Top 10 festivals or events in Austin

A vibrant and lively street parade with colorful floats and confetti.

Struggling to keep up with Austin’s lively celebrations? Every year, the city of Austin bursts into a rainbow of festivals that showcase its vibrant culture and arts scene. Our guide offers you insider tips on not missing out on the top 10 events that define Austin’s energetic atmosphere.

Dive in for an unforgettable Texas experience!

Key Takeaways

  • Austin City Limits Music Festival draws about 450,000 people for live music in October.
  • South by Southwest (SXSW) is a 10 – day event with music, films, and tech innovation.
  • The Texas Book Festival attracts readers to meet authors and explore new books each year.
  • Families and friends fly kites together at the ABC Kite Festival every spring.
  • The Texas Monthly BBQ Festival celebrates barbecue traditions with food and live music.

Austin City Limits Music Festival

Festival-goers dancing against vibrant stage lights in a bustling atmosphere.

Embrace the electrifying energy of live music at the Austin City Limits Music Festival, an iconic event that transforms Zilker Park into a dynamic playground for music aficionados across genres.

This annual celebration fuses the city’s reputation as the “Live Music Capital of the World” with an impressive lineup of artists, creating unforgettable memories under the Texas sky.

Brief Description (Austin City Limits Music Festival)

Group of friends enjoying live music at Austin City Limits Music Festival.

Austin City Limits Music Festival is a big celebration in Zilker Park. Over two weekends, it brings together 70,000 fans each day. They come to see over 100 bands play live music. This festival has lots of different music on many stages for everyone to enjoy.

Kids and adults can have fun at the Austin City Limits Music Festival. There are food trucks with tasty snacks and cool art to buy. It happens every October and lots of people go—about 450,000! This festival makes Austin the “Live Music Capital of the World.”.

South by Southwest (SXSW)

A vibrant street scene during SXSW festival in Austin featuring diverse crowd.

South by Southwest (SXSW) transforms Austin into a vibrant hub of music, film, and tech innovation where industry leaders and enthusiasts alike converge for an immersive cultural experience—dive deeper to explore how this festival shapes the creative landscape of the city.

Brief Description (South by Southwest (SXSW))

A lively crowd dancing at a festival under colorful lights.

South by Southwest (SXSW) shines as a 10-day cultural beacon in Austin, TX. It’s where film buffs, music lovers, and tech enthusiasts from around the world converge. The festival is brimming with conferences that spark innovation and creativity.

Musicians take to stages across the city while filmmakers premiere fresh stories for eager eyes.

At SXSW, every year brings more talent to discover. Interactive media stands at the forefront, pushing boundaries of what’s possible in digital landscapes. This celebration offers an eclectic mix of sights and sounds that embody the spirit of Austin’s diverse culture.

Fans can dive into performances or explore groundbreaking technologies—all set against the backdrop of one exciting event after another.

Texas Book Festival

A diverse crowd browsing books at a colorful city book fair.

Immerse yourself in literary excellence at the Texas Book Festival, an annual event that transforms downtown Austin into a paradise for readers. Featuring national and local authors, it’s a vibrant celebration of culture, ideas, and the joy of books.

Brief Description (Texas Book Festival)

Authors and readers mingling at the Texas Book Festival with cityscape background.

The Texas Book Festival lights up downtown Austin every year. It unfolds on the scenic Texas State Capitol Grounds, bursting with stories and music. Readers of all ages come to meet their favorite authors and discover new ones.

They attend signings, listen to readings, and jump into lively panel discussions. The air buzzes with excitement as book lovers pour over the latest titles.

Authors from around the world gather here to share their work. Publishers also join in, eyeing fresh talent and new voices in literature. This cultural event celebrates the joy of reading while supporting local libraries and literacy efforts.

Live music adds a cool vibe as people chat about books under Texas skies. Whether you’re a die-hard bibliophile or just looking for a fun day out, this festival is an open book waiting for you!

Austin Food & Wine Festival

A group of chefs cooking in a bustling outdoor kitchen.

Indulge in the culinary arts at the Austin Food & Wine Festival, where gourmands and enthusiasts alike converge for a delectable experience. This festival showcases the innovation and flavors of renowned chefs, sommeliers, and winemakers from across the nation, turning Republic Square into a gastronome’s paradise.

Brief Description (Austin Food & Wine Festival)

Chefs cooking at the Austin Food & Wine Festival.

The Austin Food + Wine Festival is a feast for all senses. Chefs from near and far come to show off their skills. Visitors get to taste amazing dishes and sip on fine wines. This festival lights up the city with flavors, laughter, and good company.

You’ll find cooking demos and learn tips from the pros. There’s also live music that keeps everyone dancing. It’s more than just eating—it’s about celebrating food as an art. Everyone gathers at this fest to share their love of great cuisine.

ABC Kite Festival

Families enjoying a vibrant kite festival in a sunlit park.

The ABC Kite Festival paints the Austin sky with a vibrant mosaic of kites, uniting families and enthusiasts in a celebration of color and creativity that’s not to be missed — discover what makes this event a high-flying spectacle.

Brief Description (ABC Kite Festival)

A group of friends flying kites in a bustling park.

Every spring, the ABC Kite Festival paints the sky with color over Zilker Park. It’s a day when families and friends gather to fly kites of all shapes and sizes. Kids can learn how to make their own kites at workshops.

They also get to show off their creations in contests. Live music fills the air, making it a perfect picnic setting.

This festival is not just about kite flying; it’s a community event that marks the start of spring in Austin. People come together from all around for this much-loved tradition. It’s been happening on the first Sunday of March for many years now.

Lasting memories are made as everyone looks up to watch a kaleidoscope of kites dance in the Texas breeze.

Texas Monthly BBQ Festival

A group of pitmasters cooking at the bustling Texas Monthly BBQ Festival.

The Texas Monthly BBQ Festival is a carnivore’s paradise, where the state’s top pitmasters convene to showcase their smokey specialties. It’s an event that transforms Austin into the epicenter of barbecue excellence, offering attendees a taste of some of the finest brisket and ribs Texas has to offer.

Brief Description (Texas Monthly BBQ Festival)

Friends enjoying BBQ at Texas Monthly BBQ Festival in a bustling cityscape.

Get ready for a mouthwatering experience at the Texas Monthly BBQ Festival! This event is where pitmasters from all over show off their skills. People come from near and far to taste amazing barbecue.

They can also listen to live music, join workshops, and have fun with kid-friendly activities. It’s more than just eating great food; it’s a celebration of Texas’ deep-rooted barbecue traditions.

The festival is not just about food – it’s about community, culture, and connection. Countless visitors contribute to Austin’s lively cultural scene during this much-anticipated event on the city’s festival calendar.

Everyone gathers to savor the flavors that make Texas BBQ famous around the world.

Carnaval Brasileiro

A vibrant carnival parade with colorful masks and costumes in the streets.

Ignite your senses with a whirlwind of color and samba at Carnaval Brasileiro, Austin’s own slice of Rio. Dancers dazzle, costumes astound, and the rhythms are infectious—this is where the city pulses with pure celebration.

Brief Description (Carnaval Brasileiro)

Carnaval Brasileiro bursts with the energy and colors of Brazil right in Austin. Dancers whirl in bright costumes as live music fills the air. This festival brings out everyone’s best samba moves! You’ll find delicious Brazilian food and fun workshops, too.

Kids will love all the lively activities made just for them.

At this event, you can taste Brazil without leaving Texas. The spirit of Carnaval wraps around you with each beat of the drum. People come dressed up to dance and celebrate together.

It’s not just a party – it’s a slice of Brazilian culture that turns Austin into a carnival city!

Austin Oyster Festival

'A bustling seafood market with fresh oysters and diverse faces.'

Savor the briny delights of the sea at Austin’s Oyster Festival, where oysters are served raw, grilled, roasted, and in signature dishes that showcase local flavors; dive into this culinary adventure for a taste like no other—your palate will thank you.

Brief Description (Austin Oyster Festival)

The Austin Oyster Festival is a must-visit event for food lovers. Held on February 25, 2023, at Republic Square, this festival is all about celebrating the mighty oyster. Guests can taste different kinds of oyster dishes and sip on refreshing drinks.

It’s not just eating; it’s an experience that brings people together to enjoy culture and great flavors.

Lovers of seafood get ready to explore many ways to enjoy oysters – from raw to grilled! Find your perfect pairing with a variety of beverages offered at the festival. For details on what you’ll discover or how to grab tickets, check out the festival website.

Come join other enthusiasts in one of Austin’s top culinary events!

Pecan Street Festival

A lively and diverse Pecan Street Festival with colorful stalls and live music.

10. Pecan Street Festival:.

Stepping into the historic Sixth Street district, the bi-annual Pecan Street Festival transforms this legendary part of Austin into a vibrant arts and crafts fair, bursting with local music, food stalls, and artisanal treasures; it’s a bustling embodiment of creativity that beckons families and hipsters alike.

With its eclectic mix of sights and sounds, this festival truly captures the quirky heart of Austin’s community spirit twice every year—springtime festivities meet fall fanfare—and it’s an experience not to be missed.

Brief Description (Pecan Street Festival)

The Pecan Street Festival fills the historic Sixth Street District with a burst of creativity twice a year. It’s not just an art show; it’s a celebration full of music, food, and fun for everyone.

With every step, visitors discover something new from local artists who bring out their finest works. Crafts shimmer under the sun while musicians share tunes that get feet tapping.

Kids find joy in family-friendly activities as laughter and cheer spread through the crowds. The smell of delicious food wafts through the air, making taste buds dance to its rhythm.

This beloved gathering is more than just a festival; it’s a vibrant display of Austin’s heart and soul—drawing folks from all walks of life to appreciate handcrafted beauty and community spirit.

Austin Reggae Festival

A lively crowd swaying to reggae music at a colorful festival.

11. Austin Reggae Festival.

Feel the rhythm and embrace the positive vibes at the Austin Reggae Festival, where reggae music pulses against a backdrop of community activism and irresistible food; it’s an annual celebration that unites diverse crowds for a weekend of peace, love, and dance.

Brief Description (Austin Reggae Festival)

The Austin Reggae Festival brings the rhythm of reggae music to Auditorium Shores. Fans gather to groove to tunes inspired by Bob Marley and other legends. It’s not just about the beats, though.

The festival is a cultural hotspot where people enjoy diverse foods and crafts. Expect a lively scene with vendors serving up delicious eats from around the world.

This event stands out as a celebration of unity and peace through music. Each year, crowds experience new sounds and sights in this vibrant gathering. With its scenic backdrop, the Austin Reggae Festival is an unforgettable mix of melodies, flavors, and community spirit that echoes throughout the city.


A lively crowd dancing at a music festival in Zilker Park.

Austin’s festivals bring everyone together with music, food, and fun. From Zilker Park to downtown streets—there’s a vibe for all. Every event bursts with creativity and culture.

Imagine the tastes, sounds, sights waiting at each one. Live it up in Austin – where there’s always something worth celebrating!

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