We have four months til Donald Glover, Janelle Monae, Paul McCartney and many more hit the big stages at Zilker Park for our city’s outdoor music behemoth, Austin City Limits Festival, but don’t fret movers and groovers, Austin’s festival calendar doesn’t slow down for summer.
Whether you’re into cumbia or conscious hip-hop, bikers or babes, there’s a mini-fest for everyone. (And yes, we are classifying September as summer, because Austin.)
June 2: Illectric River at Whitewater Amphitheater. The new locally produced fest boasts a lineup of electronic dance music DJs including Getter, Jai Wolf, Liquid Stranger and more. The event also will feature art installations and live graffiti painting. $55-$90. 4 p.m. gates. 11860 FM 306, New Braunfels. Illectricriver.com — D.S.S.
June 7-9: ROT Rally at Travis County Expo Center. The Republic of Texas Biker Rally hits town June 7-9, and they’re bringing ZZ Top with them this time. The multimillion-selling Texas rock trio will play the annual bash at the Travis County Expo Center on Saturday, June 9, with El Paso’s Dirty River Boys opening. The lineup for Friday, June 8, features Shooter Jennings and Richie Kotzen, with an opening night on Thursday, June 7, teaming Hairball with the Lacs. Tickets, $30-$99, are on sale via the event’s website. The event’s traditional downtown parade is set for Friday evening, June 8, with a party on closed-off Congress Avenue to follow. — Peter Blackstock
June 9: Wepa Festival at Kenny Dorham’s Backyard. The cumbia roots festival launched last year by Colombian-American artist Kiko Villamizarexpands to nine cities around the world with dates in Germany, Austria, Mexico and Colombia. The festival celebrates masters of the cumbia tradition, and this year’s headliner is Los Gaiteros de San Jacinto, described by Villamizar as the orginators of Colombian cumbia. Villamizar and a host of other local and international artists also will perform. The event will include an artists market curated by Las Ofrendas. $23.16 (advance), 2 p.m., 1106 E. 11th St. wepafestival.com. — D.S.S.
June 23: Ice Cream Festival After Dark at Fiesta Gardens. The popular ice cream extravaganza expands, complementing the kid-friendly daytime bash (which runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.) with a night party featuring boozy frozen drinks for the grown folks. The music lineup tilts toward sizzling soul, with funky R&B lifer Lee Fields and the Expressions headlining. Austin’s queen of soul, Tameca Jones, silky alt-R&B standout Mélat and expressive local pop outfit the Wild Now are also on deck. Former President Barack Obama’s favorite turntablist, DJ Mel, rounds out the roster. $35 (day-party passes $15, kids under 6 free). 6 p.m. 2101 Jesse E. Segovia St. austinicecreamfestival.com — D.S.S.
July 21-22: Float Fest in San Marcos. Tube the river and groove to tunes: It’s a natural pairing for a Central Texas summertime fest. This one invariably has had strong lineups, too, and this year is no exception, with Tame Impala, Snoop Dogg, Bassnectar, Run the Jewels, Glass Animals, Modest Mouse, Lil Wayne, Bun B, Joywave, Preservation Hall Jazz Band and a solid raft of locals. $79-$119 includes music and camping (separate charges for tubing, parking and RVs). 2 p.m. to 1 a.m. Saturday, 2 p.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday. 601 Dupuy Ranch Road, Martindale. floatfest.net. — P.B.
July 26-29: Hot Summer Nights. After a successful showing last year, the mini-fest dubbed “Free Week in July” will take over clubs in the Red River Cultural District again this summer. Artists, show times and participating venues will be announced later this summer. — D.S.S.
August 25: RAS Day at Kenny Dorham’s Backyard. Headlined by soul eccentric Saul Williams, who rose to prominence 20 years ago with a starring role in the 1998 movie “Slam,” and has consistently created powerful protest rock and rap for over 20 years, the family-friendly get down hosted by husband-and-wife rap duo Riders Against the Storm returns to its original location in historic East Austin. Also on the lineup this go round are excellent female rappers Nitty Scott and Maimouna Youssef a.k.a. Mumu Fresh, who blew us away performing with Common’s new project August Greene at South by Southwest. Afrofuturist Brazilian duo Gato Preto rounds out the bill. $20. 3 p.m. 1106 E. 11th St. facebook.com/rasdayfestival
August 30-Sept. 2: Babes Fest. The signature event from Boss Babes ATX, Austin’s premiere badass woman collective, includes three days of panels, films, comedy, workshops and more. Music will be woven into other events, but the big bash is a Saturday night concert at the Mohawk headlined by blazing hot hip-hop and R&B duo Oshun who hosted an epic soul shakedown during SXSW this year. Also on the bill are Latasha and local R&B sensation Alesia Lani. $25 music showcase only; $50 all inclusive. 912 Red River St. babesfest.com
SXSW Sound Style: The Afrofuturism of Oshun
September 7-9: Waterloo Music Festival at Carson Creek Ranch. Hey man, you like the jams? This new event features three nights of loosely structured improvisations from the String Cheese Incident plus sets from Grateful Dead tribute act, Joe Russo’s Almost Dead, Railroad Earth, the Motet and more. Tickets, $99 for a three-day pass. Prices will rise to $119 on an unspecified date. waterloofest.com
September 22-23: Pecan Street Festival. The fall edition of Austin’s longest-running street fair features artists, food vendors and three stages of free music from local artists. Sixth Street. pecanstreetfestival.org