A quick primer for those of you new to Splash and/or Austin’s queer scene. First, there are TWO Splash weekends in Austin: First Splash during Memorial Day Weekend and Last Splash during Labor Day Weekend. First Splash is when Austin gays kick off summer, while Last Splash is the unofficial close of summer.
First and Last Splash are technically just the party out on the lake at the gay section of Hippie Hollow on the Sunday of the holiday weekend. The gay section is located at the very end of the park. Just keep on the paved walkway until it runs out … and you’re at the gay section. Each year, for both Sundays on Splash weekends, several of the bars come together and load up a couple of barges with booze, bartenders and deejays and head out to the cove. If you want to grab drinks from the party barge, you’ll need to grab a wristband from one of the sponsor bars (see below for further details) and be sure to bring your photo ID.
Splash is technically the party out on the lake at the gay section of Hippie Hollow on the Sunday of the holiday weekend. That’s when the bars come together and load up a couple of barges with booze and bartenders and deejays and head out to the cove. There are several events that pop-up around the lake event. Splash Days, for example, is a multi-day circuit party during Last Splash. Austin Chill Weekend is a bear run organized by the Lone Star Bears that falls over Labor Day weekend. While these Splash-adjacent events tend to focus on a specific portion of the community, the actual Splash party at the lake is open to everyone … 18 and up, just because that’s the rule at Hippie Hollow.
The weather is looking good for Sunday, but this is Texas after all and this could change, but we’ll keep you posted on any changes that may affect events.
THURSDAY // AUGUST 31, 2017
Coming to Austin early to get a kick start to your holiday weekend? Well, you’re in luck. 4th Street starts the weekend early every Thursday night and this weekend isn’t going to be any different. Between Labor Day, Last Splash, all the students back in town for school, and the kickoff of UT football season this weekend … it’s gonna be one hell of a weekend.
It’s the ‘Dirtiest Show on Earth’ as Oilcan Harry’s presents Stripper Circus, featuring the dancers of GoGo ATX, carnival games with prizes, and more … all hosted by Austin’s Wonder Woman of Drag Kelly Kline along with beats served up by DJ Tony Castro. It all kicks off at 10 PM. Oilcan Harry’s, 211 W 4th St, Austin TX 78701. Thursday, August 31, 10 PM – Friday, September 1, 2017, 2 AM. 21+. FREE, no cover.
ALL MALE AMATEUR STRIP OFF
It’s Down & Dirty Thursday over at Rain on 4th as Bobby Cook and Sabel Scities host the longest running all-male amateur strip off in Austin. Contests compete for their shot at part of the $300 cash prize. Sign up starts at 10 PM, with the contest starting at MIDNIGHT. Get there a bit before the show starts. While it may seem empty at 10 PM, if you wait til midnight, you’ll be faced with watching the strip off from the back of a packed room. Before and after the strip off, it’s beats by DJ Protege all night long, with the Boys of ATX on the box. Rain on 4th, 217 W 4th St, Austin TX 78701. Thursday, August 31, 10 PM – Friday, September 1, 2017, 2 AM. FREE, no cover for 21+ all night. 18+ OK after 10 PM, with $10+ cover.
ALSO GOING ON
- 8 PM – Patrice Pike at Saxon Pub
- 9 PM – RAGE: College Night at Highland Lounge
- 9 PM – Genuine Leather/The Stacks/Blood Pumps/Solid State Dream Suit at Cheer Up Charlie’s
FRIDAY // SEPTEMBER 1, 2017
SPLASH DAYS 2017: SWIM MEET FT. DJ JOE ROSS
Start Splash Days weekend off with DJ Joe Ross at The Belmont for the Welcome Party . The Belmont, 305 W 6th St, Austin TX 78701. Friday, September 1, 10 PM – Saturday, September 2, 2017, 3 AM. 21+. $30-$160Add to calendar RSVP on Facebook Tickets Website
ALSO GOING ON
- 1-5 PM – Feel Good Friday: Free HIV & Syphilis Testing at The Q AUstin
- 9 PM – TUCKED: Splash Edition at Highland Lounge
- 9 PM – Drag Lab: Party Monster at Sellers Underground
- 9 PM – Trade: A Fetish Night ft. DJ Filthy Rich at Underground at Highland Lounge
- 10 PM – Beyoncé VS Rihanna at Cheer Up Charlie’s (inside)
- 10 PM – Friday Night ft. DJ Tony Castro at Oilcan Harry’s
- 10 PM – Friday on 4th w/ DJ Protege at Rain on 4th
- 10 PM – Service: A Friday Night Fantasy at The Iron Bear
- 10 PM – North American Scum: An Indie-Pop Dance Party at Cheer Up Charlie’s (outside)
SATURDAY // SEPTEMBER 2, 2017
BIG GAY BRUNCH WHITE PARTY
abcde events presents its annual White Party at The Rattle Inn, featuring an expanded brunch buffet catered by Trudy’s, with beats by DJ Tony Castro and performances by Sabel Scities, Cupcake and Lady Grackle. . The Rattle Inn, 610 Nueces St., Austin TX 78701. Saturday, September 2, 2017, 11 AM – 4 PM. $20 for buffet / $5 for entry only. Buy your advanced ticket online and skip the line with VIP check-in.Add to calendar RSVP on Facebook Tickets Website
SPLASH DAYS 2017: SPLASH DANCE FT. DJ ROLAND BELMARES
DJ Roland Belmares returns to Austin for the Splash Days Saturday night main event — Splash Dance. The North Door, 502 Brushy St, Austin TX 78702. Saturday, September 2, 10 PM – Sunday, September 3, 2017, 4 AM. 21+. $40-$160.Add to calendar RSVP on Facebook Tickets Website
ALSO GOING ON
- 7 PM – Freddie For A Day at The AGBG
- 9 PM – BPM Saturday at Highland Lounge
- 10 PM – Saturday Night ft. DJ Eriq Stylez at Oilcan Harry’s
- 10 PM – Saturday Night ft. DJ Dallas Downs at Rain on 4th
- 10 PM – Austin Gears present Gear Night at The Iron Bear
SUNDAY // SEPTEMBER 3, 2017
This is what Splash is all about. Now that the lake is full again after years of drought, we’re finally getting a chance to celebrate Last Splash as it was meant to be. If you haven’t heard, Hippie Hollow is a clothing optional park … actually it’s the only clothing optional park in Texas. It is optional, so you don’t have to take your clothes off … in fact most don’t although, after a few drinks and baking under the sun, there are more nude people out later in the day. Remember, nudity is okay, lewd behavior isn’t and will get you ticketed or arrested.
therepubliq is proud to be a sponsor of this year’s Last Splash party barge along with Oilcan Harry’s, Rain on 4th and The Iron Bear. You will need a wristband if you intend to get drinks from the party barge.Be prepared to show your ID. You can get these wristbands at sponsor bars/businesses starting on Saturday. You do not need a wristband to go to the Splash party at the lake. There is no cost to go the Splash party at the lake, BUT there is a fee to get in to the park. Hippie Hollow charges $15 per vehicle or $8 per person if you walk/bike in. There is no fee if you come in off the lake on a boat.
If you’re planning on driving out, try to head out early. Because of limited parking, once the lot hits capacity the park temporarily closes the park to new visitors until it clears out a bit. You are encouraged to carpool or riding out on a boat if possible. If you bring your own beverages, remember, NO GLASS containers. Also, it’s a long hike from the parking lot to the gay section at Hippie Hollow … take this in mind if you plan to be hauling in a ton of crap.Add to calendar RSVP on Facebook
After Splash is really up to you … most will go home and (hopefully) shower and freshen up or nap before heading back out for a Sunday Funday on 4th Street. Locals should note that many bars will be treating Sunday night like a second Saturday so most will not have their regularly scheduled Sunday night shows.
SPLASH DAYS 2017: HIGH TIDE FT. DJ WAYNE G
After the lake, DJ Wayne G spins for Splash Days’ Sunday night High Tide over at The North Door. This is the final night party for Splash Days before the t-dance on Monday. The North Door, 502 Brushy St, Austin TX 78702. Sunday, September 4, 10 PM – Monday, September 5, 2016, 4 AM . 21+. $30-$160.Add to calendar RSVP on Facebook Tickets Website
ALSO GOING ON
- 12 NOON – Sunday Funday ft. DJ Tony Castro at Oilcan Harry’s
- 2 PM – Bear Beer Bust at The Iron Bear
- 5 PM – Sunday Funday ft. DJ KAHLU at Rain on 4th
- 9 PM – Dirty Birdie Drag Queen Bingo at Highland Lounge
- 9 PM – Late Night Karaoke & Pajama Party at Highland Lounge
- 9:30 PM – Planet Fabulous Karaoke at The Iron Bear
- 10 PM – #TheWrapUp ft. JStache at Rain on 4th
MONDAY // SEPTEMBER 4, 2017
SPLASH DAYS 2017: ADULT SWIM FT. DJ JOE ROSS
Add to calendar RSVP on Facebook Tickets Website
What is the difference between Last Splash & Splash Days?
Last Splash, while applied to the entire holiday weekend, is specifically the party out at Hippie Hollow on Sunday when the bars load up a party barge full of booze and serve as a floating open bar for everyone. Other than the time the bars have the barge out and the location, the rest of Last Splash (and First Splash, as well) is pretty open. Several of the bars host their own Splash parties, but there are no “official” Splash events.
Splash Days is a 4-day circuit party event, held during Last Splash Weekend, featuring deejays from around the country/world. It’s also a 501(c)3 non-profit organization and proceeds from the event benefit local organizations. The beneficiaries for 2017 are AIDS Services of Austin (ASA), Care Communities, and The Kind Clinic.
How much does it cost to attend?
There is no cost to go the Splash party at the lake, BUT there is a fee to get in to the park. It’s $15 per vehicle if you drive in or $8 per person if you walk or bike in. Cash or check only, no credit/debit cards. There is no fee if you come in off the lake on a boat.
Where/when do I get my wristband?
Wristbands are available from one of the sponsor bars/businesses on the Saturday night before Splash Sunday, typically starting at 10 PM. You will need to bring your ID and it will be put on you at the bar. No, you can’t grab a couple for your friends. Your wristbands to not get you in to the park for free. You still need to play the fee if you drive or walk in. You do not need a wristband to go to the Splash party at the lake. Your wristband only gets you free drinks from the sponsored party barge.
Can I get extra wristbands for my friends?
No. Wristbands are put on at the bar once your age has been verified. Your friends must be present to receive their wristbands.
What does my wristband get me?
Your wristband only gets you free drinks from the sponsored party barge. You do not need a wristband to go to the Splash party at the lake. Your wristbands do not get you in to the park for free. You still need to play the park entry fee if you drive or walk in.
How long are the sponsored party barges at Hippie Hollow?
The barges are typically at Hippie Hollow from 11 AM to 4 PM. Times can vary each year, depending on lake levels.
Can I bring my dog?
No. Pets are not allowed in Hippie Hollow Park.
Where can I smoke in the park?
Nowhere. Tobacco products are prohibited in all Travis County properties, including parks.
Where is Hippie Hollow?
Hippie Hollow Park is located on the shores of Lake Travis in western Travis County, approximately 20 miles from downtown Austin. It is usually a 30-minute drive, depending on traffic. If you’re driving, use the address 7000 Comanche Trail, Austin, TX 78732 on your navigation app.
The parking lot fills up quickly, especially on holiday weekends. When capacity is reached the park is closed for the remainder of the day to all incoming traffic, including pedestrians. So don’t be surprised if you’re turned away at the gate when you show up late in the afternoon.
Is there a shuttle or bus to get out to Hippie Hollow?
There is no shuttle to the Splash party and Capital Metro, Austin’s public transportation provider, does not have service that reaches Hippie Hollow Park.
What are my other options? Rideshare? Taxi?
There are plenty rideshare options, with Uber and Lyft being the dominant choices here in Austin. Ride Austin is a local non-profit ridesharing company that popped up during the time Uber and Lyft pulled out of Austin after the voters shot down a proposition that would have prevented the city from regulating rideshare companies. Both returned after the state legislature passed state-wide regulations for rideshare companies.