The Pecan Street Festival is one of the largest and longest-running arts/crafts and music festivals in the nation presented by The Pecan Street Association, a 501(c)4 nonprofit organization. The festival was just elected Best Non-Profit in Austin, 2021 and has been produced by Special Events Live since 2006.
During the pandemic, this important festival, like others, was forced to reinvent itself. Pecan Street Festival’s organizers quickly produced an entirely online experience of the festival, “Pecan Fest Wired.” Pulling from many local and international artists and musicians, Pecan Fest Wired became an online event that allowed producers to overcome traditional geographical limitations.
Because of this successful pivot, the producers and organizers have decided to make the hybrid festival a permanent feature of their bi-annual event. The exhibits have expanded to include artists from Pecan Street sister cities, National Heritage Award-winning Veronica Castillo (Saltillo, Mexico), Arcadio Boyer, and former Austin resident Alonso Rey Sanchez (Lima, Peru).
In addition, the festival launched The Color of Music, which featured artworks created by Eric Clapton’s bassist Bobby Whitlock, iconic music agent Nancy Fly, local Romani ambassador Oliver Rajamani, and beloved Austin genius resident, the late Daniel Johnston.
Pecan Street Festival has attracted artists from Cuba, Peru, France, Mexico, Chile, Venezuela, Ukraine, France, Trinidad, and Tobago. There are plans to create a permanent online museum with an ever-changing stable of artists. In addition, the festival will continue to offer Master Classes by a bevy of accomplished artists and teachers. As a response to COVID, festival producers programmed online learning activities and “Smart Kids” videos for children. The September in-person event will continue to feature over 300 visual artists, children’s activities, 32 food concessions, 40 bands, and remains committed to lowering the carbon footprint.
The Pecan Street Festival, close to its 41-year mark, has become an intrinsic part of the fabric of Austin. Both visionary and accessible to all, the festival has grown to be one of Austin’s most highly anticipated events. This diverse festival is for everyone. Now with the online hybrid model, the producers of Pecan Street Festival have made it possible to experience the excitement, energy and creative spirit it’s known for, year-round.