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          Austin is a 24-hour town populated by an upstart mix of musicians, techies, film pros, athletes and foodies - and our yearly events calendar shows it. The Austin Marathon draws 20,000 runners from around the world. The Austin Food + Wine Festival welcomes visitors from across the nation and showcase the best innovative cuisine. Old Settler's Music Festival has been celebrating the best of Americana, bluegrass and roots music for more than 30 years; and Fantastic Fest, which features sci-fi, horror, fantasy and other genre films, has become a favorite of film buffs and celebrities alike. SXSW Music, Film and Interactive Conferences and Festivals expand every year and the Austin City Limits Music Festival will once again welcome 70,000 fans per day to Zilker Park for performances by more than 100 bands.

          Chairlift at ACL Festival 2016 Weekend 1
          Credit Charles Reagan Hackleman, courtesy ACL Festival.

          Here are our top picks for must-attend Austin events in the new year.


          Free Week
          Red River Cultural District
          Hundreds of local bands participate in this week of free live music that encompasses venues all over downtown Austin.

          Martin Luther King Jr. March and Festival
          Huston-Tillotson University
          March from the University of Texas to Huston-Tillotson University to celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s legacy.


          Austin Marathon & Half Marathon
          Downtown Austin
          Nearly 20,000 participants, 40 bands and a course through Austin’s scenic neighborhoods make this race a must-hit for everyone.

          Austin Oyster Festival
          Republic Square
          Try every style of oyster at this annual food fest, while enjoying live Cajun and “newgrass” music.

          Carnaval Brasileiro
          Experience authentic Brasileiro-style samba, costumes and wild abandon at one of the biggest Brazilian Carnaval celebrations outside Brazil.

          OUTsider Festival
          Various Locations
          As one of Austin’s most progressive festivals, OUTsider brings together Austin’s LGBTQI community for five days of creation and inspiration. This multidisciplinary art festival showcases film, performance art, music, visual art and more.

          Ellen Page at SXSW Film

          Ellen Page at SXSW Film. Photo by Robert A Tobiansky, Getty Images for SXSW.


          ABC Kite Fest
          Zilker Park
          The nation's oldest kite festival features hundreds of kites in the air, kite flying contests, food, games and more all for free.

          Austin Urban Music Festival
          Auditorium Shores
          Some 15,000+ fans converge on Auditorium Shores for this festival celebrating R&B, neo-soul and hip-hop music.

          GT World Challenge America
          Circuit of The Americas
          This racing series features more than 100 production-based cars that have been prepped specially for racing. There will even be access to the paddock to see the cars up close, hear the engines roar and speak with the drivers.

          Rodeo Austin 
          Travis County Expo Center
          Over the years, Rodeo Austin has grown from a show featuring 16 animals into one of Austin's premier events, featuring ProRodeo events, daily concerts, livestock show and more.

          St. Patrick's Day Festival
          Jourdan-Bachman Pioneer Farms
          This family-friendly St. Patrick’s Day fest celebrates all things Irish. Come enjoy authentic Celtic music and dancers, Irish language workshops, the finest Irish imports and plenty of good craic!

          SXSW® Music, Film and Interactive Conference and Festival

          Various Locations
          Noted filmmakers, musicians and thought leaders showcase music, film and interactive media at this international event.

          World Golf Championships - Dell Technologies Match Play
          Austin Country Club
          The WGC - Dell Technologies Match Play returns to historic Austin Country Club, bringing the top 64 golfers in the world for a weekend of golf action.

          Artist MiYoung Lee and her booth from Art City Austin 2015
          Art City Austin. Credit Rich Merritt.


          Art City Austin Festival
          Republic Square
          The event will showcase a highly curated selection of 75+ local and visiting visual artists, designers, installation artists, artisans and makers showcasing and selling their work.

          Austin Food + Wine Festival
          Auditorium Shores
          Join top chefs, sommeliers and winemakers from across Austin and the nation for a three-day epicurean adventure unlike any other.

          Austin International Poetry Festival
          Various Locations
          Poets from around the world, country, and all of Texas gather for four days of live performances, readings and workshops during the Austin International Poetry Festival in April.

          Austin Reggae Fest
          Auditorium Shores
          A fundraiser for the Central Texas Food Bank, Reggae Fest features three days of reggae, world and dub talent, along with more than 50 vendors selling food and arts & crafts.

          Fusebox Festival
          Various Locations
          This hybrid arts festival champions adventurous works of art in theater, dance, film, music, literature, visual and culinary arts.

          IndyCar Challenge
          Circuit of The Americas
          The popular, American-bred IndyCar series tackles COTA’s curves, along with special COTA Super Stage performances from award winning bands.

          Lonestar Round Up
          Travis County Expo Center
          A huge outdoor car show and live music festival with tons of vintage hot rods and custom cars driven here from all over the country, and bringing visitors from all over the world.

          Moontower Comedy Festival
          The Paramount Theatre & Other Locations
          Moontower Comedy & Oddity Festival, presented by the Paramount Theatre, brings the funniest comics to Austin each April.

          Old Settler's Music Festival
          Tilmon, TX
          Central Texas' signature music event features three days of Americana and roots rock live music from around the world, camping, family events, food and libations.


          Cine Las Americas International Film Festival
          Various Locations
          Catch screenings of contemporary films and videos from Latin America (North, Central, South America and the Caribbean) and the Iberian Peninsula.

          Hot Luck Festival
          Various Locations
          Come hungry and thirsty, and bring your dancin’ boots, to this eat-with-your-fingers food festival highlighting culinary know-how and live music.

          JMBLYA Music Festival
          Circuit of The Americas™
          This one-day music festival showcases the most sought-after talent in hip-hop music today.

          Pecan Street Spring Arts Festival
          East Sixth Street
          Musicians, food vendors, artists and crafters turn Sixth Street–historically called Pecan Street–into a lively street fair.

          West Austin Studio Tour
          Across West Austin
          The West Austin Studio Tour is a free, self-guided tour that celebrates Austin’s talented and wildly diverse creative community. 

          Festival-goers share a toast at the Austin Food + Wine Festival 2015
          Courtesy of Austin Food + Wine Festival.


          African American Book Festival
          George Washington Carver Museum
          This free, annual literary event showcases new works by and about African-Americans.

          ATX Television Festival
          Downtown Austin
          The first festival devoted to television, ATX Television Festival features premieres of new series, current hits and cult favorites.

          Austin Asian American Film Festival
          Around Austin
          Asian and Asian-American cultures and experiences are promoted at this fest showcasing cinema and the creativity of Asian-American artists.


          Fourth of July Fireworks and Symphony
          Auditorium Shores
          The Austin Symphony hosts an annual concert of patriotic music culminating in a spectacular firework display over Lady Bird Lake.

          Hot Summer Nights
          Red River Cultural District
          Venues throughout the Red River Cultural District host four days of free live music, alongside local food and vendors.

          Willie Nelson’s 4th of July Picnic
          Circuit of The Americas™
          This annual event features a star-studded lineup, headlined by Nelson himself, and a fireworks display at the end of the night.

          Bat Bridge Skyline Meeting Planner Toolkit MPG
          Credit Pierce Ingram.


          All Genders, Lifestyles and Identities Film Festival (aGLIFF)
          Various Locations
          The oldest and largest LGBTQI film fest in the Southwest is also the largest LGBTQI cultural event in Austin.

          Austin Chronicle Hot Sauce Festival
          Fiesta Gardens
          Join in one of the world’s largest hot sauce festivals, which attracts as many as 10,000 spectators each year.

          Austin Pride Parade & Festival
          Fiesta Gardens and Downtown Austin
          Don’t miss the festival and parade down Congress Avenue during the largest annual LGBTQI advocacy and fundraising event in Central Texas.

          Bat Fest
          Congress Avenue Bridge
          Celebrate the world's largest urban bat colony, which takes up seasonal residence beneath the Congress Avenue Bridge, with live music, children's activities and a costume contest. 

          Capital City Black Film Festival
          Austin Convention Center
          Recognizing black filmmakers, the Capital City Black Film Festival provides a stage for burgeoning talent in the heart of Austin.


          Fantastic Fest
          Various Venues
          The largest genre film festival in the U.S. specializes in horror, fantasy, sci-fi, action and more from around the world.

          Out of Bounds Comedy Festival
          Various Locations
          Comedians from around the country head to Austin for this festival showcasing the best in improv, sketch and stand-up.

          Pecan Street Fall Arts Festival
          East Sixth Street
          Musicians, food vendors, artists and crafters turn Sixth Street–historically called Pecan Street–into a lively street fair.

          Texas Tribune Festival
          Downtown Austin
          This annual event brings students, educators, journalists, politicians, policy makers and other political junkies to the Capital of Texas for three days of informative and engaging sessions.

          People wait in line at the Texas Book Festival in front of the capitol building
          Courtesy of Texas Book Festival.


          Austin City Limits Music Festival
          Zilker Park
          One of the country’s largest celebrations of music, this six-day festival includes 140+ musical acts over two weekends.

          Austin Film Festival
          Paramount Theatre & Various Locations
          Recognized as one of the top film festivals in the country, this cinematic event shines the spotlight on both top-billed films and indies alike.

          Formula 1 United States Grand Prix
          Circuit of The Americas
          Experience three days of F1 racing, camping, live music events, headline performances by international acts and more.

          Downtown Austin
          This independent festival has grown from a small word-of-mouth event to an internationally acclaimed, full weekend event that attracts attendees from all over the world.

          Texas Craft Brewers Festival
          Fiesta Gardens 
          The Texas Craft Brewers Fest is the largest beer festival for and by Texas Brewers, featuring the best of Texas craft beer and the thriving beer community across the Lone Star State.

          Texas Teen Book Festival
          Georgetown, TX
          This one-day festival invites readers to engage with some of the best YA authors in the country.

          Viva La Vida Festival & Parade
          Downtown Austin
          Viva La Vida is Austin’s largest and longest-running Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) festival, featuring a Grand Procession, art activities and demos, traditional foods, live music and performances throughout the day.


          Austin Celtic Festival
          Jourdan-Bachman Pioneer Farms
          This annual festival is also the largest gathering of Celts in Central Texas. The event is home to four stages of Irish, Scottish and Breton music, dance, sports, storytelling, workshops and more.

          Chuy's Christmas Parade
          Congress Avenue
          A procession of giant balloons, marching bands, vintage cars, celebrities and floats usher in the season of giving. 

          East Austin Studio Tour
          Various Locations
          More than 70 eastside art studios and galleries open their doors for the public's viewing and purchasing pleasure during this bi-annual event.

          Texas Book Festival
          Texas State Capitol Building
          Enjoy readings, panel discussions, signings, cooking demonstrations, live music, local food, YA authors, children’s activities and exhibiting vendors.

          Texas Monthly BBQ Festival
          Long Center for the Performing Arts
          Visitors are invited to sample as many of Texas’ best BBQ joints as possible at one of Austin’s most delicious festivals.

          Austin Trail of Lights
          Austin Trail of Lights. Credit Dear Wesleyann Photography.


          Armadillo Christmas Bazaar
          Palmer Events Center
          The Armadillo Christmas Bazaar makes holiday shopping fun with nearly 200 artists and makers, live music daily, interactive activities, local food and two full bars.

          Austin Music Video Festival
          Various Locations
          AMVFest celebrates Austin’s long-standing music video heritage with screenings, awards, parties, panels and workshops around town.

          Austin's New Year
          Auditorium Shores
          This alcohol-free, family-friendly event celebrates the diversity and creativity of the city with 4 stages, 22 bands, visual art installations, jugglers, storytellers, fire dancers and a grand fireworks finale.

          Trail of Lights
          Zilker Park
          The Trail of Lights is part of the essential Austin experience, lighting up the season with a celebration of community, memories and fun. Plan your visit early and don't forget to take a spin under the Zilker Tree!