The ridiculous amount of fun that Fun Fun Fun Fest offers when it hits the shores of Lady Bird Lake each fall is fairly mind-boggling. The name itself only gives a glimpse into the extreme amount of fun that comes from the incredibly diverse live music lineups, oddball comedy, live wrestling, skate park performances, twerk lessons, and so much more that sometimes it’s easy to forget that there’s a softer side to one of Austin’s best fests.
This year, as in year’s past, Fun Fun will feature 10 Austin non-profits that are helping to support the Austin community through education, support, and great programs. The festival is happy to help support these organizations’ missions and use the non-profit village as a way to give back to the Austin community. You can find the village in the center of the park, alongside the retail vendors.
KEEP AUSTIN BEAUTIFUL
With all of those people chugging Shiners while they shoegaze, recycling is a very important part of being a responsible festival, so it makes sense that Fun Fun would invite KAB back for a second year to help educate festival-goers about their recycling options both at the event and at home (composting, too!). Visitors can stop by their booth to pick up a recycling bag to fill and return for a KAB swag pack as well as seed packets to help keep local pollinators happy. Want to give back to this great organization? This year they’re celebrating their 30th anniversary and are definitely looking for new volunteers; learn more about these opportunities on their website or by searching the #MyBeautifulATX hashtag.
CLEAR HEADED HAVEN
Clear Headed Haven is a place where music fans who want to enjoy the music festival without drugs or alcohol can find fellowship, support, and like-minded folks. It has no affiliation and no sociopolitical agenda; its only mission is to provide a safe and supportive space for anyone who is trying to enjoy the festival without using substances.
Clear Headed Haven is the first sober tent experience at Fun Fun Fun Fest. With the support of the Center for Students in Recovery at UT Austin and the festival organizers at Transmission Events, a grassroots organization of volunteers has come together to provide a sober hangout. With generous donations from area sponsors they’ll have drinks, snacks, and candy on hand for all comers. Daily support meetings at 1, 4 and 7 will be offered to anyone who’s interested, and volunteers will be at the tent all day every day to provide fellowship and support to anyone who wants it.
Attendance Records is dedicated to bringing creativity back into schools by connecting teachers and students with local writers, artists and musicians. By providing students with the opportunity to design, write and produce their own album, students build confidence skills that result in discovering what makes them unique. Yep, these kiddos get to create an entire album with the help of some creative volunteers, and if you want to learn how to be one of those volunteers, be sure to stop by their booth. They’ll also have past albums and student-designed totes and t-shirts for sale.
Attendance has participated in the festival for a few years, and one of their favorite memories of the festival was running into a former student: “We once had a student who participated in our program our very first year come up to our booth to say hello. We were overwhelmed to see how far he had come and to learn that he was attending college to be a graphic designer! It’s fun to see two worlds collide over the years and hear that our program made an impact on his future,” recalls Executive Director, Jenna Carrens.
AUSTIN MUSIC PEOPLE
Austin Music People tackles the more serious side of Austin’s music scene, helping fans and citizens understand the crucial economic and political role that music plays in Austin. AMP’s Executive Director, Jennifer Houlihan explains: “It’s important for people to understand that music isn’t just the cultural soul of our city – it’s also a major economic driver. And it’s time it became a political force as well. AMP represents music’s interests at City Hall year round. Having a booth at FFF gives us a chance to talk to people about issues important to music, including those they know about – like affordable housing and safe late-night transportation options – as well as issues they may not be following, like the rewrite of the land development code and what it could mean for venues and other small local businesses.”
Be sure to stop by their booth and chat with volunteers as they rotate their stations to check out as many of the local acts like Keeper, Bayonne, and American Sharks-they’ll have their famous #fuelthescene lip balm that contains caffeine and SPF 15 to give out, as well as “Defend Red River” t-shirts and koozies for sale to help “raise awareness of the Red River Cultural District and the importance of preserving our music venues and landmarks as our city grows.”
AUSTIN BAT CAVE
The folks at Austin Bat Cave are hitting the festival for the first time this year, but they’ve already gotten off to a great start by hosting a live storytelling event at the Fun Fun Fun Fest Funderdome and had a wonderful time. ABC is a nonprofit that provides children and teenagers (age 6-18) with opportunities to develop their creative and expository writing skills, all at no cost. They connect a diverse population of young writers and learner with w vibrant community of adult volunteers in Austin. Be sure to stop by their booth to learn more about their programs, how to volunteer, and to grab a bright, bat-emblazoned bandana to help your friends easily find you.
Competing with thousands of other people to find parking at a festival really sucks, so local transportation non-profit B-Cycle (yes, they’re a non-profit!) is hitting the festival hard to make transportation easier for Austin music fans. They’ll have an information booth so that visitors can ask questions about how B-Cycle is helping the city move forward with its mobility, economy, and health goals. They’ll also have a prize wheel giving out t-shirts, day passes, monthly memberships, and a few mystery gifts from partners.
In addition to their info booth, they’re getting hands on to help ensure that those who choose alternative transportation are well taken care of. They’re hosting a B-Cycle valet where they are guaranteeing unlimited B-cycle parking for festival attendees so that riders don’t get “dock blocked” with a full station at the event.
You’ll definitely find some of the best festival swag at the Health Alliance for Austin Musicians booth (band-aids, koozies, earplugs, etc)-probably because they’re one of the absolute best resources that Austin has to support its local musicians. They’re also old pros at the Fun Fun swag game, as they’ve participated every year of the festival in the past, bringing their mission and message to the community. Want to know more about how HAAM provides access to affordable healthcare for low-income, uninsured, working musicians with a focus on prevention and wellness? Stop by their booth to say “hi” and hand out a few high fives.
THE SIMS FOUNDATION
It’s a 20th anniversary celebration for The SIMS Foundation this year, as they’ve been providing access to and financial support for mental health and addiction recovery services for Austin-area musicians and their families for two decades, making each of their community activations a mini-celebration of these past 20 years.
While they’re slinging stickers, wet wipes and sunscreen they’ll be promoting their upcoming event STARGAZING: A constellation of Austin music on December 5, an info session about signing up for healthcare with HAAM and Austin Music Foundation on November 11, and informing the crowd about what exactly it is that SIMS does and how they can be part of our life saving organization. They’ll have our new line of SIMS t-shirts available for donation. We’re thrilled to have Quick Draw Photobooth doing smashface drawings for in our tent.
UNITED WAY FOR GREATER AUSTIN
This is the United Way’s first year at the festival, but they’re coming out swinging-to help promote a recent initiative called “Get Together, Austin!” For this campaign they worked with 16 local musicians to create a music video shot in iconic Austin locations in order to raise awareness about the need for high-quality preschool for low-income children in Austin. The musicians performed a cover of “Get Together” by The Youngbloods, a peace anthem with lyrics that perfectly promote the mission of the project-that our community needs to come together and love one another to create positive change for our city. To help festival attendees get in on the act they will have an onsite video production crew from Revelator filming attendees singing the chorus of the song in front of an Austin backdrop, complete with instruments and fun props.
In addition to the video shoot, at their booth they will be giving out Get Together, Austin t-shirts, stickers, and pins, and if you sign up for their newsletter you’ll be entered to win an autographed posters signed by all of the artists in the music video, including Shakey Graves, Dale Watson, Grupo Fantasma, and more.
AUSTIN MUSIC FOUNDATION
Austin Music Foundation strengthens and connects the local music community with innovative programs that empower musicians and fuel Austin’s creative economy. AMF provides programs to help local artists navigate opportunities in the music industry and services to unite the local music community through education, outreach, and unification.
Check out their website for more information and for a great interview with Fun Fun artists Keeper (12:30pm Sunday on Blue Stage) and pop by their booth to learn about their upcoming information session on the Affordable Care Act and how it relates to Austin musicians.
Featured photo: Flickr user Nash Cook, creative commons licensed.