It was over five years ago when James Mays came up with the idea. Having had a lot of experience as a musician, music instructor, founder of the Band Aid School of Music, and a former Assistant Production Manager for SXSW Music who initiated SXSW Underage, it only seemed natural to take what he knew and it pass on to the future generation of musicians after him. But it had to be something fun, something that would give back to the community. It had to fit the Austin state of mind. From all this came the creation of The Kids Are Alright Fest.
Mays started TKAA, launched at the original Emo’s location, with the help of some of his music students. The festival was organized exclusively for teens to show off their musical talent while having fun at the same time, but it very quickly expanded to include fundraising for local non-profit organizations supporting various causes, and the promotion of local businesses. The bottom line: Inspire future generations to become innovators while caring for the community.
Of course, having fun is also top priority. Aside from live music and teen band competitions, the fest also includes activities and networking for skaters, gamers and extreme athletes.
This year, TKAA is happening at the Mohawk, 912 Red River, with doors opening at 11:30 a.m. and the band competition starting at noon. Following the awards ceremony, there will be loads of great live music by some familiar faces in the local scene: Residual Kid at 6 p.m., Holiday at 8 p.m., Once Per Axis at 8:40 p.m., Les Rav at 9 p.m., Befriend the Bears at 9:40 p.m., Cartright at 10 p.m., The Sour Notes at 10:40 p.m., Marmalakes at 11 p.m. and Soup at midnight.
Bring the family for the daytime events. Then the grown-ups can enjoy the nighttime shows. And this year’s fest benefits The Conscious Rider Center for Equine Therapy, which works with children diagnosed with autism through horseback riding therapy.