How the World’s First Taco Cannon Was Developed

The Fun Fun Fun Fest "Taco Cannon" will fire flour projectiles at the Austin music festival crowd on Auditorium Shores this weekend.
Fri November 2, 2012 7:10 pm
Giant Noise | Adi Anand

This past Wednesday, the Philadelphia 76ers showed off the world’s largest “T-shirt cannon” at its NBA season opener. But you can’t eat a t-shirt. And sure, there’s also hot dog launchers (which, curiously, were  pioneered in Philadelphia as well). But wouldn’t you rather have a taco?

Enter Fun Fun Fun Fest, the Austin music festival which kicks off its seventh incarnation today at Auditorium Shores. They’ve got Run DMC, Bun B, Girl in a Coma, Explosions in the Sky, and many other national and Texas bands booked for the weekend. But they’ve also got a taco cannon. 

Based on the same technology that propels t-shirts, Fun Fun Fun’s tortilla weapon is a twelve-chambered, CO2 canister-powered Gatling-style ordnance that will be on the festival’s various stages at least twice a day, shooting off an assortment of tacos. Just like in a war movie, one guy fires the cannon, with two more taco soldiers on hand for re-loading.

Fun Fun Fun was already a tacocentric festival, having included a “taco locator” feature in its iPhone and Android app for the past two years. The cannon was ultimately developed in partnership with Torchy’s Tacos.  

“Torchy’s did the R&D on the ammunition, we did the R&D on the artillery,” says Matt Mandrella, the marketing director for festival promoter Transmission Entertainment. 

He isn’t really kidding. Before its initial unveiling at August’s Fun Fun Fun “Aqua Olympics,” the cannon went through lots of high-end testing to make sure its ammunition would both fire and not disintegrate. Picture a scene from  Iron Man, except with bearded Austinites instead of Tony Stark, and shredded cheese intead of uranium.

“We spent a good solid week trying to

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