Music and Fun for a Good Cause in Downtown Austin
April 18 - 20, 2014
The 2014 Austin Reggae Festival will start at 3:00 p.m. on Friday, April 18. The festival opens at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, April 19, and Sunday, April 20. The park closes every night at 10:00 p.m. The festival is traditionally held as close to April 20th as possible.
If accompanied by a parent or adult, children ages 12 and younger are admitted free .
Music and Fun for a Good Cause in Downtown Austin
As a fundraiser for the Capital Area Food Bank, the Austin Reggae Festival is one of the most popular events that meshes culture and charity within the city. The festival features three days of reggae, world and dub artists from near and far. On top of all the music, you can find more than 50 vendors selling a variety of tasty food, as well as custom-made arts and crafts. All proceeds from the festival benefit the local charity, the Capital Area Food Bank of Texas. The event is known to be hugely successful. In 2012, the event raised $219,404.
Austin and the Auditorium Shores
Austin, the self-proclaimed "Live Music Capital of the World," is best known for its flourishing music niches and quirky Southern charm. It's also home to one of the best (if not the best) restaurant scenes in Texas. If you're looking for the down-home, traditional Texas experience, head to Dallas or Houston. However, if your palate is calling for something a little more eccentric, you've come to the right city.
The Austin Reggae Festival traditionally takes place at Auditorium Shores in downtown Austin at the corner of South First and Riverside. The entry gate is located on the south end of the park. The park does have limited parking, so you might want to walk, bike or carpool with friends to the parking lot at San Antonio and 3rd (a high-rise parking lot with a complimentary shuttle service to the festival).
What to Expect
Expect red, green and gold in a thousand different combinations. Expect body paint, live parrots and massive feather headdresses. But above all, get ready for bands you can groove to. In its 21st year, the Austin Reggae Festival will showcase reggae, roots, dub, ska, rocksteady, dubstep, soca and other reggae-infused genres. Catch all the action at the Main Stage and Charlie's Dub Corner. Last year, groups such as The Wailers, Lance Herbstrong, Tribal National and The Aggrolites took to the stage.
Besides one-love music, plenty of local and international food vendors will keep festival-goers with full bellies. You'll also discover souvenirs, T-shirts and handcrafted wares sold by local artisans.
The Festival's Roots
Founded in 1994, the Austin Reggae Festival united live performances and an international market where attendees celebrated the free spirit of Bob Marley by showing love for their hungry neighbors. In 2014, you'll meet open-minded individuals from across the country.
The small, one-day showcase evolved into the popular annual festival today. A portion of ticket sales is donated to the food bank to help feed thousands of families. Over the last 10 years, the Austin Reggae Festival has raised more than $1 million to help end hunger in Austin and the surrounding communities. In the last two years alone, that translated into 1,067,228 meals. The spirit of one love brings to life the compassion and goodwill that this type of music embodies.
Unlike many other music festivals, overnight camping is not permitted. However, you can set up a tent for day-use only if you have a specific tent permit. Your best bet would be to find a local vacation rental in the Austin area. There are hundreds of HomeAway rentals in downtown Austin
alone. In addition to keeping you close to all the action, these condos and apartments tend to be much more economical if you're traveling with a group. Plus, if you want to save some money, kitchens are perfect for cooking post-festival meals.
What You Can and Can't Bring
The festival is strict on what you can and cannot carry onto the grounds, so it's better to know beforehand. While dogs were once welcomed at the Austin Reggae Festival, they are no longer allowed at the event. The following items are permitted within the festival grounds: lawn chairs/folding chairs, blankets, drums, a sealed water container (only one per person) and strollers.
The following items are prohibited and will be confiscated: glass containers, food, beverages besides a sealed water container, bota bags, large umbrellas (personal rain umbrellas are permitted) and camel packs. Feel free to check the festival's website for further information.
Where to Grab a Bite to Eat Before or After the Festival
There are countless tasty options located near the festival. You're in luck: Threadgills, one of Austin's favorite eateries, is about a seven-minute walk from the festival grounds. Dine on Southern fare that's out of this world, from chicken-fried steak to mouth-watering mashed potatoes. Second Bar + Kitchen is another knockout, serving up burgers and unique platters, such as the short rib pizza. If you'd rather have some Tex-Mex, take another short walk to La Condesa instead. For a Sunday brunch before the festival wraps up, check out nearby Lambert's Downtown BBQ.
Get your groove on at the Austin Reggae Festival, where the spirit of Bob Marley strives to put an end to hunger.
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