Lite + Brite Monthly: September

Hello, what’s up, and welcome to the September monthly edition of the Lite + Brite newsletter.

It’s now been one full year since we launched the Lite + Brite Monthly. We plotted it out while at Deep Eddy last summer, brainstorming what sort of content we could put in a monthly edition that didn’t already fit into the structure of our weekly newsletters. (And then we had to brainstorm it all over again once we were out of the water and could actually take notes.)

We decided the Monthly could include elements like a bird’s-eye view of the month to come; listings for interesting Austin experiences that aren’t event-specific; profiles of local event creators; and music recommendations. And this month’s edition has all of the above! Scroll down to check it out. Thanks for welcoming the Monthly into your inboxes with enthusiasm and not being like “ugh L+B email me way too much now; four emails a month was acceptable but five CANNOT STAND.”

We also want to remind you that joining our Patreon at the $5/month level or above will give you access to our Secret Spreadsheet where we track upcoming events. The spreadsheet already has more September stuff than we could fit in here, as well as some listings going through the rest of the fall. And if you join our Patreon, you’ll get each weekly events list sent to you the day before it hits everyone else’s inbox. A great perk for all you planners out there!

If you’re not already a subscriber to this newsletter and you want to be, click here. We do one newsletter a week, usually on Fridays, plus this bonus monthly edition around the start of each month. Please support us by contributing to our Patreon and by forwarding this email to your friends who enjoy things like listening to music and leaving the house sometimes.

Let’s do fun stuff!

—Leila + Brian

Looking Ahead to Upcoming Events 

Our weekly newsletters will include many more listings, but here are a handful of events that we know will be coming up over the next month. We’re giving you the heads up now in case you want to pre-buy tickets or block off the time.

  • All month: Free Entry at nearly all public pools
    Escape our hellish temps in some cool bodies of water
  • August 31 – September 3: The Front Festival at various Austin venues
    Films, music, + experiences by Texas based women + LGBTQ+ folks
  • September 1: Shrek Rave at Empire Garage
    “Cool is dead!” “Who cares!” chant Shrek ravers
  • September 2: Yoi Toki: A Futurefunk/Vaporwave Party at Parish
    DJs spinning music for people who dig 1980s Japan + Roman bust aesthetics
  • September 2: Austin Afrobeats Fest at Mohawk
    Pan-African DJs, live music, panels, art, vendors + food
  • September 4: Free Day of Yoga at various Austin studios
    Free yoga classes for every level of experience across town
  • September 4: Raptor Day at Pioneer Farms
    Celebrate birds of prey (not those creepy guys from Jurassic Park)
  • September 9: Community Day at the Long Center
    Live music, incl ballet, symphony + opera, also DJ, kids’ activities
  • September 9: Trash Makeover Challenge at Texas Disposal Systems Wildlife Ranch & Pavilion
    “Amateur + professional fashionistas who use at least 90% recycled materials”
  • September 9: And Justice for Eddie at Kick Butt Coffee
    “Burlesque + drag performers delving into the dungeons of fantasy”
  • September 9 – 10: Kids Handmade Mini-Market at Austin Creative Reuse
    Buy goods hand made by kids + live music and Hawaiian ice
  • September 12: Bit Brigade at the Far Out Lounge
    NES-inspired band provides a live soundtrack for game speedrunning
  • September 14: No Lights No Lycra at West China Tea House
    Our dance party in the dark gets properly dark w/guest DJ Phildoesit
  • September 14: The Best of ATX Party at Springdale Station
    Music, food, + vendors featured in Austin Monthly’s Best of ATX
  • September 14 – 17: Green New Theatre Symposium at the Vortex
    “Music, dance, poetry, + conversation” about environmental justice
  • September 15: Reel Time Remix at the Museum of Human Achievement
    “Local short films + improve comedy mashup”
  • September 16: Fat Bottom Cabaret at Stateside at the Paramount
    “Plus size” cabaret group takes on Hollywood glamor
  • September 16: Mexican Independence Day Party at Hotel Vegas
    Live music, DJs, free tacos, paletas, piñatas + more
  • September 17: Austin Museum Day at museums throughout Austin
    Experience some of Austin’s best museums for free
  • September 17: Heel Country Fair at the Far Out Lounge
    “Drag performers, carnival games, food, arts + crafts, petting zoo” + more
  • September 20 – 24: BBOY City at various venues
    Citywide breakdancing competitions to celebrate 50 yrs of hip hop
  • September 21 – 23: Komorebi at KMFA Classical
    Dance performances about “the nature of perseverance” + more
  • September 21 – 24: Texas Tiki Week at various venues
    Celebrate Hawaiian + tiki culture w/famous tiki bartenders
  • September 21 – 28: Fantastic Fest at the Alamo Drafthouse
    Alamo’s annual fest dedicated to action/fantasy/scifi fandom
  • September 23: The Mermaid Capital of Texas Fest in downtown San Marcos
    Mermaids take over San Marcos w/parade, music, vendors, + kid stuff
  • September 22 – 23: The Way of Water at Onion Creek Metropolitan Park
    “Address climate-based water issues” through modern dance
  • September 24: 41st Annual Moonlight Cruise at the Pfluger Pedestrian Bridge
    A late night group bike ride through town by moonlight
  • September 28: No Lights No Lycra at West China Tea House
    Our own dance party in the dark gets properly dark w/Brian Blackout
  • September 30: East Side Mini Open at various east side venues
    “Putt your way through a one of a kind Austin born adventure” for good cause
  • September 30: Astra: Reality Collapse at the Palmer Events Center
    “Cutting-edge circus shows, world-renowned electronic music” + immersive art
  • September 30: Pancakes and Booze at the Far Out Lounge
    Free pancakes, live music, live body painting, + art
  • September 30 – October 1: The Austin Record Convention at the Palmer Events Center
    A riot of records, a cavalcade of vinyl, + even the odd CD, cassette etc
  • October 1: Lone Star Zine Fest at the Blue Genie Art Bazaar
    Celebrate zines + the people who love them plus + spookiness

The Austinites Behind the Curtain:
Wishing Horse Productions

We sometimes run interviews with local creatives and event producers. For September’s issue, we spoke with Mark Downs and Aris Roberts-Kelly, founders of Wishing Horse Productions. For previous profiles in this series, visit our website.

Lite + Brite: Can you give us a brief intro to what Wishing Horse Productions is?

Mark and Aris, founders of Wishing Horse Productions: Wishing Horse Productions is a creative experience design firm based in Austin. We design and facilitate in-person group activities that showcase iconic neighborhoods, small businesses, public art, and local history. The events we run are mainly for team building, conferences, off-sites, retreats, orientations, networking groups, and expos. But we also run private parties, bachelorette parties, and public games for tourists.

Escape the Box is our flagship event: an immersive, hosted, time travel-themed outdoor escape game. Teams explore cool Austin neighborhoods while completing puzzles and creative challenges using retro tools like newspapers, maps, clues, and ciphers.

L+B: How do you choose locations for Escape the Box?

WHP: We need permanent stationary elements for our clues to work. So we look for fixtures such as murals, statues, and plaques. We also look for places with cultural significance, like a historic district, arts community, or downtown area. Some of our areas work better for different groups. For instance, we like to have our tourism families go to South Congress since it’s geared towards tourists. If it’s a large team-building group, we prefer to use our downtown game zone because it is accessible for all the huge hotels and can accommodate large groups and the complex routing systems they require so they won’t bottleneck or lump together in one area.

L+B: Escape the Box isn’t a typical escape room because there is no room. Why did you make
that choice, and how do you think the experience compares to traditional escape rooms?

WHP: We designed Escape the Box during COVID, so at first we set it outdoors mostly for cautionary and logistical reasons. And then the outdoors ended up really defining Escape the Box and becoming a centerpiece of the experience. It’s like an escape room because there is a story with a race against the clock, codes to crack, and puzzles to solve in order to win. But it has blue skies and running around. No one is trapped inside, and you are encouraged to explore the larger world. Since you are expending a good amount of physical energy playing Escape the Box, our puzzles tend not to be quite as difficult overall as traditional escape rooms. Plus, since you are on the loose, you can grab an ice cream while you play!

L+B: What’s the most memorable or unexpected thing that’s happened during an Escape the Box?

WHP: At our first large event in Nashville, we got to experience first-hand how captivating our experience could be on a large scale with hundreds of people ecstatically racing around the downtown area having the time of their lives. One of us was confused for Willie Wonka when we went into a candy store, which was probably a pretty unnerving experience for the employees. We discovered a time machine similar to the ones in Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure and Dr. Who. Also, we’re pretty sure we saw a DeLorean crash through the spacetime continuum straight into a traffic light, shattering glass all over the street and sidewalk right by the Ryman Theater. So you know, mostly just time travel stuff.

L+B: Is there a site you dream of including on Escape the Box that you’ve just never been able to incorporate?

WHP: We’d love to develop content for museums, arts districts, nature preserves, botanical gardens, and the East Austin Studio Tour. Doing deeper dives into local culture and food and developing longer format games that take place over multiple locations would also be exciting.

L+B: What are some of your favorite Austin events or experiences that you don’t produce?

WHP: The East Austin Studio Tour is something we dive into every November. It is one of the coolest ways to engage with art and meet artists and it’s great if you have access to a bike. Two of our favorite stops are Cloud Tree on East Fifth and the Splinter Group right around the corner. Barton Springs feels like a pool from a different era and also helps the entire city keep its collective sanity intact. We love reading and cool spaces, so going to BookPeople, the central branch of the Austin Public Library, and even the Half Price Books up north are other great activities when the weather isn’t ideal. We listen to KUTX almost religiously. As seasoned absurdists, we totally appreciate and enjoy the Eureka Room. (Editor’s note: We have previously profiled the founder of the Eureka Room.) We love free museums, too! That’s why we try to visit the Blanton Museum on Thursdays as much as we can. And nearby is the Harry Ransom Center, which has a massively eclectic collection and is always free. We are big fans of the inventive performances of the Rude Mechanicals and Erica Nix. Always on the lookout for inspiration and a cold drink, we enjoy frequenting places like Tiki Tatsu-ya, Equipment Room, and we can’t wait to visit the Tiny Minotaur Tavern. (Editor’s note: We have previously profiled the founder of Tiny Minotaur, too!) And we can’t forget about the Alamo Drafthouse, especially when they are doing a themed menu for indie movies or showcasing their own original programming.

What We’re Listening To

Brian’s Pick:

For some reason I’ve been on an 80s Donald Fagen kick, mostly just his debut solo album after Steely Dan had split up, The Nightfly. I was on a quest for more music from this era of his career and I discovered that he wrote this song for Greg Phillinganes in 1984. It’s fascinating to hear a talented R&B singer filtered through Fagen’s lyrics and songwriting. Phillinganes isn’t a household name but he play keyboards with every big name of the 80s including Toto, Stevie Wonder, + Michael Jackson (that’s allegedly him playing the bass synth parts on Thriller).

Greg Phillinganes – Lazy Nina

Leila’s Pick:

I just went to a Counting Crows show (not in Austin), so I thought I’d share with you one of my favorite CC songs of the past decade. Did you think that the Counting Crows hadn’t released any relevant music since 2002 or, depending upon your perspective, 1993? Give this track a listen and think again!

The Counting Crows – Palisades Park

All-the-Time Austin Artsy Fun

Our weekly newsletter features upcoming events, but sometimes the activity you’re looking for isn’t an event at all—it’s a place that’s always there. Next time you find yourself on an afternoon when nothing special seems to be going on, you could consider checking out one of these evergreen options.

  • The Eureka Room
    Uniquely goofy, silly, + fun immersive games you play with a group. No spoilers!
  • Escape the Box on South Congress
    So you think you can escape boxes. Sure, but what about time traveling boxes?
  • We Luv Video
    The Alexandria Library of video rental. It’s community-run, you can rent movies or watch them in a cinema while literally surrounded by VHS tapes and DVDs.
  • The Goats at Jester King Brewery
    More a theme park geared towards folks who like refermented cherries in their beer (me) than a brewery. I have not experienced the Goat Experience, but I have seen their goats, and I approve.
  • Cathedral of Junk
    A towering achievement to collecting weird old stuff that will spark nostalgia and cause you to wonder at your last tetanus shot timing
  • West China Tea House
    In addition to their events, West China is a wonderful place just to chat with interesting and welcoming people and drink some delicious tea
  • Mayfield Park and Nature Preserve
    A lovely park + nature walk that is protected by a crack corps of dedicated peacocks and peahens. Good luck escaping without some flashy, feathery displays.
  • Laguna Gloria
    The Contemporary Austin’s outdoor sculpture garden. Culture + Nature = Profit.
  • Austin Creative Reuse Center
    A nonprofit shop where you can get any art, craft, or office supplies you can imagine for literal pennies. Eat your heart out, Office Despot.
  • Museum of the Weird
    It’s right there on Dirty 6th but worth a visit. From famous fake paleontology to recreations of horror film sets, there’s lots to see.
  • James Turrell’s Skyspace
    Like Turrell’s best works, this is an art experience which unfolds slowly over time. Watch as the changing colors of sunset remake the space.

Thanks to our Patreon subscribers

A huge thank-you to our Patreon subscribers Amalia Litsa, Jacob Rosenberg, Alexander Freed, Spencer, Kristen Backor, Timon A., Kate Murray, and Amy Wilde. We’re deeply grateful for your support, which allows us to do things like “pay our Mailchimp fee” and “spend hours researching Austin events when technically we should be working.”

If you’d like to support us on Patreon and get access to exclusive member-only benefits, you may do so here.


Follow Lite + Brite on Instagram to keep up with our adventures. Recent weeks brought us to a fiber artists’ talk at ArtUs Co., a backyard carnival and variety show, and a flock of Purple Martins in a Round Rock parking lot. And come chat with us and the rest of the L+B community on our Discord server!

About Us

How do we choose which events to feature?
Honestly, it’s pretty random. We might include anything in Austin that we, personally, would conceivably want to go to, generally excluding normal concerts, comedy shows, and movie showtimes because there are many other good resources for finding those. (We especially recommend Showlist for live music, The Darker Side of Austin for goth and metal suff, and the 60+ Weirdest Things in Austin for exactly what it sounds like). This list is by no means exhaustive; it’s just stuff that caught our eye this week. If you have an event that you want us to consider including, send it over.

Who are we?
We make this newsletter. We put on No Lights No Lycra every second and fourth Thursday of the month. We do some other stuff here and there. We love going out to creative events in Austin, and we want you to join us. Visit us at, and support us on Patreon if you like what we do.

See you next time, champions