Blues on the Green 2017

Austin’s largest FREE concert series is back for its 27th season at Zilker Park for 4 shows:

May 24th, June 14th, July 12th, & Aug 2nd

The first show has been announced for May 24 and features Jamestown Revival with Walker Lukens!

All shows start at 8pm, but we suggest getting there no later than 6pm so you can park, get a good seat, and enjoy the view before the show starts at 8pm!

Bring your dog, sunscreen, a blanket, plenty of water, friends, money for food and drinks, and low back chairs.

 

Save the dates. Instead of announcing the line up all at once like they do every year, this year they will be announcing each show one at a time.

For more information including where to park, check out the official website.

 

 

**TICKET GIVEAWAY ALERT**

Get ready to bust out your pastels and floppy hats because we’re giving one lucky winner a pair of hospitality passes to Victory Cup Derby Day & Polo Match on Saturday 5/6! See below for the deets!

TASTING TENT PASS: $100 value
Invite only

A kid friendly and pet friendly event, the invite only Tasting Tent pass includes the General Admission Pass plus gives you access to the Wine & Food Festival Tasting Tent.

With this invite only pass you will enjoy dozens of tastings of wine, beer and liquor from 11:00 am – 1:00 pm and also enjoy a day of thrilling polo, intense rivalry, fashion and luxury automobiles.

Food, drinks and alcoholic beverages will be available for sale all day.

How do you win?
1) Like Ballin’ On A Budget & this post
2) Comment on this post and tag a friend
3) Like The Victory Cup

Winner will be announced on Friday. See you on the polo field

Baller ATX Heading to Old Settler’s Music Festival Next Weekend!

by Traci Mondragon

 

Now in its 30th year, Old Settler’s Music Festival is a celebration of music and art, and fun for the entire family. Since 1988, what was once a small bluegrass festival held at Old Settler’s Park in Round Rock, TX, this eclectic festival has brought artists and musicians from Americana to Jazz to central Texas. Old Settler’s Music Festival rolls into Driftwood, TX this Thursday, April 20 through Sunday, April 23. Your Baller ATX crew will be hanging out at Old Settler’s on Saturday, so stay tuned for more coverage next week!

photos by David Gouldner

Not only does the festival feature headlining acts like Old 97’s and Sarah Jarosz, but also showcases local artists like Shakey Graves and Peterson Brothers. The most unique part of this festival is its emphasis on songwriting, and commitment to music and arts education. Songwriting workshops are featured on Saturday with artists from various genres, and are open to all festival goers. The festival also includes a youth competition for artists or bands 18 and under, with prizes ranging from cash, to professional coaching and feedback, to performance opportunities at the festival.

In addition to the focus on youth artists and songwriting workshops, Old Settler’s also awards two music scholarships each year to deserving students of music to either Austin Community College or Texas State University. Applicants must have excellent transcripts, essays, and musical talent in order to be chosen. This year’s recipients, Ernesto Hernandez, and Takahiro Shimada, an international student from Japan. Both will continue their music education thanks in part to Old Settler’s!

Family fun will be plentiful as always at this year’s festival. Arts & Crafts areas, playgrounds, a petting zoo, face painting, and environmental education for kids are just a few of the activities available for the little ones at Old Settler’s Music Festival. If you’re taking advantage of the camping at the festival, the family can also enjoy swimming in cool Onion Creek, sing-alongs, and storytelling by the campfire.

There’s something for everyone at Old Settler’s Music Festival, and tickets are still available, including weekend passes and daily tickets. The festival also utilizes volunteers, so check here to see if they still need help this year!

Eeyores Birthday Party

by Dominic Mondragon

Eeyores 54th annual celebration will be held on April 29th, 2017 at Pease Park in Austin, TX.

Photos by Brian Stage

Eeyore’s Birthday Party is a day-long festival taking place annually in Austin, Texas since 1963. It typically occurs on the last Saturday of April in Austin’s Pease District Park. It includes live music, food and drink vending, which benefit local non-profit organizations, attendees in colorful costumes, and very large drum circles. The event is frequented by children and families, with specific events presented for them by the event organizers. The festival is named in honor of Eeyore, a character in A. A. Milne’s Winnie-the-Pooh stories. (from wiki).

This is probably one of the first free events I went to when I first moved to Austin and still one of my favorites. Drum circles, Adam and Steve, The silver guy, the maypole, a real Eeyore, people dancing everywhere, and these days, a great way to support nonprofits by purchasing beer and food from them on site. Bring cash, sunscreen, instruments, love, dogs, blankets, friends, etc. Yes these days this has become a family friendly event with kids running everywhere, but make sure you understand this is Austin, and people will be weird and fun!

 

Eeyore’s Parking: The best way to get to the fest is to use public transportation. Since it is located in West Campus off of Lamar, the park is not parking friendly. Cap Metro will drop you off via the 338 (Lamar/45th route) which runs on Lamar and stops at Martin Luther King. It runs until 11:00pm. You can also always bike it, or ride share.

If you drive: There is always free parking which includes a free shuttle on 17th street and Colorado at the State parking garage “E” and “Lot 3”. It may take a little longer to get there later in the afternoon using the shuttle. Click here for a map to the FREE Shuttle Bus Pickup location. Also, If you want to drive and park super close,  you can park with the Pease Park Conservancy for $15. All proceeds will benefit Pease Park. They will be parking cars at MLK and Lamar at the T3 Parking garage, located just across the street from the festivities.

Eeyores Birthday Party is a fundraiser to benefit non-profit groups in Austin. Some of these groups will be selling hot and cold food (including vegetarian), soft drinks, juices, spring water, and Texas beert. Look for commemorative Eeyore’s Birthday Party T-shirts.

  • Wear a costume. There will be costume contests and other games with prizes for children of all ages.
  • Artists will be doing face painting, henna, and temporary tattoos.
  • Musicians playing non-amplified instruments are invited to play.
  • There will be Maypoles for the young and young at heart.
  • Children’s Area from 11:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m.
  • LIVE MUSIC from 12 noon to 6 p.m.
  • ALWAYS FREE ADMISSION
Remember:

NO bottles, cans, or coolers will be allowed in the park.
Please keep all dogs on leashes.
An ID will be required to purchase alcoholic beverages.
No Tents

 

Volunteer:

 If you would like to volunteer, there is this Volunteer information link from eeyores.org. Volunteers work in shifts and are offered free beverages and food when they are not working. It is a great way to meet new people and network, and they have many returning volunteers come back each year.

 

 

SxSurvival Tips – How to Have the Best, Safest SXSW Ever!

by Traci Marie Mondragon

SXSW is a marathon, not a sprint. Let that be your mantra from March 11-20. Your body, your friends, and your spirit will thank you. If you take nothing else away from this post, let it be that. Slow your roll. Stop and enjoy the week. Pace yourself!

Living, breathing, and going to the bathroom.

If you’ve heeded my other advice throughout this series, then you are well-equipped with a plan for loads of parties with free food, drinks, and amazing live music. You want to make the most of all this planning you’ve worked hard at! This means staying WELL throughout the week. This means:

  • Load up on Emergen-C
  • Wear sunscreen
  • Drink WATER (one after every 1-2 boozey beverages)
  • If a party has fruits/veggies available as part of their free snacks, eat them!
  • Take sit-down breaks when seats are available
  • A break could be as simple as sitting under a tree at one of those free parties, or going inside the convention center to cool off in the A/C (if it’s hot).

Speaking of the Convention Center… there are a TON of free, clean bathrooms inside! Most hotel lobbies also have lovely bathrooms, and because so many people are going in and out of all these downtown hotels, no one will stop you from using their facilities if you’re not staying there.

Pack the essentials.

  • Photo ID (everyone ID’s during SX)
  • Cell phone
  • Phone charger, extra battery, and/or wireless/battery-powered charger
  • Cash (preferably small bills for tipping)
  • Credit/Debit card
  • Refillable water bottle (there are water coolers all throughout the convention center also)
  • Maps, schedules
  • Light snacks
  • Emergen-C
  • Sunscreen
  • (because I’m a super girlie girl) powder, lip gloss, eyeliner  *optional

A cross-body bag or backpack can store all these items, as well as any swag you might collect throughout the day. Oh, and if you DO have a badge… DON’T be an idiot and keep your credit cards/photo ID inside the plastic badge sleeve. Taking that thing in and out of that is a great way to lose your badge, lose your ID/cards, or make it more difficult to scan your badge at official venues.

Getting downtown, parking, getting home safe!

If you’re driving yourself…

Give yourself about 2 hours to drive downtown, find parking, and get to where you’re going on time. No, this isn’t an exaggeration. Parking will be a nightmare, as will traffic in and around downtown.

A good tip for where to park, in regards to your plans for the day… park near where you plan to end your night. You’ll be so incredibly tired by 2am, especially if you’ve been out since before noon. It’s better to have a long trek at the start of your day, than at the end.

Many of the street meters will be wrapped up and only allow special permits to park by them, so don’t rely on where you “know” there is street parking. Garages may cost up to 5x as much as usual. So budget for parking, or be prepared to park much farther from downtown than expected.

Take Public Transporation!

If you just read the above, I might have scared you off from driving yourself. And while Austin isn’t exactly the most public transpo-friendly city, we’ve still got some great options.

Capital Metro runs later than usual during SXSW, and this site will help guide you to your destination with ease! Key tip if you live central/west: Highland Mall is pretty much shut down, and has a huge parking lot right across the street from a Metro Rail stop! The Metro Rail that also stops RIGHT in front of the Convention Center!

If you partied way too hard, use ride-sharing. GET HOME SAFE.

Above all else… make sure you get home safe. The ride sharing options in Austin no longer include Uber and Lyft, but we have Fasten and Fare, which are both good options.

Invite-only FADER FORT is Back at SXSW!

by Traci Mondragon

The long-awaited announcement is finally here… FADER FORT is back!

The rumors are true about a smaller venue, as the new Fort will be located in a much more intimate space, at 1209 E. 6th Street. This should make for some pretty killer shows. Artists already announced include fierce songstresses Lizzo and Bishop Briggs, among others.

The event also welcomes back Budweiser, Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey, and vitaminwater® as sponsors. They will refresh guests, and join new sponsors Dream Hotels and The North Face. Prepare for an amazing week if you are among the lucky invitees. FADER FORT is happening March 15-18…stay tuned for updates!

This weekend we found ourselves fortunate to be invited to AIM fest aka the Austin instrumental music fest. A one day long musical showcase at the Empire control room with 2 stages and 20 acts. In its third year it has grown from a mere less than 100 in attendance to over 500. The ticket price was $25 and let me tell you, you got your money’s worth.

I didn’t really know what to expect from the music but was blown away by what I heard. From a bit of classical to jazz to heavy metal and some fantastic 8bit music I was not disappointed. My only regret was having to run errands and getting there late. My personal favorite band of the night had to be Bitforce. A power-trio with superhuman abilities that fights the evil of the universe with their tasty nerdcore groove as self-described on their facebook but I agree.

I hope that this fest continues to grow each year, it’s definitely underrated and underappreciated. This is the type of festival that makes Austin such a cool place to keep living in. We at Ballin most certainly cannot wait till next year.

I have a Badge…so now what?

by Traci Marie Mondragon

I’d like to thank everyone who read Vol 1 of my SXSW 2017 Advice Column. So, if you took my advice and signed up to volunteer, then you are going to earn a badge! Or maybe you’re just made of money and you purchased a badge. Either way… if this is your first time with that coveted plastic-encased-paper-holy-grail-on-a-lanyard, or you just need some helpful info on how to ROCK that badge, then this column is for you.

Keep in mind, I have been attending SXSW for over ten years, so I speak from experience. Also keep in mind that I’ve only ever attended because I’ve volunteered for that long as well…so I may not cover everything a paid registrant would know about. But I’ll do my best!

 

Badge Types/Admittance

There are BIG changes to the SXSW badge structure in 2017. Most notably, ANY badge type can get you into ANY part of the conference or festival. Here’s what I mean…

Your admittance priority into events is dependent on what type of badge you will have. Most venues will have two lines: one for Priority Access and one for Secondary Access.

Interactive = Priority admittance to Interactive panels/sessions/workshops and events (Secondary access to Film and Music events)

Film = Priority admittance to Film screenings, panels/sessions/workshops, and events (Secondary access to Interactive and Music events)

Music = Priority admittance to Music showcases, panels/sessions/workshops, and events (Secondary access to Interactive and Film events)

Platinum = Priority admittance into Interactive, Film, AND Music events!

All official events will have capacity limits of course, so your badge will not get you into events that are at capacity, and there are a few, rare private or ticketed events that even your badge alone is not enough to get you into.

 

Create a Schedule with a Plan A, B, C, and D.

SXSW has SO much to offer, and it can definitely be overwhelming. There are several different types of events, from morning till the wee hours of the night! But planning is key. And backup planning is crucial.

If you haven’t already, create an account at schedule.sxsw.com. There, you can search events you’re interested in, and add events to your custom schedule. There’s also an app!

Use the day/type filters to search only the types of events you want, or by conference type.. Play with the filters, or use the search field at the top right to search for specific bands, films, or speakers you’re interested in.

 

Best Kept Secrets

There are a few insider tricks I’ve learned over many years of SXSW’ing, through trial and error, and some by pure happy accident!

Interactive

Interactive parties tend to be overlooked by those who still think SXSW is just all about music. Often, these are great networking events with loads of free booze and food. Some of the best parties I’ve been to are Interactive parties. Those tech people know how to go hard! The Interactive closing party is always at Stubb’s, and has always featured some HUGE acts (Ludacris, Deadmau5), not to mention an open bar. At Stubb’s! Those drinks are usually like $7 or more a pop! There are SO many day and night parties during Interactive. So take advantage of this!

Film

Film panels often highlight specific films, and will feature the filmmakers and entire casts. These are often intimate settings with Q&A portions, so you can get up close to pick the brains of your favorite filmmakers or TV stars.

Music

ACC Day Stages. Inside the Austin Convention Center, in the 4th Floor ballrooms, are the music day stages. Super intimate settings feature artists both well-known and up-and-coming. These shows are a great way to see that band you love, but maybe conflicts with another band you love later in the week! The shows are never full, and you can always get a great spot up front, out of the elements, and the sound is always fantastic.

Some day parties and events offer priority entrance to badgeholders, over non-badgeholders who have just RSVP’d, so always go up and ask at the door if you see a HUGE line. It might be worth asking! The worst they can do is send you to the back of the line.

All-Conference

Not specific to badge type…the Registrant’s Lounge is open all week, and is a chill place to get a free drink, mingle, and get ready for all those evening parties, films, and showcases! Note: Volunteers are NOT allowed into the Registrant’s Lounge. Sorry, guys. We can’t get ALL the perks. The Registrant’s Lounge is located in Brush Square Park, just across 4th street from the Convention Center. Speaking of Brush Square, there are parties going on at both the East side tent and West side tent ALL week! These usually feature free drinks, snacks/food, and bands.

Convergence

In the past few years, SXSW has introduced new concepts to compliment the big three conference areas. These include SXSW Gaming, SXSW Sports, and SXSW Comedy. Many of these Convergence events are open to all Registrants, no matter your type of badge.

 

Finally…

Always remember to have several back-up plans. Even with that badge, there may still be long lines, or they might run out of food or drinks, or the band you thought was playing that party may have cancelled. Always have a backup plan.

Enjoy that badge! You’ve earned (or paid for) it!

The Quantum Collective Southwest Invasion will touch down in Austin, TX from March 16-18 for its 6th annual concert series and lifestyle village hosted by Whole Foods Market, benefiting Whole Planet Foundation. The free, all ages event draws a huge crowd to the Whole Foods Market flagship store’s rooftop venue on North Lamar Boulevard every year for live performances by emerging and legacy bands. This year’s three-day event will feature over 40 artists on two stages. RSVP OPEN HERE

Supporting the Southwest Invasion for a second year in a row, CLIF Bar returns to the Whole Foods rooftop to supply guests with their new CLIF® Nut Butter Filled Bars. Additionally, they’ll be bringing their Record Lab where fans can get free 7” singles made from plastic plates. Audio Engineers from Mobile Vinyl Recorders will cut records in real time for a one of a kind keepsake.

 

ZICO returns to the event as well, hosting a free yoga session on the rooftop the morning of Friday, March 17. An instructor from Black Swan Yoga will teach the class, which is open to 40 people. Registration begins at 8:30am and the session will run from 9:00 – 10:00. Additionally, ZICO will be handing out their USDA-certified Organic, Fair Trade Certified™ Coconut Water. With every ZICO Organic you’re helping build a better tomorrow for local Philippine farming communities by supporting organic farming, investment in farm productivity, community development projects, and farmer empowerment.

 

New to the Quantum Collective Southwest Invasion family in 2017 is Schwinn. Founded in 1895, Schwinn is an American icon, building some of the best-known and best-loved bicycles of all time. In addition to offering slushies and puppies on the rooftop, they’ll have some of latest and greatest bikes for fans to see, get on, and even ride, including their brand new line of easy-riding Sivicas.

How to Own SXSW Like a BOSS

by Traci Marie Mondragon

One of the greatest things about living in Austin is SXSW: that magical week in March when technology, film, and music combine to create a tangible energy in our beloved city.  If you’re reading this post, then you definitely know what SXSW is, and you’ve probably experienced it.  And if you’re a Baller ATX friend and follower… you probably can’t afford a badge.  But there are SO many ways to do SXSW right…especially if you’re broke!  I’m about to give you the secrets to having the BEST possible SXSW experience of your life.

 

Give a little to Get a LOT

VOLUNTEER for SXSW. I know what you’re thinking. “I don’t have enough time to volunteer! So many hours! It’s too much work!” Okay, quit being ridiculous and get it together!!! You’re an adult. You’re smart. You’re capable.

Make your schedule work and sign up to volunteer. You work some (mostly easy) shifts, you get a badge. A badge most people pay WELL over $1200 for. It’s almost unbelievable! There are still plenty of crews who need volunteers, so head on over to volunteer.sxsw.com to learn more!

You’ll get into SO many parties, lounges, panels, films, shows, etc. that you wouldn’t have if you didn’t have that badge.

 

Can’t Volunteer?

RSVP till your fingers hurt. There are so many sites, Facebook groups, etc. that list free parties if you DON’T have a badge. So if you don’t take my first piece of advice, then do this. In fact, Baller ATX has a handy list to aid in your RSVPing.

 

Stay Safe

Gather your friends together and carpool, or better yet, split Rideshares. If the above tips are successful, you WILL be drinking A LOT. So be safe above ALL else.

 

Pace yourself!

SXSW means day drinking. My best advice? Stop drinking at about 8pm. Especially if you have a badge and will be going to night showcases. You won’t make it to that headliner you’re dying to see on the Friday night of Music if you are drinking from noon-4am every night that week. And even if you do you’ll feel miserable and probably won’t remember much.

 

Finally… Have FUN

If you’re anything like me, SXSW is your Christmas, birthday, and Mardi Gras all rolled into one amazing week. Make it count, make it last, and make it memorable. But most importantly make it safe so you can make it out again next year! And the year after that and the year after that…

 

Stay tuned for Volume 2 of Traci’s SXSW Tips Next Week!