Seismic Dance Event’s website describes the festival as boutique but grassroots, as underground yet in possession of a lineup with over 50 internationally acclaimed DJs. That copywriting is confusing, but it’s trying to get at the crystal-eyed curation and high production value that has earned this house and techno festival renown. In fact, just a year after its debut in 2017, Seismic Dance Event received a “Best Boutique Festival” nomination from DJ Mag. Some look to it as a kind of revival of Austin’s EDM scene, which was squashed in the early 2000s by the authorities’ clever use of the Ecstasy Prevention Act. Now, Seismic pulls DJs to Austin who rarely play in the United States, if ever, and thousands of techno lovers, too. For the fifth iteration of the festival, Seismic Dance Event has nabbed Charlotte De Witte, Jamie xx, Dixon, The Martinez Brothers, Maceo Plex and Fatboy Slim.
Austin production company RealMusic gets the credit for engineering such a sought-after event. It’s run by Kelly Gray and Andrew Parsons, a husband-and-wife team whom the Austin Chronicle said deserved the fictitious Raver Power Couple of the Year Award. Along with David Brinkley, they opened The Concourse Project, a multipurpose indoor/outdoor event space in Austin that itself got a DJ Mag nomination for Best Large Club in North America. Last year, Seismic Dance Event moved into its parent’s new digs. The venue only holds about 3,000 people, so lines at the festival never get too long. (Past Seismic Dance Events have had up to 5,000 attendees.) Among the 10 acres are three stages, Volcano, Tsunami and Frequency, art installations like LED swings and seesaws and food trucks that serve lots of vegan and vegetarian options. Something we think is particularly cool: In 2021, a female DJ headlined the Volcano stage all three nights.
- 3,000-5,000 people attend.
- Tickets come in two levels: General Admission and VIP. Both are available for both single days and the entire weekend. General Admission weekend passes start at $299.
- Parking passes and locker rentals are available for purchase.