Maximize your fun: get the most from Austin’s independent music festival

Thomas Boswell

This year’s Fun Fun Fun Fest promises to showcase some of music’s best independent acts. With genres ranging from emo punk rock to New Orleans bounce music, the festival offers entertainment suited for any personality type. Here is a guide to help attendees navigate the madness and have a “fun”tastic time.

Before head-banging to your favorite punk band or laughing to the point of crying at the yellow stage, you still need to find a way to get there. Auditorium Shores is located just across Lake Austin, between the South Lamar and South First bridges. The area is easily accessible by car, bicycle or on foot. There will be bicycle parking at the southwest corner of the intersection of South First Street and West Riverside. Those not biking or walking can drive, but remember parking in the Bouldin Creek neighborhood will be prohibited. Fun Fun Fun Fest will also provide free shuttles to pick up patrons at the intersection of East Fifth and San Marcos starting at 11 a.m.

Getting In:
The doors for the festival open at 11 a.m. today with music starting at 12:30 p.m. If you have a child or are being accompanied by a minor for some reason, Fun Fun Fun Fest is free for all children under the age of nine. Make sure all water bottles and thermoses are empty. Don’t bring a CamelBak because they will not be allowed inside the festival doors. However, don’t fear because Fun Fun Fun Fest will provide free water at one of their numerous filling stations. Visit the website to check what else will and won’t be allowed.   

Stage Selection:
Once you’ve dealt with logistics, the real fun can begin. The most notable feature of Fun Fun Fun Fest is the breakdown of stages by genre. Blue stage presents hip-hop and dance. Orange stage presents alternative. Black stage holds hard rock and metal. Yellow stage holds comedy. But of course, some acts don’t fall into one distinct genre, so be mindful. I suggest downloading the Fun Fun Fun Fest app and creating a custom lineup that will notify users during the festival. Given the relatively small size compared to larger festivals like ACL, jumping from stage to stage also isn’t such a hassle for those who like to wander. The festival also provides more than just music — be sure to check out a skateboarding half-pipe competition and pro-wrestling ring.

Food and Vendors:
Of course all that dancing is going to make you hungry, and Fun Fun Fun Fest has you covered with fried and fatty foods. Enjoy local favorites like Chi’lantro, East Side King and Austin’s Pizza, or venture beyond your comfort zone and try Cazamance, an African fusion restaurant serving smoked pork and curry dishes. There will also be other vendors such as Austin Facial Hair Club and Blue Lux fashion boutique. All purchases may be made with either cash or credit, but I recommend taking some cash to avoid any possible malfunctions with the payment systems. Remember purchases can stack up, so budget your money to avoid those alarming and often tragic Monday bank statements.