It’s time to put a final nail in the coffin of Fun Fun Fun Fest — for 2016, at least. Official word has come down that the festival will not happen this year so that organizers can regroup and plan for future festivals. In their exclusive feature, the Austin Chronicle calls this year’s lack of fest the worst kept secret in Austin music, and if you’ve been paying attention to the turmoil over at Transmission Entertainment, it should come as no surprise. The Chronicle feature does a great job of detailing the saga that led to the split between Transmission and its founders, one of whom has since gone on to create a new local booking company, Margin Walker Presents.
Since early November will no longer be filled with live music, food vendors, skate parks, comedians, and other insanity on the shores of Lady Bird Lake, here are a few events that can fill the hole left by one of Austin’s most popular festivals.
1. Tune in to Sound on Sound Festival, November 4-6
It’s as close to FFFF as you’re going to get this year (and let’s be honest, probably for years to come) as it’s hosted by the original founders of Transmission Events. No, it’s not taking place at our beloved Auditorium Shores, but it is happening at a friggin’ Ren Fair site, so there’s that.
2. Stuff your face (and your liver) at Wurstfest, November 4-13
Sometimes it’s easy to forget that not only is Austin a great place to have fun, but so is Central Texas, in general. Just down the street in New Braunfels is Wurstfest, one of the best fests in the entire state if you love beer, brats, and brewhahas. Make plans to spend the night in New Braunfels, if you can, because the beer buzz and food coma don’t make for good driving companions.
3. Get back to your native roots at the Austin Powwow, November 5
The largest of its kind in Texas festival celebrating Native American singing, arts, crafts, dancing, and more, the Austin Powwow and Native American Heritage Festival is now in its 25th year, and is a stunning annual celebration. This year’s event has been moved to the Travis County Expo Center, hopefully making it even bigger and more exciting this year!
4. Trade music celebs for literary celebs at the Texas Book Festival, November 5-6
The Texas Book Festival is the place to be for Central Texas bibliophiles who want to get up close with some of their favorite authors. This year’s featured author lineup reads more like a comedy or film festival red carpet with featured authors like Ethan Hawke, Diane Guerrero, and Nick Offerman, among others.
5. Explore all things Irish at the Austin Celtic Festival, November 5-6
This largest gathering of Celts in Central Texas is always a good time for those who are fans of culture from the Emerald Isles and nearby. The Austin Celtic Festival is full of music, dancing, storytelling, sports, workshops, dog parades, and more. Expand your horizons and get to know more about this unique culture and history.
6. Get artsy at the East Austin Studio Tour, November 12-13 and 19-20
One of the best art events in Austin happens in the spring and fall of each year, and this year’s fall version of E.A.S.T. is full of fun, as always. Grab your map and whichever mode of transportation your prefer and explore the diverse, amazing art scene that calls Austin home.
7. DIY your ABV at the Austin Homebrew Festival, November 4
Celebrate all things homebrew at this cocktail-hour style event where participants can sample tastes from 20 homebrewing teams, vote for their favorite, and bid on silent auction items. You must be 21 and a member of the Austin Homebrew Appreciation Society to attend. Sign up and grab tickets here.
8. Grab your pooch and do some good at the American Cancer Society Bark for Life Event, November 5
The American Cancer Society Bark For LifeTM is an event for dogs and their owners to raise funds and awareness for the American Cancer Society’s fight against cancer. This year is the first time this event will be held in Austin, and Yard Bar is where you’ll find doggie activities, contests, goodies, pooch-pampering, and more. Learn more about participating at the ACS site.
9. Have your mind blown by The Illusionists, November 1-6
Get your now you see me fix in real life as The Illusionists bring their slight of hand and their Broadway show to Bass Concert Hall in early November. This one is fun for the whole family, and tickets are reasonably priced for the best-selling touring magic show in the country.
10. Go green at the 2016 Rainwater Revival, Nov 5
Water is scarce in Central Texas, and the Rainwater Revival in Dripping Springs brings the community together a variety of experts to connect, share, and educate about rainwater collecting. The day is filled with education, art, and fun, and it’s completely free!