only for live digital events at this time.
The Austin-based transmedia nonprofit OUTsider celebrates the bold originality and creative nonconformity of the LGBTQ+ communities through the presentation of provocative, overlooked and out-of-the-box film, dance, theater, performance art, music, writing, and visual art. Their annual festival is happens at the end of February – OK, so this is technically still winter, but it’s Austin so it will most likely feel like spring at this time. That time is February 19 through 24 in 2020. You can buy a badge for access to ALL festival showcases and events. Prices increase incrementally, so buy your badge early to avoid paying the full price.
Holi is a Hindu spring festival of colors, a tradition in India that marks the beginning of the season, a time of hope and joy. Radha Madhav Dham temple in West Austin hosts the annual colorful, playful, family-filled fun festival. The event will be full of music, food, and lots of activities.
Holi’s celebration date changes throughout the year, based on the Hindu calendar. For 2020, Austin’s Holi Festival will be held the weekend of March 9 and 10.
Texas Burlesque Fest
This may be the least family-friendly entry on this list, but it sure is fun for the grownups out there! The Texas Burlesque Festival is a two-day hoedown and showdown celebrating the raucous revival of burlesque, vaudeville and the accompanying et cetera… this weekend overflows with opportunities to refine your bump and grind including parties, a roundtable/brunch, workshops, and performances. Tickets are broken out into different aspects of the festival, so whether you want to improve your performance game or just watch some legendary show people do their thing, you can find something enticing about this weekend (April 24 and 25, 2020).
Texas Veg Fest
It may have the whole state in its name, but this celebration of plant-based lifestyles calls Austin home (specifically Fiesta Gardens). 2020 marks the 9th year of Texas Veg Fest, the educational event that celebrates the health, environmental, and animal welfare benefits of a plant-based lifestyle, hosted by Texas Veg Foundation. The event is free and open to the public, but don’t worry, no one will be there lecturing you about your life choices. This is all about giving you the information that you seek to find, as well as having fun with family activities, craft beer, live music, cooking demonstrations, and more. This year’s festival is Saturday, April 4.
Austin International Poetry Festival
If you have a love for the written or spoken word, you’ll want to participate in this three day celebration of haiku, iambic pentameter, and all other things poetry. The Austin International Poetry Festival includes unique Austin venues, diverse themed poetry readings, open mics, workshops, music and poetry, anthology reading, and a poetry symposium. Impressively, AIPF has hosted poets from over 50 countries across the globe. There’s also a youth festival that is totally free for those in grades K-12 looking to expand their literacy levels. To register for the festival, held April 3 through 5, 2020, visit their website.
On March 21, join other fans of Hennessy at Hennything ATX, a celebration of the worlds most popular cognac, food, culture, and entertainment. Come thirsty with friends and the fam to enjoy a lil Henny function for the books. Enjoy live entertainment including interactive activations, DJs, food trucks, and vendors. Happening at the Austin American-Statesman campus on South Congress Avenue, they’ll be pouring up beer, spirits, and of course, all your favorite Henny concoctions! Prices for general admission tickets go up every two weeks so get yours soon. Prices start at just $12.
The new independently produced luxury and boutique music experience Campfire Gathering will take place March 16 through March 18, 2020, at Camp Lucy Resort in Dripping Springs. The festival will offer attendees an elevated and luxurious summer camp-like experience for adults (21+ only) while offering access to both intimate music performances and private recording sessions from some of today’s top country, Americana, folk, and rock musicians. 2020 artists include Shakey Graves, Margo Price, Ray Wylie Hubbard, and more. Tickets are $600 plus fees and can be purchased here. Lodging options are also available.
Old Settler’s Music Festival
Old Settler’s Music Festival has been around since 1987. First held at Old Settler’s Park in Round Rock, the festival now takes place in Tilmon, Texas, just southeast of Lockhart. As one of Central Texas’ signature music events, the festival features Americana, roots, folk, acoustic jazz and blues, bluegrass, local favorites, and award-winning artists from around the world. Festival dates for 2020 are April 16 through 19. Get more info here.
Fusebox Festival brings unique artistic projects to Central Texas while providing support and resources to artists, and addressing vital civic issues at the center of contemporary life. Taking place every April. the Fusebox Festival is 100% free to attend. Happening in over 20 different venues and sites around the city, artists from all over the world are featured. In 2020, the fun starts on April 15 and runs through April 19. Get more info here.
Keep up with all the events happening in Austin by keeping an eye on our events calendar!
Featured photo from Wikimedia Commons, Creative Commons licensed