As summer approaches in Austin the heat rises (and rises and rises) and the major events that draw crowds from all over (ACL, SXSW, F1, etc.) subside, returning the city to mostly locals. But this being Austin of course the fun continues. There are a number of different events throughout the summer (some recurring) that combine Austin's great music, great food and thirst for fun times. Chronicled below are descriptions of just a few of those events that you may want to add to your summer 2017 calendar.
Blues On The Green
Blues On The Green (called by some affectionately Booze on the Green) is a free music event organized by local radio station KGSR that occurs once per month from May through August on the Great Lawn at Zilker Park. The event typically draws tens of thousands of people (and almost as many dogs) to Zilker Park, and features opening and headlining musical acts. You can bring a picnic or patronize one of the local food vendors on hand. Dates for 2017 are May 24th, June 14th, July 12th, & Aug 2nd. Get more information and sign up for the Blues On The Green newsletter here.
Trailer Food Tuesdays
Trailer Food Tuesdays is a monthly event throughout the summer at The Long Center on the south shore of Lady Bird Lake. From 5-9pm each evening a wide variety of food trucks satisfy the crowds who spread out on the lawn overlooking downtown Austin and enjoy the evening. Entertainment is provided by local bands and DJs. The lines at the food trucks get pretty long so be advised to either arrive early or have a snack prior to heading over. The dates for 2017 are June 27, July 25 and August 15, and you can find more information here.
The Republic of Texas (ROT) Biker Rally
The ROT Rally in early June is a multi-day mecca for people who love bikes, bikers and the biker lifestyle. While the event itself takes place at the Travis County Exposition Center downtown Austin is buzzing (literally and figuratively) all weekend long. On Friday night during the event there's a major bike parade on Congress Avenue before sunset and Dirty Sixth Street is closed for bike parking all weekend long. Of course the bars on Sixth Street will be buzzing throughout. If you love to check out wheeled machines then downtown is the place to be as you'll see thousands of different motorcycles in almost every style imaginable. The 2017 ROT Rally takes place from June 8-11, 2017 with more information here.
Fourth of July Concert and Fireworks
Each year on July 4th Austin holds a celebration on Lady Bird Lake with a symphony orchestra and fireworks. The Austin Symphony Orchestra plays outside at The Long Center from 8pm on and fireworks are launched over the lake at about 9:30PM. There are many vendors on the south side of the lake at Auditorium Shores, and crowds start arriving several hours earlier. This event draws tens of thousands of people, and as such parking and traffic are tough to say the least. So arrive early and resign yourself to dealing with a bit of inconvenience in exchange for great family fun. More information is available here.
Sound & Cinema at the Long Center
Sound & Cinema is yet another event at the Long Center. Just like the name says there shall be sounds (live bands!) and cinema (popular movies!) on weeknight evenings during June and July. Oh and food trucks too! This event (all ages by the way) starts at about 6pm, music starts about 7:30pm and the movie starts about 9pm (or so). Sound & Cinema dates for 2017 are June 21, June 28, July 19 and July 26. Get more information on Sound & Cinema here.
Unplugged At The Grove
Yet another KGSR sponsored event. Unplugged At The Grove is a weekly free music event held on Thursday evenings throughout the summer at Shady Grove Restaurant on Barton Springs Road. The music starts at 8pm but the crowds start arriving much earlier so I recommend arriving by 6:30pm to ensure that you don't have a long wait in line. Since the stage is directly adjacent to the patio of Baby Acapulco Mexican restaurant you can also grab a table there and still enjoy the music. There's also a limited amount of space on the grass just outside the Shady Grove fence where you can sit or stand if you arrive too late to get in.