Jack McFadden comes to Austin by way of Brooklyn, where his life was every bit as hip as the borough’s reputation would have you believe. He went on a juice cleanse with a couple of members of The National. He and Michelle Williams frequented the same bar. And he booked shows for bands like Fleet Foxes and Vampire Weekend in the 100-person venue he owned with friends. But after the birth of his second child, McFadden’s wife heard the siren song of her sisters’ and mother’s company in Austin. “The second baby was the deal breaker,” McFadden laughs.
McFadden is happily settled in Austin since 2011, thanks in large part to having one of the coolest jobs in town: He books bands for Austin City Limits Live at the Moody Theater, supporting the general manager and director of booking, Colleen Fischer. McFadden is responsible for the majority of the acts that grace the Belmont’s outdoor stage, and he also books shows for ACL Live.
While he’s booking bigger shows now, McFadden has long a soft spot for what he calls the “baby bands.” “To have these relationships with bands, to watch them go from nothing to blowing up is just everything,” he says. “It means more than anything to know that you booked a band and they played in front of 15 people—it’s just so gratifying to see them have success.”
To manage the baby and big bands alike, McFadden spends the majority of his time managing complicated, intricate calendars. Bands want to play shows on tours they’ve already routed, for budget reasons. He has to keep the theater’s schedule in mind, but also the larger schedule of the city itself. And in festival-happy Austin, that isn’t always easy. “We’re managing the calendar for the agents, but also for ourselves,” McFadden explains. “We have to understand how the city breathes and avoid conflicts.”
It’s a lot of work and wrangling for a very short-lived payoff. But that’s actually what McFadden loves most: “It’s very rewarding that way because there’s lots of behind the scenes drama, blood, sweat, and tears that can go into just one sold-out night.”
When ACL Fest rained out in 2013, McFadden found himself suddenly onslaught with offers from bands to play ACL Live that night. “My phone was ringing off the hook and it was every agent for every band that was in town saying, “can you guys do a show over there?’” McFadden says. He wanted to pull it off, but was worried: Booking the venue and prepping for a show there, he explains, is like “steering a yacht. You’ve gotta start turning early!” Despite some initial confusion—Franz Ferdinand thought they had been confirmed to play, but they hadn’t—Atoms for Peace ended up performing that night, and later on, performing an exclusive after show for about 25 people—McFadden included, of course.
by Joanna Steblay
As the warm weather begins to set in and patio parties hit our calendars, we can’t help but embrace that summertime has returned to Austin. If you’re anything like us, you’ll be celebrating the return of the season with decadent ice cream, healthy smoothies and icy cocktails from your favorite local spots.
For those days when it’s too hot to venture out, we went to Austin’s sweet treat professionals and compiled the ultimate collection of DIY recipes to make from your home. Click through the galleries below to learn how to make everything icy and sweet, from poptails for date night to ice cream sandwiches for a dinner party.more
The spring edition of the Renegade Craft Fair returns for its seventh year in Austin May 14-15 at Fair Market. With over 125 makers on the roster, the scene is sure to be bustling with local artisans and DIYers slinging their unique, one-of-a-kind wares. In addition to great shopping, the RCF offers activities, special showcases and plenty of food and drink options for visitors. This year, celebrate your hard work shopping with a snack from Burro Cheese Kitchen and Lucky Lab Coffee Co. before commemorating the afternoon with some snapshots from Magnolia Photo Booth Co. But before...more
by James Ruiz
Inspired by the beautiful outdoor living spaces featured in our May feature The Space Between, we went window shopping and found some great outdoor furniture and accessories to liven up your outdoor patio, porch and pool. Flip through the galleries below to see how you can add a pop of color and style to your outdoor hideaway.more
Hundreds of people are moving to Austin each day, and downtown is one of the major hubs of growth for the city. Local real estate expert Jude Galligan discusses smart urban growth and what to expect this year as the skyline continues to evolve.
Your blog keeps Austin updated on the latest news in downtown. What is the most exciting development happening right now?
From my point of view, the most exciting development is the Waller Creek District Master Plan. Decades in the making, this transformative project came to life after designers competed for the contract. It is finally coming to downtown, bringing an imaginative chain of parks,...more
by James Ruiz
As you flip through the pages of our February Love Issue, one thing you’ll notice is the beautiful blooms that pop up throughout the magazine. We got some major googly eyes for the bouquets featured in our "Real Weddings" features, and earmarked the TRIBEZA Wedding Guide for even more Pinterest-worthy petals.
Instead of letting all that inspiration go to waste, we tried our hand at flower arranging to see what we could create. Since we consider ourselves floral design novices, we asked a few top designers...more