Austin Cassette Fest: The Treasure of Tapes

Austin Cassette Fest went down at MASS Gallery last May with over ten indie vendors slinging tapes, t-shirts and other goodies. Complimentary bevvies sponsored by Firestone Walker, Sailor Jerry and Texas Music Water kept everybody quenched, while performances by Grace London, BLSHS, Pope, Man of the Down, Artificial Earth Machine and a strictly cassette DJ set by The Vegetable Kingdom satiated the eardrums.

Whether driven by unabashed excitement or sheer curiosity, people flocked to MASS Gallery to witness the affair.

What did these music lovers find? Carefully packaged cassettes of some amazing emerging bands (including BLSHS and Chipper Jones), vintage tapes & players, buttons and beyond. More so, guests discovered a community of supremely passionate individuals spearheading this tape revival, led by Graveyard Orbit, the label responsible for launching Austin Cassette Fest.

The enthusiasm in the room was palpable as strangers became fast friends over talking and trading tapes. Cassette enthusiast or not, everyone was welcome to browse the tables, check out the bands and maybe discover something new (possibly, a new-found appreciation for the dinosaurs of the music industry).

Come sundown, the party moved to Cheer Up Charlie’s where things got feisty with a jocular set by Basketball Shorts, who’s saccharine garage rock is inspired by everything from hard partying to Forrest Gump. Chipper Jones followed, serenading the audience with their melodic, shoegazy sounds. The Vegetable Kingdom then returned to the decks, closing out the night with a proper dance party.

And dance the kids did.

Consensus from the epic day foretell the return of a bigger, bolder Austin Cassette Fest next year. If you want to geek out on tape culture ’till then, join the fest’s Facebook group here.

Get your hands on the Austin Cassette Fest sampler here.

See all the photos from the day here:

Big thanks to Mass Gallery and Cheer Up Charlie’s for hosting us and thank you to all our sponsors including: Firestone Walker Brewing Co., Sailor Jerry, Texas Music Water, End of an Ear, National Audio Company and Motorblade Postering Service. Also thank you to Breezy Ritter Photography for shooting. Lastly, thank you to everyone that tabled, all our volunteers and everyone that attended!

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