With a comprehensive calendar of entertainment events, Austin attracts visitors from all over the world, whatever the weather. From the Trail of Lights to Austin City Limits Music Festival, we explore a selection of the finest events staged in Austin throughout 2019.
Start off the New Year with an exhilarating dip in Barton Springs Pool with the Polar Bear Splash. The annual event is held on New Year’s Day and admission is free. Visitors can buy commemorative shirts and enjoy complimentary coffee and donuts.
From January 26th to 28th, the Kerrville Renaissance Festival takes place at the Hill Country Youth Event Center, when the whole family can enjoy Renaissance-inspired attractions such as live music, bird of prey exhibitions, and escape artist performances.
February marks Black History Month through the city of Austin, a month-long celebration of African American icons, history, and culture.
Meanwhile, Carnaval Brasileiro takes place at the Palmer Events Center on February 9th. Hailed as one of the largest carnaval events outside of Brazil, the event features live music sung entirely in Portuguese, stunning costumes, and, of course, samba dancers. This one-night extravaganza is a celebration of Brazilian music, dance, food, and culture.
March 17th marks Austin’s St. Patrick Day Festival, when the city stages an authentic display of Irish pride and culture. Last year’s festival included live Celtic music, fiddlers and dancers, and acts such as the Clickety Cloggers, Inishfree Austin Irish Dancers, and Silver Thistle Pipes and Drums.
April 4th marks the start of the Austin International Poetry Festival, a four-day event staged at various locations throughout the city. World-renowned poets gather for live performances, workshops, and readings. Aiming to foster a diverse, multi-generational, and multi-cultural environment, Austin International Poetry Festival welcomes poets and non-poets alike in this celebration of the spoken and written word.
The MOTOGP Grand Prix of The Americas comes to Austin from April 12thto April 14th. The pinnacle of motorcycle world championships, this three-day series takes place at the purpose-built Grand Prix venue.
In May, the city celebrates Latino Music Month, when visitors can enjoy Latin music performances at venues throughout the city, including musical showcases at Austin City Hall’s Plaza at midday every Friday.
Pecan Street Spring Arts Festival takes place from May 4th to 5th. This free, family event is the oldest and largest arts festival in Central Texas. Visitors can enjoy live music, delicious food, and demonstrations by crafters and artists. Held on East Sixth Street, historically known as Pecan Street, this lively street fair is popular with young and old alike.
The ATX Television Festival takes place in Austin from June 6th to 9th. This weekend-long fixture features screenings, discussion panels, and other events where visitors can hear from TV’s finest actors, directors, and all those involved in making their favorite shows.
Austin’s Independence Day celebrations are second to none. The Austin Symphony’s July 4th Concert is a free event featuring food, drinks, arts and crafts vendors, a spectacular fireworks show, and live music. This all-day event takes place in downtown Austin at the Long Center and Vic Mathias Shores.
The Austin ArtWorks Festival takes place on August 24th and 25th at the Paramount Theater. The two-day event showcases artwork in a variety of mediums, including paintings, sculptures, glass, mixed media, ceramics, photography, and jewelry.
The dates of Austin’s Waterloo Music Festival have yet to be announced, but last year’s festival took place from September 7th to 9th at Carson Creek Ranch. The 2018 event featured a selection of jam bands and other musical acts, including String Cheese Incident, Railroad Earth, The Motet, Tauk, BoomBox, and Marco Benevento.
One of the city’s best known festivals, Austin City Limits Music Festival is a two-weekend event staged in Zilker Park. In 2019, it will be held on the weekends of October 4th to 6th and October 11th to 13th.
This massive festival showcases live music from some of the world’s most celebrated musicians, and also brings the magic of Austin’s most famous TV series, Austin City Limits, out of the studio and into the city’s most beloved park. Multiple stages will feature over 150 different musical acts. In 2018, the lineup included the Arctic Monkeys, Justice, The National, Odesza, Travis Scott, Metallica, and Paul McCartney.
Holiday season in Austin is an unforgettable experience, with a range of attractions to entertain visitors of all ages. The Trail of Lights and the Zilker Tree in Zilker Park are an essential part of the holiday experience.
Winter Wonderland at The Circuit is a great day out for the little ones, featuring a petting zoo, light displays, and child-friendly activities. The event’s Chinese Lantern Festival draws visitors from all over the country. There are also train rides and the Tunnel of Lights, where visitors can immerse themselves in the magic of Christmas.