The Best of Austin’s Summer Events and Festivals
If you’re looking for a fun concert or festival during the summer, Central Texas is the right place to be! And if you missed some of Austin’s best summertime events, don’t worry, these events come back around every year. From a celebration of gooey cheese concoctions to extraordinary chamber music, there’s an event to fit every taste. Here is just a selection of all the festivals and events that Austin hosts each summer, so you can plan for next year!
Austin holds its Independence Day spectacular every year at Vic Mathias Shores (formerly Auditorium Shores). It is the biggest Fourth of July celebration in Texas with over 100,000 people in attendance. Guests can arrive early and enjoy a picnic before the festivities. Then, sit back and relax while listening to the Austin Symphony play at sunset, followed by mile-high fireworks. The event is free and broadcast on Majic 95.5 FM.
RTX Austin is a video game and internet convention billed as “The world’s greatest celebration of animation, gaming, comedy and internet culture.” Enthusiasts gather for a weekend-long convention to play the latest games, listen to special guests and get exclusive screenings for animation features and podcasts. This event is held at the Austin Convention Center and other local venues over several days during the summer.
WHEN? Early July.
The Formula Sun Grand Prix (FSGP) is a three-day track race at the Circuit of The Americas, showcasing the best solar cars. College and university teams from across the world compete with the solar-powered vehicles that they designed and built. Before the racing begins, there are three days of inspections known as “scrutineering,” followed by the three days of solar-powered “raycing.” The last day of the event is the official public day and admission is free, so everyone can see the solar cars in action.
WHEN? Early July
In 1996, Stephanie Sant’Ambrogio, former concertmaster of the San Antonio Symphony, noticed there wasn’t any classical music in San Antonio in the summer. One night, while sipping a cactus pear margarita on the River Walk, she decided to start a festival to fix it, and so, the Cactus Pear Music Festival was born. For more than 20 years, acclaimed musicians have been performing in this celebration of music, enchanting people of all ages with the classics. There are multiple days of concerts throughout San Antonino, as well as Boerne, New Braunfels and Wimberley.
WHEN? Mid-to late July
There’s no better way to experience the movie masterpiece “Jaws” than by floating on the lake at sunset with your legs dangling in the water. Take your chances with the “sharks” (scuba divers lurking just below the surface) for this special screening at Volente Beach Resort & Waterpark in Leander. Alamo Drafthouse hosts this epic event throughout the summer with multiple dates in July and August. Your ticket gives you access to the waterpark and all the rides before the movie, so moviegoers can arrive early to eat, drink and play. Then, get a good spot in your inner tube on Lake Travis to watch the big screen and explosive finale!
WHEN? June – mid-August
The ultimate queso competition, Quesoff supports the Central Texas Food Bank and brings people together with the melting powers of cheese. This annual celebration puts home cooks up against local chefs and restaurant teams to battle it out for the top queso. There are four categories – meaty, spicy, veggie and wild card – and a Best in Show. A panel of judges from the community vote on the winners. Anyone can make a donation to get into the cheese spectacular, and then purchase chips to try all of the delicious creations.
WHEN? Late July
The Austin Margarita Festival is in Downtown Austin at the Austin American-Statesman’s riverside property on South Congress. This celebration is for people 21 and up, and features a plethora of different margarita styles and ingredients. There are more than 20 flavors, such as Bourbon St. hurricane, pumpkin spice and jalapeño pepper. A block party within a festival, there are also live bands and DJs. Plus, great food to enjoy with the margs. Guests can enjoy them frozen, on the rocks or as shots at the tequila tasting. Sip and vote for your favorite in the Best Margarita Competition. Tickets are on sale now for this year’s event on September 14, 2019 from 12pm-8pm.