For our third interview of people who have been a instrumental in the growth of the Austin Reggae Festival, we turn to Walsh Costigan. As the oldest daughter of founder Pat Costigan, she was there (albeit as a toddler) back when the event started in 1994. Flash forward 20+ years and Walsh has relocated from Texas to Brooklyn, where she now leads a language-focused startup called Lexody. Join her at Auditorium Shores from April 14-16 by clicking here to purchase your single day tickets or Three Day Wristbands for the 2017 Austin Reggae Festival.
QUESTION: Given that your dad is the founder of the event, you first got involved in the Austin Reggae Festival at a pretty young age. What is your earliest memory of the event?
I have a few early memories. I remember when there were awesome snow cones, the first time I saw a group of guys carrying a couch into the festival, and the massive drum circles that would break out in the back of the field. I also just loved walking around and looking at all the vendors.
QUESTION: What is your favorite musical memory from year’s past at the Austin Reggae Festival?
I remember the Ying Yang Twins randomly showed up one year, and asked to perform one song. That was really cool/random.
QUESTION: Do you have a favorite memory that doesn’t involve music from year’s past at the Austin Reggae Festival?
I always remember the people who come. There is ‘Superman’ — a guy who always wears a shirt with a hole in the middle so you can see his Superman chest tattoo. There is the guy who used to bring his cat that sat perfectly on his shoulders. I remember I once heard a rumor that the cat was named Britney after Britney Spears. Leslie (no description needed) often attended the event before he passed away. And the longtime emcee Jah Ray is absolutely iconic. My friends and I always quote famous lines Jah Ray has said during the event.
QUESTION: What is your favorite food vendor at the Austin Reggae Festival?
There are several! I love the food at the festival. My favorites are the corn dogs, gyros, turkey legs, and chicken on a stick. There is also a guy that sells iced tea that is SO good.
QUESTION: I know that your dad often consults you on Austin Reggae Festival art. What year was your favorite logo and why?
Another tough question. I like the earth with reggae dreads (2013), the mushroom (2011), and the butterfly girl (2009). I just love the art of all of these — they really express the creative vibe that I think makes the Austin Reggae Festival so much fun.
QUESTION: Over the last few years, you’ve done a lot of world traveling. Were you able to catch any live reggae music on these adventures? If so, what was particularly memorable?
One year for my sister’s birthday we went to London with some friends, and saw David “Ram Jam” Rodigan DJ at a club called Fabric Live. The entire night was amazing.
QUESTION: You are now living in Brooklyn. Where’s your favorite spot to see live reggae music there?
There’s a good place called Lover’s Rock in Brooklyn that has great music and awesome vibes.