Flickr/Sean Loyless Last year, a massive horde of foodies and families descended on Auditorium Shores for the first-annual Gypsy Picnic. This time around, festival organizers are making tweaks that they hope will ensure last year’s long lines and long waits remain a thing of the past. “We learned a ton from last year’s festival and have adjusted our plans accordingly,” says Lindsay Hoffman, festival marketing manager. “We’ve expanded our footprint in Auditorium Shores giving people more room to spread out and enjoy the park. We’ve also been working closely with the trailers to prepare for the kind of numbers we saw last year.” And this means, as their website says, that visitors should expect “improved service to get food faster,” as well as a “larger line-up of Austin’s food trailers.” Oh yes, that’s right; there’s going to be much more food, probably enough to stuff yourself to your heart’s, or, rather, gut’s desire. More than 40 vendors are on the bill, and the Picnic is welcoming back Gypsy veterans Torchy’s Tacos and Gourdough’s. Among the many trailers making their festival debut are Hey Cupcake! and Kebabalicious. “We’ve got around 15 newcomers this year from Spartan Pizza to Snarky’s moo Bawk Oink to Rockin Rolls,” Hoffman says, “And we’re very excited to welcome some of Austin’s favorites.” This food festival is “more than just meals on wheels,” according to the website, as an impressive line-up of live musicians will be on hand to “match unbelievable bites.” Delta Spirit, Hacienda, Dale Watson, Alabama Shakes and BOY will take the stage. So if the roaring chatter and chomping of your neighbors can’t lure you out to Auditorium Shores or whet the palate, perhaps an afternoon of continuous tunes will. After all, an Austin-based festival wouldn’t be quite as authentic without a little live music. Over the past few years, we’ve seen the food trailer trend skyrocket into a full-fledged phenomenon—and for that reason Texas Monthly’s Eat My Words blog has a regular Thursday post dedicated to just that. But the Gypsy Picnic has managed to hone in on this cultural food (pardon a possible overstatement) revolution, offering the people exactly what they want: a reason to eat. “I think Austin is really cheering for our food trailer scene,” Hoffman said. “It is such a beautiful representation of this city’s creativity and entrepreneurial spirit … Beyond that, it’s never a bad idea to bring people together to enjoy a gorgeous weekend in the park, eating good food and listening to great music.
Photo courtesy Gypsy Picnic