Among Austin’s many unique charms are the city’s 1.5 million bats which reside year-round in the downtown area, famously recognized as North America’s largest urban bat colony. The most scenic emergences of these creepy critters typically take place within 30 to 40 minutes of sundown each night and can be viewed from several locations near Congress Street Bridge as late as early October. Beloved by locals and visitors alike, the bats are traditionally honoured with their own celebration known as Bat Fest–soaring back into Austin this weekend.
Presented by Roadway Productions, the 16th annual Bat Fest will be held from 4 PM to midnight on Saturday, August 28th. The event will feature live music performances from two stages, more than fifty Austin artisans and vendors and delicious local cuisine. The program will even feature a “bat costume contest”, offering a cash prize of $100 for first place in both Adult and Youth categories. Festival attendees can enjoy musical performances by guests such as Chamillionaire, The Unlikely Candidates, Kevin Fowler, The Nixons, and more. The complete festival schedule is as follows:
Austin American Statesman Stage
5:10 PM: Brodie Lane
6:20 PM: Bat Costume Contest
6:30 PM: Nick Sterling & The Nomads
7:40 PM: Priscilla Block
9:05 PM: The Unlikely Candidates
10:20 PM: Chamillionaire
11:30 PM: Fetty Wrap
Bridge North Stage
4:10 PM: Castaneda
5:20 PM: Janie Balderas
6:25 PM: Blackillac
7:40 PM: The Nixons
8:55 PM: Lil Flip
10:00 PM: Kevin Fowler
In light of the current Stage 5 designation for Travis County, Bat Fest 2021 will be operating at a reduced capacity, meaning that ticket sales will be limited to provide ample space for safe social distancing. Temperature checks will take place upon arrival, and those with a temperature of 100.4 or higher will be asked to return home. Those wishing to receive a COVID-19 vaccination from Phizer, Moderna or Johnson&Johnson may do so for free at the event–complimentary vaccinations will be available onsite to festival guests between 4 PM and 8 PM.
Guests wishing to purchase tickets for this year’s Bat Fest may do so through online pre-registration at https://batfest.frontgatetickets.com/ . Due to the planned capacity cap, advance registration is advised. General admission begins at $20 per person, with VIP passes starting at $150, including perks such as front-row standing room access at both the North and South stages, private restrooms, misting fans, a private cash bar, and more.
Have you caught the famous Austin bats in action? What did you think of the experience? Let us know in the comments!