Temperatures in Austin are finally starting to dip, so now is the perfect time to take advantage of all the outdoor events the city has to offer. From music and film to beer and car racing, Austin in October has something for everyone.
Austin’s October event guide
The ACL Festival brings tons of amazing music and great food to Austin’s Zilker Park for the first two weekends in October. With eight stages hosting over 140 acts, the ACL Festival is a can’t-miss opportunity to check out a range of diverse music. The lineup remains the same on both weekends, but unless you’re going to buy a three-day pass, you’ll still have some tough decisions to make. Jay-Z will headline on Friday, and Ryan Adams, Solange, and Foster the People will all take the stage earlier in the evening. Saturday brings the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Chance the Rapper, and Ice Cube. On Sunday, The Killers, Run the Jewels, and The Head and the Heart will take the stage. Single day tickets start at $100.
When: October 6 – 8 and October 13 – 15, 11am – 10pm
Where: Zilker Park, 2100 Barton Springs Rd, Austin, TX
Oktoberfest may be a beer-focused celebration, but thanks to live music and kid-friendly entertainment, the German-Texan Heritage Society’s annual celebration is great for the whole family. Kids under 13 are free, and adult tickets are just $7. The annual event, held at the German Free School, will feature a biergarten and tons of German food, including a pretzel tree. Younger guests will have fun in the bounce house while the adults raise a stein or two. Don’t forget your lederhosen!
When: October 14, 11am – 7pm
Where: The German Free School Building, 507 E 10th St, Austin, TX
The world’s best drivers will return to the Circuit of the Americas for another incredible Grand Prix weekend. The thrill of watching some of the fastest road course racing cars in the world careen around the track will keep everyone riveted throughout the afternoon. If the racing weren’t enough, Saturday and Sunday night both end with a full concert – from Justin Timberlake on Saturday night and Stevie Wonder on Sunday. Single day, general admission tickets start at $109.
When: October 20 – 22
Where: Circuit of the America, 9201 Circuit of the Americas Blvd, Austin, TX
The Austin Film Festival is a nonprofit dedicated to celebrating the art, craft, and business of screenwriting and filmmaking, and their annual festival screenings are wildly popular. While you can buy a ticket to a single movie for $12, a $65 film pass will get you access to all of 180+ films that will be screened during the eight-day festival. There are also a variety of badges available to purchase that will provide varying levels of access to the screenings, lectures, Q&As, and receptions that will occur over the course of the festival. Lady Bird starring Greta Gerwig and The Current War starring Benedict Cumberbatch will be the Opening Night and Centerpiece selections.
When: October 26 – November 2
Where: Theaters throughout Austin and the surrounding area
It’s a little late to sign-up now since even a half-Ironman requires months of training, but you can still go cheer on the incredible athletes as they swim, bike, and run their way to new heights of personal achievement. Athletes will start the day with a 1.2-mile swim in Decker Lake. After a quick change, they’ll hop on their bikes for a 56-mile ride through the farmland and sunflower fields outside of Austin before finishing the event with a half-marathon that will take them back to Walter E. Long Park and the shores of Decker Lake. Austin 70.3 has one of the only indoor finishes, so spectators can beat the heat while cheering athletes over the finish line inside Luedecke Arena.
When: October 29
Where: Begins at Walter E. Long Metropolitan Park, 6620 Blue Bluff Rd, Austin, TX
Austin embraces the Mexican holiday of Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) with a fireworks celebration on Halloween night. The fireworks show honors those we’ve lost with a life-affirming pyrotechnic display. Planet K is sponsoring the fireworks show, which is free to attend. The event kicks off their month-long giving campaign benefiting five local charities, so make sure to stop into one of their stores to make a donation.
When: October 31, 9:30pm
Where: Krieg Baseball Fields, 517 S Pleasant Valley Rd, Austin, TX
Despite breaking up just five years ago, LCD Soundsystem is back on the road, touring in support of their latest album, American Dream. The rock band kicked off a world tour in June and will be gracing the stage of the Austin 360 Amphitheater at the Circuit of the Americas on Halloween. Most of the stops on the current tour have sold out, so you’ll want to get those tickets soon, so you don’t miss out on the high-energy show. Tickets start at $30 for lawn seating.
When: October 31, 8pm
Where: Austin 360 Amphitheater at the Circuit of the America, 9201 Circuit of the Americas Blvd, Austin, TX
Austin is known as the “live music capital of the world,” so it’s no surprise that nearly every event in October involves live music. Whether you shell out for a three-day pass to ACL Festival or just check out the musicians busking along the route of the Ironman 70.3, you’ll find yourself tapping your feet to something catchy this month.