- Diana Condrea
The capital of the Lone Star State, Austin is also known as ‘The Live Music Capital of the Word’, testimony to this Texas city’s great appetite for culture and performing arts. The month of September brings a fully packed calendar of unmissable events, from art exhibitions and beer festivals to a globally acclaimed film festival. Here is our curated guide to ten of the best cultural events taking place this month in Austin, Texas.
Film | Fantastic Fest
Now in its 10th edition, Fantastic Fest is the largest horror, sci fi and fantasy film festival in the US, having featuring the world premiere of movies like There Will Be Blood, Zombieland, Red and Machete Kills. Named by Variety magazine as one of the ’10 Film Festivals We Love’, Fantastic Fest is one of Austin’s major events, taking place each year at the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, one of the best cinemas in the country. This edition will show for the first time Kevin Smith’s dark-horror comedy Tusk and ABC of Death 2, a horror sequel directed by a diverse group of international directors.
Event held at various venues in Austin, Texas
Culture | Austin Museum Day
Held each year on the penultimate Sunday of September, Austin Museum Day is one of the best opportunities to get to know a ‘critical part of the vibrant cultural history of Central Texas’. With over 40 participating institutions, this major cultural event is indeed an unparalleled journey into the distinct world of one of America’s most legendary lands: Texas. Among this year’s participants are the German-Texas Heritage Society, the LBJ Presidential Library, the Beverly S. Sheffield Education Center or the Bullock Texas State History Museum.
Event held at various museums in Austin, Texas, United States of America
Food & Drink | Texas Craft Brewers Festival
‘The greatest showcase of Texas craft beer,’ this top Austin event started back in 2003, marking since then the booming growth of local and regional craft breweries throughout the state. Animated by the desire to remain faithful to brewing as a craft, the Texas Craft Brewers Festival has become in the past decade the key event of the Texas craft brewers and the craft community overall, gathering each year thousands of fans anxious to try new types of craft beer, many they can’t get anywhere else. Over 55 Texas breweries are participating in this year’s edition, including 20 new ones.
Arts & Crafts | Pecan Street Festival
Since 1978 when its first edition took place, the Pecan Street Festival became one of Austin’s most popular cultural events. Organised twice a year, in May and September, this two day celebration of handmade crafts draws as many as 200,000 residents, more than 60 local music bands and hundreds of local and national artisans. Traditionally held in Austin’s vibrant historical center bordered by two centuries old buildings, the festival is truly an unmissable chance to experience local love for arts and crafts at its best.
Music | Unplugged at the Grove
September 4th, 11th, and 18th
Hosted by one of Austin’s finest restaurants – The Shady Grove – the music series Unplugged at the Grove has since 1994 entertained locals with great nights of live music, featuring the best local and regional singers and songwriters. The month of September brings to the stage Ray Wylie Hubbard, Warren Hood and Jonathan Tyler following the summer performances of Dale Watson, Band of Heathens, Crooks, Emily Bell, Jitterburg Vipers, Shinyribs, Waterloo Revival, Joe King Carrasco or Lincoln Durhan. Go along to enjoy the sound of Texas – blues, rock and country – while enjoying some all-American cuisine.
Art | When Austin Got Weird
Until September 14th
Marking Austin’s ‘transformation from simply the political capital of Texas to a music capital of the world’, When Austin Got Weird exhibits a collection of 29 posters of artists such as Jim Franklin, Gilbert Shelton, Robert Burns and Micael Priest. Featuring the iconic music stars of the 60s and 70s, the posters present Janis Joplin, Willie Nelson, Pete Seeger, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Fats Domino and the Ramones. Visitors can listen to Texan musicians’ interviews while exploring the gallery or watch the clips of the ‘songs that defined a generation’.
Gastronomy | AustOberfest
The perfect occasion to enjoy a German culinary tour in Austin, AustOberfest is the second annual celebration of Central Texas German heritage. With an unlimited number of German-style sausages included in the price of the ticket, German beer and live music – Czech Melody Masters, The Derailers, Jared & The Mill – this young festival announces itself as one the representative events for the region’s multicultural scene. The festival is part of an ampler project of conserving and promoting the ‘diverse food cultures of Texas’ aiming to bring to light ‘the stories behind the food we eat’.
Film | Movies in the Park
Take a blanket, a picnic basket and enjoy a wonderful warm autumn night in the park watching Raising Arizona, a comedy featuring Nicolas Cage and Holly Hunter in the main roles. The open-air movie screening is part of Austin Parks Foundation and Alamo Drafthouse initiative of offering free movie nights in downtown Austin. Raising Arizona follows Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, Escape from New York and Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Going hand in hand with the green venue of this open-air cinema, biking is encouraged for movie-goers, an unusual transportation option in this usually car-happy city.
Art | the predicament of always (as it is)
From 20 September
Contemporary Austin plays host to an exhibition by British-born artist Richard T. Walker, the predicament of always (as it is). The exhibition witnesses the artist’s quest of exploring the ‘complexities of language and human relationships amid the natural environment’, this time set in the scenic landscape of Texas. Conceived as a video installation, the exhibition presents Richard Walker’s vision of activating through ‘improvisational incidents’ musical instruments set across such various natural attractions as The Enchanted Rock State Natural Area, Big Bend Ranch State Park or the White Sands National Monument in New Mexico.
Art | REFLECT, Margo Sawyer
Throughout September, the Umlauf Sculpture Garden & Museum exhibits four new created indoor and outdoor installations by the artist Margo Sawyer, grouped under the name REFLECT. Famous for her works that ‘translate the notion of an ancient sacred space into a contemporary vocabulary’, the artist has created these indoor exhibits precisely for this gallery, reflecting in them the garden and even the museum’s visitors.