For more than a quarter century, music fans have flocked to Zilker Park for Blues on the Green (which spans many genres) on select Wednesdays each summer.
Why go: The city’s largest free summer music series draws tens of thousands to Zilker Park. “People spend a lot of time talking about how Austin is different now, yet every summer, Blues On the Green looks a lot like the Austin people like to remember,” says KGSR’s Andy Langer. The dates: Wild Child with Max Frost (June 22); Hayes Carll with Carson McHone (July 13); and Sweet Spirit and The Suffers (August 3). Insider tip: Limited $100 VIP tickets help benefit nonprofits like the Austin Parks Foundation. Highlights: Carll is on a hot streak with his new record, Lovers and Leavers.
The Paramount’s Summer Classic Film Series will feature special anniversary screenings of many favorites, including the 30th anniversary of Labyrinth, the 1986 fantasy film directed by Jim Henson and starring David Bowie and Jennifer Connelly.
Why go: For 41 years, the century-old Paramount has offered respite from the heat with an expertly curated program of hundreds of movies. This summer brings a new sound system and digital cinema (DCP), but prints will be shown whenever possible. “DCP simply allows us expand the catalog, so look forward to seeing dozens of movies that have not been featured at the Paramount in quite a long time, if ever,” programmer Steven Jannise says. The dates: Memorial Day to Labor Day. Insider tip: Film Fan Club members can attend exclusive parties and get reserved seating. Highlights: Double bills like All About Eve and Double Indemnity (June 21, 22) as well as anniversary showings of films like the 60th birthday of Texas classic Giant (September 3).
FUN: The Wet Deck at W Austin
The Wet Deck at W Austin beckons a party crowd every Sunday with beats and cocktails.
Why go: The W Austin’s fourth-floor pool is the place to be during the summer, with the SoundWave pool party series featuring Bird Peterson and DJ Kurupt every Sunday from noon to sundown ($20 cover), and Sunset Sessions every weeknight from 4-7 pm, featuring drink specials, fashion pop-ups, and other surprises. Insider tip: Enjoy SoundWave in style by booking a cabana, starting at $200, and bottle service. Highlight: Luxuriate in poolside services from the adjoining Away Spa, from massages to sunscreen application for the ultimate in posh lounging.
Why go: The summer arts scene will get a boost at The Blanton Museum of Art with this exhibit of nearly 150 prints and paintings by Spain’s Francisco de Goya, “an artist whose oeuvre touches on the very fabric of human nature,” says Blanton Director Simone Wicha. The dates: June 19–September 25. Insider tip: June 19 is also the day the Blanton’s SoundSpace series will celebrate the music of artists who have recently passed, including David Bowie and Prince. Highlights: Don’t miss Goya’s portrait of bullfight master Pedro Romero or Los disparates, a dark, dreamlike print series.