Known for its frequented live music scene and hip culture, the streets and parks of Austin always offer something to see and do. What may come as a surprise to some is that Austin is also known for its bat population, where up to 100,000 Mexican free-tailed bats live under the city’s South Congress Bridge. Live music performances and a focus on Austin’s bat converge to create the fun-filled Austin Texas Bat Festival. While visitors can enjoy bat viewing in a typical year between the months of July through April, with peak sightings falling between July and September, the Bat Festival provides the chance to catch sight of these fantastic creatures while also adding in a fun, music-filled atmosphere.
Music at the Austin Texas Bat Festival
Enjoy live tunes at the Austin Bat Festival from a variety of performers. Artists for the 2022 Bat Fest include names such as Toadies, Chamillionaire, The Unlikely Candidates, Fetty Wap, Lil Flip, The Nixons, Bun B, and Dj Shaynea. Rock out to the latest tunes while being dressed the part by participating in the bat costume contest. Kids and adults alike can compete for separate prizes, so bring your originality!
Because they are wild animals, their exact behavior cannot be predicted, but the bats typically emerge from under the bridge between 7-8:45pm. What is spectacular about the bats emerging is their coordinated departure, lifting off in simultaneous swirling columns. Especially if you are positioned at the water level or from the new bat viewing platform beneath the northeast end of the bridge, your view of the bats will be clear and silhouetted against the sky. While flash photos are permissible, the best photos are often snapped without a flash. No white lights should be shone on the bats, nor should drones be used within 20 feet of emerging columns.
Tickets for the Austin Bat Festival cost $25 for adults, with kids 8 and under entering free with an adult. VIP tickets are $250, with access to a front row standing area and a covered backstage area with seating and tables near the main stage, among other perks.
Where to Stay
Pack your bat costume and head to Austin for the 2022 Austin Bat Festival! Browse our Austin Vacation Rentals for accommodations that will put you in proximity for enjoying the festival as well as other top Austin events and attractions.