Austin, Texas is known to be a great city to enjoy exciting live music. Excellent concerts can be found all around the year, and this July music aficionados who also like film or good food are in luck — a couple of events in Austin this month mix and match all three. Discover the best events in Austin’s July cultural calendar with our guide to this month’s top music shows, art exhibitions and culinary treats.
Music | Lionel Richie & CeeLo Green
Take Lionel Richie, one of the greatest icons of contemporary music, a wonderful R&B singer, and song-writer author of such hits as All Night Long, Stuck On You, and Say You Say Me, who has sold over 100 million albums worldwide, and won five Grammys and an Oscar, among many other awards. Then take CeeLo Green, the soul singer who dropped on the world’s music scene like a bomb with his 2006 mega-hit Crazy — back then he was one half of the Gnarls Barkley duo — and went on to produce other top international successes. Put the two together on the recently-inaugurated, larger-than-life Austin 360 Amphitheater‘s stage and wait for the explosive show to begin.
Music | Austin Chamber Music Festival
10 – 27 July
The Austin Chamber Music Center is an important cultural institution with the mission of promoting the appreciation of chamber music in Central Texas. In addition to courses, workshops and concerts held throughout the year, every July the center also organizes the Austin Chamber Music Festival, which has now reached its 18th edition. The festival is a prized occasion for chamber music lovers to enjoy the sophisticated performances of top international artists; this year, Austin’s audience will be entertained by the Weiss Kaplan Newman Trio (‘Three strong voices, locked in sequence’ according to The New York Times), Richard Stoltzman (‘The world’s most phenomenal clarinetist’ says The Boston Globe), the Texas Gypsies, the Cavatina Duo, and a wealth of other excellent musicians.
The Austin Chamber Music Festival will be held in various locations across Austin, TX, USA.
Culture | The World at War, 1914-1918
All throughout July
On the 28th of June a hundred years ago, a Bosnian-Serb student shot the Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria dead in Sarajevo. The killing triggered Austria’s military retaliation against Serbia, an operation which laid the premises for the beginning of World War I. The Harry Ransom Center in Austin commemorates the war through an exhibition of letters, diaries, memoirs and novels written by the soldiers who fought on the field or by their families anxiously waiting for news back home, thus providing an up-close perspective of the horrors of war from those who experienced it directly on their skins. The exhibited documents are culled from the very possessions of the Harry Ransom Center, one of the USA’s finest research libraries.
Food & Music | The Wine Down
14 – 28 July
While Austin Sound & Cinema pairs live music with Hollywood films, The Wine Down follows a similar scheme but replaces the films with food, drinks, and shopping. Every other Monday for a total of six weeks from June to August, a great band will entertain the audience while a local restaurant will offer delicious bites and nice drinks at happy hour prices. On top of that, several Austin retailers will join the events to set pop-up shops and present their goods to the public. In July, two appointments in The Wine Down series will be held: on the 14th, Latasha Lee & The Black Ties will play while steakhouse III Forks satisfies the visitors’ appetite; on the 28th, the stage will welcome the Riders Against the Storm, and the featured restaurant will be Mexican restaurant La Condesa.
The Wine Down, ACL Live, 310 W Willie Nelson Blvd, Austin, TX, USA, +1 512 225 7999
Design | Capital City Comic Con
11 – 13 July
Take a break from the boring bunch that is humankind and delve into the exciting world of superheroes at the new edition of Capital City Comic Con. There is no good reason for which a serious comics lover in Austin could miss this, especially considering who the true stars of this year’s convention will be: the legendary Teenage Mutant Ninja turtles! Leonardo, Raphael, Donatello and Michelangelo will appear during the entire weekend to meet the fans and show off their skills. The Comic Con will also welcome many other comic artists for talks and panels, including Neal Adams, the designer who helped create the likes of Batman, Superman and Green Arrow; Larry Adams, who wrote stories for characters such as G.I. Joe and Wolverine; and many, many more.
Theatre | Oklahoma!
11 – 31 July
Since 1959, Zilker Theater Production has organized the Zilker Summer Musical — the mise-en-scene of a single musical — which is offered free of charge to Austin’s population and its international visitors. For this year’s edition, the 56th, the Zilker team has chosen to stage Oklahoma!, an all-time hit musical which originally debuted in Broadway in 1943. Set in the early years of the 20th century, Oklahoma! tells of the tortuous and meandering path paved with rivals and misunderstandings that Curly, a young cowboy, and Laurey, a pretty farm girl, will have to go down before being able to eventually be together and righteously celebrate their love in the brand-new state of Oklahoma.
Music & Film | Austin Sound & Cinema
2 – 16 – 30 July
What beats the vision of a good, classic Hollywood film in a beautiful park on a summer night? Easy: enjoying some delicious food and the live music of a great band before the movie magic begins. This is the simple yet winning idea behind Austin Sound & Cinema, a series of six night appointments which pair a classic film with the live concert of a local group. Next July 16th, Henry + The Invisibles will precede the screening of E.T.; on July 30th, the Jeff Lofton Quartet will play before The Pink Panther begins. All will happen on the charming lawn outside Austin’s Long Center for the Performing Arts, which also offers a striking view on the city’s skyline. Two hours before the concerts begin, food trucks by some of the best eateries in town will set up camp in the park to tickle the visitors’ taste buds.
Food | Quesoff
Austin is an awesome city to be in for those whose mouths water just hearing ‘queso’, the name of a Mexican, creamy cheese, usually melted and enjoyed as a dip. Great queso cooks can be found all across the Texan city, and for a few years now they have been measuring each others skills in a culinary competition that has risen to fame as Quesoff. The contest will return this year at Austin’s popular bar Mohawk, where several teams of both professionals and amateurs will compete in three categories — spicy, meaty and veggie queso — to establish the ultimate best queso cook in town. Foodies should not pass the chance to dip their nachos and tostitos in the ridiculously exquisite quesos prepared by the contestants for the occasion.
Quesoff, Mohawk, 912 Red River St Austin, TX, USA, +1 512 666 0877
Art | Pooch Parade
In occasion of their current exhibition In the Company of Cats and Dogs, Austin’s Blanton Museum of Art has announced a special event called the Pooch Parade. While the show traces the role of cats and dogs in the history of the fine arts, with manuscripts, prints, books, paintings, and photographs featuring the man’s most beloved pets, for the Pooch Parade the Blanton Museum invites Austin’s citizens to strut down the University of Texas’ campus with their beautiful cats and dogs on the leash. The day will continue with several other activities designed to better grasp the world of pets, including demonstrations performed by service animals and police dogs and the screening of the documentary film Prison Pups.
Pooch Parade, University of Texas, 1800 Manor Rd, Austin, TX, USA, +1 512 232 2244
Art | Orly Genger
All throughout July
In the works of New York born contemporary sculptor Orly Genger, the line between art and craftsmanship is a particularly thin one. A widely-acclaimed artist, with some of her pieces in the collections of galleries such as the Museum of Modern Art in both New York and San Francisco, Genger painstakingly knits and weaves incredible amounts of painted ropes to transform them into large-size, at times monumental objects featuring wavy, organic forms. For her exhibition at The Contemporary Austin, Genger created her sculptures with the ropes of fishing nets bought from local fishermen in an unbelievably intricate body of work which took her months complete.