Eight April Music Festivals In and Around Austin

From Rancho Alegre to Austin Blues, April offers ample opportunities

Looking to fest while the decent weather lasts? You're not alone. Alongside longtime players like Old Settlers and Austin Reggae Festival, a wealth of first-time and returning events absolutely pack the Austin-area calendar this April. Read up on the central, far out, and totally free (see: Rancho Alegre) events below.

Soccer Mommy (photo by Sophie Hur)

The Handbuilt Motorcycle Show

305 South Congress, April 14-16
$25 day, $60 weekend

Almost a decade old, Austin's Handbuilt Motorcycle Show expands in partnership with local promoters Resound Presents. The motorcycles-and-music fest marks the return of the Resound team – who held Fun Fun Fun Fest as past iteration Transmission Events – to the shores of Lady Bird Lake. Friday packs artful Cincinnati violinist/singer-songwriter Sudan Archives with Magna Carda, Geto Gala, and DJ Lady Wonder. Saturday offers emotive Nashville indie rock figure Soccer Mommy – alongside Good Looks, Redbud, Animals on TV, Mom Rock, and more. Sunday matches Mexican Summer-signed psych rockers Allah-Las with Amplified Heat, Money Chicha, Nolan Potter's Nightmare Band, and Superfónicos.

Two Step Inn

San Gabriel Park, April 15-16
Official resale available

Two Step Inn, a new two-day gathering by ACL-makers C3 Presents, tries out San Gabriel Park in Georgetown, Texas, some 30 minutes from Central Austin. Anchored by new-school country headliners Zach Bryan and Tyler Childers, both in huge font, the assorted lineup includes legacy staples like Tanya Tucker, Wynonna Judd, and Mavis Staples. Further, the press release also promises "country inspired sets from Diplo, T-Pain and more." The effort follows C3's September launch of FORMAT Festival in Arkansas. Though tickets sold out quickly (and started around $99), the fest offers official resale with day passes starting around $170.

Old Settler’s Music Festival

Tilmon, Texas, April 20-23
$75 day, $125-250 multiday

As a registered nonprofit, Old Settler's Music Festival commits itself to carrying the legacy of American roots music to a new audience. Today, more than 25 years in, the festival's Americana emphasis stretches from folk to jazz to gospel. Each night after musical performances, three campgrounds stretched over 29 acres host late-night jams. Alongside local food and clothing vendors, the four days pack British singer-songwriter Yola, Grammy-nominated for her country soul, and New York trio the Wood Brothers. Eclectic sounds from Molly Tuttle & Golden Highway, Shinyribs, Buffalo Nichols, Sunny War, Ley Line, and more will sound through the open land.

Austin Reggae Festival

Auditorium Shores, April 21-23
$15 day, $50 weekend

Since 1994, Austin Reggae Festival has hosted some of the genre's biggest names, alumni including Mykal Rose and Julian Marley. The locally owned music event annually benefits the Central Texas Food Bank. This year, the Skatalites, Jesse Royal, and Inner Circle will headline and bring storied iterations of their Jamaican sounds to Austin. Further, Hawaii-based Makua Rothman provides West Coast surf while Virginia reggae icon Mighty Joshua stages his mind-and-body-focused sounds. In addition to the international flood, local acts like Micah Shalom and Lion Heights remind of Austin's very own ska and dancehall artistry.

MOCO Music & Arts Festival

Lexington, Texas, April 28-29
$90-109 day, $145 weekend

Located on a 300-acre private ranch, MOCO Music & Arts' third iteration carefully curates 16 acts. Whether it be the catchy alternative-pop of Chicago's Paul Cherry or mellow beats from Philadelphia's ANTI-signed Son Little, the festival highlights young, new talent. Die Spitz's punchy hard rock and Superfónicos's Colombian fusion lead a strong standing of Austinites on the largely local lineup. Beyond food trucks, the DJ-hosting "Vibe Barn," and musical wine pairings by Wine Rack Soundtrack, attendees can involve themselves with live art and yoga during their two days outside, around 50 miles east of the capital.

Austin Psych Fest

Far Out Lounge, April 28-30
$75 day, $195 weekend

Austin Psych Fest turns back the clock, reviving its classic name and format as an all-in-one-place festival headlined by Toro y Moi, Cuco, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Yves Tumor, and the Black Angels. The lineup – a typically international, multigenerational, and expansive palette of psychedelic music – also brings in two guitar heroes from Africa: the trance-inducing Saharan rocker Mdou Moctar and Vieux Farka Touré from Mali. Guitar-burning Japanese psychedelic space rockers Acid Mothers Temple return as longtime APF/Levitation favorites, a distinction shared by the Danny Lee Rajan-helmed project Night Beats. French indie artiste Melody's Echo Chamber meanwhile makes her Texas debut.

Rancho Alegre Conjunto Music Festival

Various locations, April 28-30

The nonprofit preservers of conjunto culture nearly canceled this year's fest due to city funding cuts, but turned it around to announce what Executive Director Baldomero "Frank" Cuella calls "a great mix of locals, legends, and longtime favorites from all over the state, all thanks to the creativity of booking coordinator Monica Castilleja." Friday at Central Machine Works pairs Austin's CruzSante and Los Texas Wranglers, while Saturday at Giddy Ups brings a release party for Los Cucuys de Rodney Rodriguez, headlined by Mark Weber y los Cuernos. Sunday wraps at Stubb's with Los Arcos Hermanos Peña, a family band from Dimmitt, Texas, and many more Lone Star sounds.

Austin Blues Festival

Waterloo Park, April 29
$60 lawn, $135 seated

Clifford Antone organized the first-ever Antone's Blues Festival at the turn of the century. Thanks to the efforts of current Antone's Nightclub co-owner Will Bridges and talent buyer Zach Ernst, the festival finds a fresh start this spring. Certified headliners include Chicano rock virtuosos Los Lobos, soul pioneer Booker T. Jones' 10-piece Stax Revue big band, and Robert Randolph Band – plus special guests Jimmie Vaughan and Jackie Venson. A number of artists who don't fit neatly into the traditional stylings of blues complete the lineup, like breakout R&B artist BLK ODYSSY and funk-infused psych-rock royalty Adrian Quesada playing his 2022 LP Jaguar Sound.

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 by The Music Staff
Your Field Guide to 80 Essential Acts at SXSW Music
Your Field Guide to 80 Essential Acts at SXSW Music
Highlighting the best and buzziest at this year's Festival

March 10, 2023

Unofficial Parties & Free Shows to See During South by Southwest
Unofficial Parties & Free Shows to See During South by Southwest
The Chronicle’s recommended concerts for the coming week

March 10, 2023

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