Voices of the 2017 Austin Reggae Festival: Walsh Costigan of Lexody

QUESTION: Have you been to any outdoor events in Brooklyn that remind you of the vibe of the Austin Reggae Festival?

There was an outdoor dance festival called Mister Sunday that had the same chill vibe as the Fest. To be honest though, most festivals here are about standing in a crowd, close to a stage, and I love the Austin Reggae Fest because it’s about chilling with your friends all day, on a blanket or in chairs, and enjoying the music in a very chill environment — not standing for hours in an aggressive crowd.

QUESTION: You are now doing a startup called Lexody. What have you learned from helping at the Austin Reggae Festival that you have incorporated into this startup?

My dad is one of the most inspiring business people. The biggest lesson I have learned, is a bit hard to describe, but he truly cares about all the vendors and people who are working at the festival. He has built such amazing relationships with everyone there that people are very loyal to him, and they trust/respect him in a way that you do not see very often in the business world. I remember one year it was pouring down on Friday, before the festival even opened (rain is a death threat for an outdoor festival). One vendor came and started yelling at me that all her stuff was getting ruined. My dad walked up in the middle of the conversation, and without saying anything, ran over to her booth and started to help her cover everything. He definitely had a lot of other things to do in that moment, but he helped her without hesitation.

QUESTION: We have had rainy weather at the Austin Reggae Festival in 2015 and 2016. Is it going to rain this year?

NO!!! I’ve been doing anti-rain dances. I will say though, it is always incredible to me how many people stay, even though it’s raining. There is such a cult following for this festival, that  for a lot of people, rain doesn’t necessarily mean it’s time to leave.

QUESTION: What is your advice for first-time attendees to the Austin Reggae Festival?

Bring a blanket and sunscreen. It is really an awesome experience to just come and chill with your friends all day.

QUESTION: What bands are you most excited about for the 2017 Austin Reggae Festival?

Akae Beka and Black Slate.

QUESTION: What reggae / world music band would you like to see perform at the Austin Reggae Festival in the future?

We have had a lot of good ones in the past. I always enjoy the legends — folks like Toots and the Maytals, Yellowman, and a reunion of the Wailers. I also like Cheikh Lô and Jain.

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