Rock & Roll Summer School

The Kids Are Alright Fest aims high

Team Next
Team Next

SXSW advisor/music instructor James Mays stands at the forefront of the Austin youth music movement. Whether it’s Jamfest, SchoolJam Texas, or SXSW Underage, his events are characterized by high turnout and premium venues. This summer, Mays attempts his most ambitious undertaking, The Kids Are Alright Festival, June 4 and 5.

Though the fest has existed as a concept in several different capacities, including a 2008 show at Emo's, this is its first year as an outright music festival.

Mays has done this before. As a producer for SXSW, he knows how to bring a crowd and secure sponsorships. The Kids Are Alright is the really the first of its kind in North America. London has Underage Fest, a wildly successful festival designed for 14-18-year-olds, but what distinguishes The Kids Are Alright is that it's planned by a committee made up of young people interested in the music business.

Saturday, June 5 is the main festival day, held in the parking lot across from the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum, and hosting 30 of the region’s premier skaters, digital media specialists, and musicians, including local favorites Ariel Abshire, Team Next, and Federal! State! Local! On Friday, June 4, there will be an entertainment business seminar with panels for young people wishing to pursue careers in music, skating, and media.

The Apple Minor Colony

When the Morning Comes Home

With the prominence of Beirut, Sufjan Stevens, and Broken Social Scene, it's safe to say that we are entering another "big band" era. Those of you who attended Mother Falcon’s EP release party may recognize Cole Wilson’s voice from his Austin band Motion Picture. Wilson’s vocals and lyrical wisdom make the symphonic arrangements all the more accessible and give the music a flair not many big bands possess. Standout tracks are "Better Days" and the sweeping, bittersweet "The Language of Dark Feral Dogs." Though the Colony no longer performs regularly, Wilson continues his musical endeavors with Motion Picture and solo. A solid songwriter with tours and many performances under his belt, this is someone to have on your radar.

Mother Falcon, Sphynx Mohawk, Saturday 23 Of Montreal is sold out, but if you still want to hear great music while possibly catching a glimpse of Kevin Barnes, the Of Montreal aftershow has not. Doors are at 10pm; up-and-comers Mother Falcon headline. Making their debut before Mother Falcon is Sphynx, the new dance-pop group from founding members of the late El Guapos. $5.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More Kids Are Alright Fest
Festival Brain
Festival Brain
The Kid Are Alright Fest in retrospect

Margaret Moser, June 7, 2010

More U21
Milezo on the Rise
Milezo on the Rise
Why Austin's U21 bands are unique

Aaron Miller, Nov. 2, 2010

Ride the Wonder Winds
Ride the Wonder Winds
Marmalakes strike the right chord

Aaron Miller, Aug. 2, 2010

More by Aaron Miller
When It Snows ....
When It Snows ....
A flurry of U21 activity

Feb. 25, 2010

AfterMath Afterglow
AfterMath Afterglow
Well hello there, best teen band in America

Jan. 29, 2010


Kids Are Alright Fest, U21

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Keep up with happenings around town

Kevin Curtin's bimonthly cannabis musings

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle