News & Blog

Message from Austin: The City of Music, Festivals and Fun

Austin, Texas. Home to the University of Texas at Austin and place of the slogan, “keep Austin weird”. It is an eclectic city, and cited to be one of the most fun, fast growing, and desirable cities to live in the United States. From the city’s dedication to preserving old architecture and constant homage to the lifestyle of the cowboys that once inhabited the land, it is a city that is truly diverse. But what Austin is most well-known for is being the live music capital of the world. Walking down the streets, you will often see musicians on the streets playing a tune or hear a band’s melody coming from inside a restaurant.

All music thrives in Austin. And many popular artists such as Muse got their start there. But the most iconic musical aspect of the city is its many music festivals. This spring, Austin will be the home for the very first iheart radio festival for country artists. However, there are many festivals that happen annually, each with a distinctive style.

Austin City Limits is arguably the most famous. This festival, nicknamed ACL, occurs over two whole weekends. Set in the early fall, the summer blazes hot and bright as many artists come and play. From big names like Kings of Leon and Passion Pit to undiscovered bands such as ms mr or mona, it has something for everyone. Students flock to this festival, camping out for the whole weekend to experience and live the music that is being played. Taking place in a park outside of Austin, it looks over the view of the skyline of downtown as the bands play. Creating a truly magical experience.

Fun Fun Fun Fest is another festival that takes place in late fall. This year it was headlined by MGMT and Lionel Ritchie. Now In its eight year running, Fun Fun Fun Fest is known as one of the most innovative and imaginative music festivals ever. Complete with collections, demos, and expositions of athletics, comedy, cuisine, and art. A tradition with this festival is to have everyone ride their bike to and from it. This is to help the city’s goal to go green. So on this weekend, thousands of bikes descend on the streets, all peddling downtown to experience food, fun, and great music.

South by Southwest is the most prominent festival in the spring. This one is dedicated to independent and lesser known bands, and especially many start up bands from around Austin itself. But the most important mission of this festival is to provide the people with an insider look at the future of the music industry. They do this through panels and discussions with some of the industry’s leading producers, songwriters, and more. Equally famous is the film festival aspect of this festival. Independent films are shown and critiqued, and future film methods and techniques are debated and tested in front of all of the attendees. Making this one of the most interesting festivals, because you get a hands on look at what is to come in the entertainment industry.

With its commitment to fostering and exploring new musical talent as well as the sheer quantity of music coursing through the town, Austin is truly unique. Musicians and bands are flocking to the city that promises to give them a chance, making it an exciting and thrilling adventure of good tunes and melodies for all who choose to partake in the music scene.

Marissa Muller, Abbey Road Student Correspondent