Interested in being a vendor at the 2018 Austin Reggae Festival, which is scheduled for Friday, April 20 through Sunday, April 22 at Auditorium Shores? For next April, we will have a very limited number of slots open for new vendors. Please connect with Pat Costigan at pwccostigan at yahoo dot com beginning Wednesday, November 1 for more info on these limited vendor openings.
Thanks to everyone who came to Auditorium Shores for the 2017 Austin Reggae Festival. Stay tuned to this website over the next few weeks for exact totals on how much money this year’s event raised to help the Central Texas Food Bank feed hungry families.
Also, mark your calendar now for 2018. Dates for next spring at Auditorium Shores are Friday, April 20 through Sunday, April 22. Headline acts will be announced in mid-January (via this website) and advance tickets will go on sale on Thursday, February 1.
WEATHER UPDATE FOR APRIL 16. Conditions for Easter Sunday at Auditorium Shores in downtown Austin should be great. Look for a high of 83 degrees under mostly cloudy skies.
Also, please note that the pick-up spot for the free shuttle bus stop has moved to the 500 block of West 4th Street, just across the street from Mellow Johnny’s.
Otherwise, our annual celebration of spring sunshine, dub music, delicious international food, hand-made arts & crafts, as well as community-focused compassion has arrived! In addition to the FAQ page, quick links to some of the most important information about this year’s fun-filled fundraiser for the Central Texas Food Bank are listed below.
Remember that you can still get your 2017 Austin Reggae Fest tickets online. Or, just purchase tickets at the gate for $20 per day. See you soon at Auditorium Shores!
And, start planning now for the 2018 Austin Reggae Festival. Dates for next year are Friday, April 20 through Sunday, April 22.
- Be as informed as possible on PARKING options here
- Browse the day-by-day BAND LINEUP here
- Buy single-day TICKETS and Two Day Passes here
- Check out the FAQ’s for the event here
- Find out more about the CENTRAL TEXAS FOOD BANK here
- Get info on our tasty new CRAFT BEER selections here
- Learn what you CAN BRING to the event here
- MAP your way to Auditorium Shores here
- MEET Austin Reggae Fest talent booker Angela Tharp here
- Reach out to us with all your QUESTIONS here
- Visit the Chill Zone by purchasing VIP PASSES here
- WATCH the Austin Reggae Fest video from Tarrus Riley here
The Austin Reggae Festival community is a very special one that helps raise funds for a very special cause, the Central Texas Food Bank. You who are our guests at Auditorium Shores are a big part of this community. This community also consists of the dedicated team who staff the Austin Reggae Festival, most of which have worked on this event for many many years.
In February, one of the most important members of this team passed away — Denny Fincher (pictured above in green shirt). He was the person who manned the back stage gate and he had held this job for more than 15 years. Denny embodied everything that is good about the Austin Reggae Festival. He was happy and always wore a smile. He had lots and lots of positive energy. He looked for ways to help people, not harm them. Denny treated everyone with respect. And, Denny was a big believer in the mission of the Austin Reggae Festival — which is to assist the Central Texas Food Bank provide nutritious meals for our less fortunate neighbors in Travis County and the surrounding areas.
On the afternoon of April 15, we honored Denny with a special tribute from the Austin Reggae Festival stage. As emcee Jah Ray implored the crowd, “Remember to live each minute and each hour and each day to its fullest potential. Be sure to tell the people in your life how important they are to you. Always embrace love over fear. Let go of the hate in your life. Do the small things that you can to make the world a better place.
Denny’s physical presence at the event will be missed. But, we know his spirit will continue to positively influence the Austin Reggae Festival for many many years forward.
Catch Jamaican reggae superstar Tarrus Riley at 8:30 pm on Friday, April 14, which is the first day of the 2017 Austin Reggae Festival.
Also, read these FAQs before you head to the weekend so that you can know all the Austin Reggae Festival details!
Its gonna be a bright, bright sunshinnin’ day!
While we may see some rain through Thursday afternoon, the forecast for Central Texas improves considerably beginning on April 14 (the first day of the 2017 Austin Reggae Festival). But, please stay tuned to this website as well as Facebook and Twitter for weather-related updates about this year’s event. And if rain does return to Austin over the weekend, then be sure to check here before you head to Auditorium Shores in case we have cancellation / ticket refund information. Otherwise, see you in downtown Austin when gates open at 3:00 pm on Friday!
Also, stay current on other event-related information by browsing the FAQ page.
Thursday, April 13 is the final day to purchase advance VIP Passes for the 2017 Austin Reggae Festival — ticket sales will end at 11:59 pm Central Daylight Time. If you purchase a VIP Pass, then you get to hang out in the Chill Zone. Equipped with chairs, a cash bar, rest rooms, the Chill Zone includes lots of shade so you can keep cool even when it is hot out. Your VIP Pass also includes one-day admission to the event, as well as a 2017 t-shirt
Click here to get get a VIP Pass and access the Chill Zone at this year’s event!
Another local radio personality who has been central to the growth of the Austin Reggae Festival is Sista Irie. In addition to hosting the weekly “Conscious Party” program on community station KAZI-FM, she is also the Executive Director of KOOP-FM. Today she talks about why community radio is so important and also shares some of her top reggae-related memories. Join Sista Irie at Auditorium Shores April 14-16 by purchasing your single-day ticket or Three-Day Pass to this year’s event.
QUESTION: What band or musician are you most excited about at the 2017 Austin Reggae Festival?
I am a major fan of Tarrus Riley, having witnessed the evolution of his career from when he first entered the industry until now. Band leader Dean Frazer ensures Tarrus and the Black Soil Band is a fully choreographed production featuring special vignettes of talent.
QUESTION: 2017 will be the 24th year of the Austin Reggae Festival. What is your best memory of this event from year’s past?
Each year provided me with well loved lasting memories. Over 22 years, Austin Reggae Festival has grown and placed itself in a major reggae category festival equal to those on the West Coast. If I had to pick one of my favorite shows, it was the night Morgan Heritage closed the show in 2007.
QUESTION: Over the years, you’ve seen many great reggae / world music shows in Austin and around the world. Is there any single performance that stands out most in your mind?
I have been blessed to see reggae shows all over Europe, Montreal, Jamaica, and the United States. My favorite experience was in Spain seeing how the whole city/town of Benicassim supports Rototom Sunsplash from free bus rides, retailer window displays and festival goer discounts. The town greatly benefits from the partnership. I think Austin could do more to support the Austin Reggae Festival just like it does SXSW.
QUESTION: You have also done a lot of concert photography. Of the hundreds of shots that you have taken, which one do you like the most and why?
The best shots are always surprise opportunities. One year, when it was raining, there was a beautiful Rastaman on stage with his back to me. I captured his natty dread silhouette with the stage lights shimmering from the falling raindrops. I would have gladly traded the shot for a clear night.
Today we talk to longtime KUTX radio personality Jay Trachtenberg, who is one of Austin’s foremost authorities on reggae, dub and world music. As he notes in the interview below, Trachtenberg is particularly looking forward to the Friday, April 14 lineup at the 2017 Austin Reggae Festival. Click here to buy April 14 single day tickets, as well as Three Day Wristbands and VIP Passes (which allow access to the new Chill Zone).
QUESTION: What band are you most excited about at the 2017 Austin Reggae Festival and why?
I’m most excited about seeing Tarrus Riley with Dean Fraser and the Black Soil Band on Friday, April 14. Riley has been a big hit maker in Jamaica for years and saxman Dean Fraser has played on literally thousands of songs over his decades-long career.
QUESTION: As in previous years, Angela Tharp of Flamingo Cantina helps book talent for the 2017 Austin Reggae Festival. What is the best show you’ve ever attended at Flamingo and why?
Any one of the times the Skatalites have played there when they still had original drummer Lloyd Knibbs and original bassist Lloyd Brevett. When that tandem locked it in, there was nothing else like it.
QUESTION: Above and beyond Flamingo, you’ve been around the reggae / world music scene in Austin for more than three decades. What was the best reggae / world music show you ever saw here and why?
It’s really hard to pick just one but, that said, the first appearance of Burning Spear at Liberty Lunch in the mid-80s stands out for me. He would subsequently play there many times to a packed house but that first visit was only about half full and the music was so deep and so raw and so powerful, especially compared to all the many other bands that had previously played at The Lunch. That night has always stood out in my mind.
QUESTION: The Mau Mau Chaplains perform on Sunday, April 16 at the Austin Reggae Festival. This band originated in the 1980s as the Lotions. Do you remember the first time you saw the Lotions perform?
It was probably back in 1979 or ’80, when I was still in grad school, at one of their Tuesday night residencies at Liberty Lunch. I would see the Lotions many, many times after that. In fact, I recently saw the Mau Maus and they sounded great. For those of us who love the old school, roots sounds, these guys have it nailed down!
QUESTION: How does the reggae / world music scene in Austin in 2017 compare to what was here in the heyday of the Liberty Lunch era?
There is no comparison. Back in the 1980s there seemed to be a world class reggae band from Jamaica or an incredible African band at The Lunch virtually every weekend or at least several times a month. Now we’re fortunate if one such band comes through town in a given month. No comparison.
QUESTION: What was your favorite Austin-based reggae / world music band from that era?
Dan Del Santo led a Fela-like juggernaut for awhile and the Killer Bees had a nice long run. And it was always a party with The Lotions and Pressure.
QUESTION: You have done a lot of writing about reggae / world music for the Austin Chronicle. What was your favorite band to write about and why?
I love writing about the Skatalites because they meld two of my very favorites sound, reggae and jazz.
The 2017 Austin Reggae Festival benefits the Central Texas Food Bank, so help out this incredible cause by purchasing your ticket online now (or just buy a ticket at the gate for $20 per day). Also, learn more about this year’s event at Auditorium Shores by browsing through these Frequently Asked Questions below:
Are children allowed to attend the 2017 Austin Reggae Festival?
Yes. Children 12 and under are FREE if accompanied by a parent or adult.
Are dogs / cats / other pets allowed at the Austin Reggae Festival?
Unfortunately not. Only humans who have positive vibes are allowed at Auditorium Shores for this year’s event.
Are there ATMs on-site at Auditorium Shores?
Yes, there will be plenty of ATMs at the event.
Are there still vendor booths open for the 2017 event?
All vendor booths are sold out for this year. Contact us beginning November 1 for info on getting a booth at the 2018 Austin Reggae Festival.
Can I still buy tickets at the gate?
Save a few dollars by purchasing advance tickets online until 11:59 pm Central Daylight Time (CDT) on Thursday, April 13. Or, just buy your tickets at the gate at Auditorium Shores for $20 per day. Cash only at the gate.
Can I bring food and drink into the event?
No outside food allowed at the Austin Reggae Festival. For full list of what is and isn’t allowed at the event, check here.
Can I bring water to the event?
Each patron is allowed to bring in one container of sealed bottle water. For full list of what is and isn’t allowed at the event, check here.
Can I leave Auditorium Shores and then re-enter the park?
Only if you have a Three Day Wristband or a VIP Pass. If you only have a single day ticket, then you can NOT re-enter Auditorium Shores after you leave the park.
Do you have a phone number?
Use the Austin Reggae Fest hotline at 512-684-2555
Do you have dates for 2018 yet?
2018 will be the 25th anniversary of the Austin Reggae Festival. Dates for next year are Friday, April 20 through Sunday, April 22. Tickets for next year’s event will go on sale on Thursday, February 1, 2018.
How do I buy advance tickets for the Austin Reggae Festival?
Click here to buy advance tickets for the event.
How do I buy VIP Passes?
Find out more about VIP Passes and the Chill Zone on this page.
How does the Austin Reggae Festival benefit the Central Texas Food Bank?
Over the last five years, the Austin Reggae Festival has helped CTFB provide 2.5 million meals for hungry families in Central Texas. Read more here about this great partnership.
I bought a Three Day Wristband via EventBrite. Where do I pick that up?
Pick up your Three Day Wristband at the Green Box office to the west of the main entry way at Auditorium Shores.
I bought a throwback t-shirt online before the event. Where do I pick that up?
At the Merchandise Booth at the south end of Auditorium Shores.
I bought advance tickets via Eventbrite. But, I typed in the wrong date. Can I use my Friday tickets on Saturday?
Yes, single day tickets are inter-changeable. So, you can use your Friday tickets on either Saturday or Sunday. Just can’t use these single day tickets for more than one day.
I bought advance tickets via Eventbrite. Where do I go at Auditorium Shores?
Just come to the main entrance at the south end of Auditorium Shores. If you have your receipt / confirmation letter from EventBrite on your smartphone, then go through the main entryway (we have scan that receipt / confirmation letter). If you can’t find your receipt / confirmation letter, come to the Green Box Office next to the main entryway and we can find your ticket there.
I have questions. How do I contact you guys?
Email us at austinreggaefest at gmail dot com.
Is is true that you have a lot of different beer options at this year’s event?
Yes, for 2017 we have added craft beers and ciders to the Austin Reggae Festival.
Is there overnight camping at Auditorium Shores?
Unfortunately not — all patrons must leave the park when the show ends at 10:00 pm each evening.
Is there still a free shuttle bus from the parking lot at 4th and San Antonio?
Yes — but ONLY on Saturday, April 15 and Sunday, April 16. The free shuttle bus from the parking lot at 4th and San Antonio does NOT run on Friday, April 14.
What are the best parking options for Auditorium Shores?
See parking information on this page.
What bands are performing at what time at this year’s event?
The full day-by-day, hour-by-hour lineup is listed here.
What can I bring to Auditorium Shores?
For full list of what is and isn’t allowed at the Austin Reggae Festival, check here.
What is the cost for children to attend the 2017 Austin Reggae Festival?
Children 12 and under are FREE if accompanied by a parent or adult.
What kind of beer will you have at this year’s Austin Reggae Festival?
Click here to see the list of craft beers for 2017.
When do gates open?
Gates open at 3:00 pm on Friday, April 14. Gates open at noon on both Saturday, April 15 and Sunday, April 16. Click here to see more schedule information.
When does the 2018 Austin Reggae Festival occur?
2018 will be the 25th anniversary of the Austin Reggae Festival. Dates for next year are Friday, April 20 through Sunday, April 22. Advance tickets for next year’s event will go on sale on Thursday, February 1, 2018.
Where is Auditorium Shores?
Auditorium Shores is located in downtown Austin at 900 W Riverside Dr, 78704. Parking can be pretty challenging at this venue, so please brush up on all your options before you leave.
Who books the talent?
Angela Tharp of Flamingo Cantina books all the bands.
There is absolutely NO overnight camping at Auditorium Shores for the 2017 Austin Reggae Festival - all patrons must leave the park when the music ends at 10:00 pm.
Click Here for information on nearby hotels and camping.
We strongly encourage you explore the various green options for getting to Auditorium Shores. Carpool, take a free shuttle bus, Metrorail or even ride a bike! Austin has many options available.
Click Here for information on where you can leave your car.
We are excited that the 2017 Austin Reggae Festival will be at Auditorium Shores again, 800 West Riverside Drive, Austin, TX 78704.
Click Here for map and directions to this amazing downtown park.