By Ashley M. Halligan
Next weekend marks the 10th annual Art Outside, a festival infused with three days of music across a handful of genres and experimental art of all kinds—from performing arts to multimedia to traditional mediums—all on the grounds of Apache Pass, an outdoor venue along the San Gabriel River in Rockdale, Texas whose purpose is to bring the art out of the gallery and into a collaborative, natural setting.
October is a month overflowing with festivals in Texas, being that the harshness of summer has passed, and Apache Pass boasts a landscape that festival and nature lovers will fall in love with. The main stage is along an elbow of the river, amplifying sound by nature's acoustics, groves of pecan trees, and, wait for it....the "longest Indiana Jones type bridge in the continental United States." Sold.
The festival begins on Friday, October 24th, and lasts through Sunday evening. Onsite camping beneath Texas' lush pecan trees with easy access to the San Gabriel allows festival goers to connect with their environment on many planes—the natural plane, the musical plane, and the vibrant, art-centric plane brought to the grounds each year from the global artist who think of Art Outside as a sort of expressive pilgrimage.
Like many boutique festivals, Art Outside is an eco-conscious festival whose year over year compost and recycling has significantly increased, while total pounds of actual trash has decreased. Powered by alternative energy sources like biodiesel from local restaurant's cooking oil, Art Outside also features solar charging stations, free filtered water, and supports a tree-planting event after the festival to offset carbon footprints each year. They also require all food vendors to provide biodegradable and recyclable utensils to the fest's patrons. The environmentally conscious minds behind the festival explain the community's ongoing welcoming of the event each year for a decade now.
This year's lineup includes incredibly talented acts—both new and old, well-known and quickly rising—across four stages, and lasting till 8 a.m. both Saturday and Sunday mornings. Friday's festivities begin at 4:30 p.m. and feature colorful and respected acts like The Polish Ambassador, Quixotic, Little People, Orchard Lounge, and The Motet.
Saturday's events kick off at 11:30 a.m. Acts to catch Saturday include: Toubab Krewe, Random Rab, Pumpkin, Marco Benevento, Fort Knox Five, Conspirator, Phutureprimitive, Kaminanda, and D.V.S. (among so, so many others).
Sunday's performances go till midnight with artists like Orgone, Nth Power, Blue Sky Black Death, Emancipator, and Papadosio.
All three days guarantee hours of high-intensity, ecstatic dancing, visual arts, and a revitalizing natural setting—rain or shine.
For a beautiful recap of last year's festival, watch this beautiful video by Austinite (and artist) Chris Bohl. And to get ready for this year's festival, give the SoundCloud playlist curated by Art Outside staff a listen below. It features all of this year's artists. It'll get you groovin', fasho.
Tickets are still available here. Get 'em while they're hot, and we'll see you at the Pass, clad in colors, dancin' feet, and curfew-less minds.