Blues On The Green Free Music Festival

Recently I attended my first Blues On The Green (BOTG) event at Zilker Park and was quite impressed with the scene there on a number of levels. BOTG is a monthly event during the summer hosted by local radio station KGSR featuring a variety of Austin favorite musical acts. The concert is held on The Great Lawn at Zilker Park, which is large enough to accommodate hundreds of thousands of people. That's a good thing because at the first BOTG concert of the year (featuring Jimmie Vaughan) the crowd appeared to be around 100K people.

Since this was my first BOTG I am far from an expert on the event but here are a few things to keep in mind if you are planning to attend.

  • Arrive early and if you drive plan to park farther away from Zilker Park and then walk.
  • Although the event is free KGSR does sell VIP tickets (for $100) that offer access to the lawn area closest to the stage, a cash bar and food.
  • I'm not sure what the alcohol policy is but I know that it wasn't being sold outside the VIP area. I saw lots of people drinking beer and wine on the lawn though.
  • There are plenty of food vendors (both trucks and tents) although the lines got longer for the vendors the later it got.
  • There's not a heck of a lot of shade to be had, except for at the very edge of the lawn. The sun will be setting to the event around the time the opener hits the stage about 8pm.
  • There are many port-a-johns but the later it gets the more crowded they get.
  • Many people bring dogs to the event. I joked to someone that there were 100K people and 30K dogs, although I think that those numbers weren't too far off.

Those are just a few tips. I hope you find them helpful. Now check out some of the best sights from the event below.

As you can see BOTG is a huge event. For all the hassles with crowds, parking, heat, etc. it's definitely worth attending if you want to enjoy the unique culture of Austin. With a bit of planning (and patience) you should have a good time. The next event is scheduled for June 24 and after that on July 22 and August 5. Til then check the video below to experience a bit more of the first BOTG of the 2015 season.