The unofficial kickoff of Spring music festival season is Friday when Austin Reggae Fest skanks into Auditorium Shores, regaling the city center park with one-drop rhythms and a cloud of irie vibes. But don’t fret if you have godly or rabbit-related obligations to attend to over Easter weekend. There are still plenty of opportunities to get your fest on before Spring has sprung. Here’s a selection of six fine fests.
20-23: Old Settler’s Music Festival. Celebrating its 30th anniversary, the renowned roots-music festival on the southwest outskirts of town has an especially strong Saturday lineup this year. East Los Angeles greats Los Lobos, Dallas alt-country faves Old 97’s and hometown juggernaut Shinyribs top a day that also features freshly minted Grammy winner Sarah Jarosz of New York via Wimberley, bluegrass legends the Del McCoury Band and indie-twang rising star Nikki Lane, among others. Friday’s lineup includes hometown hero Shakey Graves, mandolin wizard Sam Bush and jam-band groovers Leftover Salmon. There’s more music in the nearby Camp Ben McCulloch on Thursday and Saturday, with campsites available there throughout the fest. We’ll have more on Old Settler’s in the cover story of next week’s Austin360 section. — P.B.
6: Jmblya at Circuit of the Americas. The biggest turnup in Central Texas gets even bigger with a move to the racetrack. This year’s stacked lineup is led by Chance the Rapper, who just scored a Grammy with an uplifting blend of hip-hop, gospel and soul. From the other end of the rap spectrum, trap pioneer Gucci Mane also gets top billing, and red hot trap stars Migos and Lil Uzi Vert will also put in sets. DJ Steve Aoki will play electro house. Rapidly rising Latina rapper Snow tha Product and soulful rapper Pell help round out a very strong undercard. — D.S.S.
6: iHeartCountry Fest at Erwin Center. Now four years running, this smorgasbord evening marathon concert regularly features many of the most-played acts on mainstream country radio. This year’s lineup includes Jason Aldean, Little Big Town, Dierks Bentley, Brantley Gilbert, Rascal Flatts, Old Dominion, Jake Owen, Darius Rucker, Lady Antebellum, Kelsea Ballerini and the Raging Idiots. A new addition in 2016 that returns this year is a free afternoon “Daytime Village” show on the Erwin Center’s north box office plaza with a half-dozen country upstarts including Jon Pardi. — P.B.
6-7: Pecan Street Festival. Now in it’s 40th year, the popular downtown fest transforms Austin’s historic Sixth Street district into an art bazaar featuring almost 300 art, craft and food vendors. The free event also programs music on three stages beginning at noon daily. This year’s lineup includes a broad selection of Austin’s top talents including Riders Against the Storm, Ringo Deathstarr, Annabelle Chairlegs and Austin360 March Artist of the Month, My Education. — D.S.S.
13: 13: Index Fest. Local Natives, Frenship, Grizfolk and more play the Statesman parking lot.
May 25-June 11: Kerrville Folk Festival. Its reputation is for old-school folk fans, perhaps because it’s been around since 1972, but it’s telling that indie singer-songwriter Anais Mitchell spoke highly of the festival, which helped get her on the map as a winner of its New Folk contest, when she opened for Patty Griffin at ACL Live last week. This year’s top out-of-state draws include Nashville ace Radney Foster, longtime Guy Clark accompanist Verlon Thompson and former Austinite Phoebe Hunt’s band the Gatherers, but the fest also carves out plenty of room for local and regional favorites such as Jimmy LaFave, Los Texmaniacs and the Welch Family with Warren Hood. — P.B.