Austin’s Top 5 Music Festivals: How to Keep Your Devices and Data Safe

Austin, Texas, often hailed as the Live Music Capital of the World, is the perfect stage for some of the most vibrant music festivals. Yet, as these platforms for live music burgeon, so does the potential for cybersecurity threats. Studies have found that music festivals are prime opportunity for getting your phone hacked. 

“In an era where digital interactivity enhances festival experiences, cybersecurity has become as indispensable as the beat that gets the crowd moving,” says Kent Morris, President of Gravity Systems. 

As you gear up to groove to the tunes of Austin’s best, being cyber-aware is a melody you'd want to harmonize with.

Top 5 Austin Music Festivals (and How to Stay Cyber-Safe)

1. ACL Music Festival

The Austin City Limits (ACL) Music Festival is a yearly spectacle in Austin’s Zilker Park, featuring a diverse lineup of acts every year ranging from rock, indie, country, folk, electronic, and hip-hop music. 

With multiple stages spread across the park, attendees can wander through a melodious realm, experiencing various live music acts, art installations, and a family-friendly atmosphere that keeps the festival buzzing from dawn to dusk.

Cyber risks are not on the playlist, yet they find a way into the festival. From public Wi-Fi networks to Bluetooth connections, the digital footprints you leave could be traced by cyber adversaries. Phishing scams, especially, take a front seat, tricking attendees into fake event pages or counterfeit ticket platforms.

Before tapping your feet to the beat, ensure your devices are tuned to security. Using a VPN on company devices, disabling unnecessary connectivity features like Bluetooth and auto-connect to public Wi-Fi, and adhering to company-provided cybersecurity guidelines can create a security perimeter around your digital interactions at the festival.


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2. Levitation

Levitation, originally known as Austin Psych Fest, presents a unique blend of psychedelic rock, electronic music, and visual art that intertwines with Austin’s eccentric culture. This electronic music festival in Austin is a journey through surreal soundscapes and visual art, showcasing both popular and underground acts in the psychedelic genre.

Just as the music seeks to transcend the ordinary, attendees must ensure their digital security doesn't plummet into the abyss. Cyber threats such as identity theft, credit card fraud, and phishing are the discord in this psychedelic narrative, often exploiting the excitement and distraction of festival-goers.

Harnessing cybersecurity measures like multi-factor authentication (MFA) for accessing company resources, encrypting sensitive data, and educating oneself on phishing red flags can help maintain a secure digital aura as you meander through the musical and visual maze of Levitation.

Cyber Risk


Preventive Measure

Public Wi-Fi Networks

Unsecured networks may expose data to unauthorized access.

Use a VPN to encrypt data transmission.

Bluetooth Connections

Potential for unauthorized device access or data theft.

Disable Bluetooth when not in use.

Phishing Scams

Fake event pages or ticket platforms may steal information.

Be cautious of unfamiliar web pages and verify URLs.

Identity Theft

Personal information can be stolen for malicious use.

Utilize Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA).

Credit Card Fraud

Financial information may be harvested for fraud.

Use reputable payment gateways and monitor account activity.

Counterfeit Apps/Websites

Fake applications/websites may trick users into divulging information.

Download apps from reputable sources and verify website URLs.

Malicious Software

Software deployed to steal information or cause disruption.

Keep device software and security applications up-to-date.

Juice Jacking

Public charging stations may harbor malicious software.

Avoid public charging stations or use a data blocker.


3. SXSW (South by Southwest)

South by Southwest (SXSW) is more than just a music festival; it's a confluence of film, technology, and music that gathers a global audience in Central Texas. With a diverse lineup of live music, film screenings, and tech talks, SXSW has something for every taste, making it one of the best Austin music festivals. If you’re looking for a family-friendly music festival in Austin this weekend, SXSW could be it. 

The broad spectrum of activities and the extensive use of mobile applications for scheduling and networking at SXSW amplifies the cyber risk landscape. Scammers may create counterfeit apps or websites, aiming to harvest personal or financial information from the attendees.

Deploying a mobile device management (MDM) solution on company devices, ensuring they are updated with the latest security patches, and being wary of downloading apps or clicking on links from unverified sources can help orchestrate a secure digital experience at SXSW.

4. Oblivion Access Music Festival

Oblivion Access is an Austin summer music festival that stands as a haven for underground and experimental music enthusiasts. Its edgy lineup often explores the uncharted territories of music, offering a unique auditory experience amidst the rustic backdrop of Austin’s venues.

The underground essence of Oblivion Access may allure cyber crooks into deploying stealthy phishing schemes or malicious software through unsecured networks, seeking to exploit the unconventional vibe of the festival.

Keeping company devices and data secure at Oblivion Access involves adhering to robust password policies, avoiding the use of public charging stations to prevent "juice jacking," and ensuring that device software and security applications are up-to-date to guard against malware and other cyber threats.

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5. Outlaw Music Festival Tour

The Outlaw Music Festival Tour brings the rustic charm of country music to the heart of Austin. With a lineup that often features veteran and emerging country music acts, this festival is a celebration of authentic country melodies and storytelling that resonates with the Texas spirit.

In the realm of the Outlaw, digital outlaws may lurk, deploying scamming tactics such as fake ticket sales or counterfeit merchandise sites. The relaxed, communal atmosphere could be exploited for data theft or unauthorized access to personal and company devices.

Utilizing a reputable payment gateway for any online transaction, being cautious of overly enticing offers, and following a comprehensive cybersecurity protocol can help safeguard your digital frontier as you indulge in the country cadence of the Outlaw Music Festival.

Austin Music Festivals


Staying Safe at Music Festivals in Austin

With a potpourri of musical genres and cultural expressions, Austin's music festivals are a melody to the ears yet a potential discord to digital security. 

Each festival, with its unique ambiance and audience, presents a different set of cyber challenges. Tackling these demands a well-orchestrated approach to cybersecurity, echoing the proactive and comprehensive IT solutions offered by Gravity Systems. 

As a leading provider of IT services, Gravity Systems harmonizes technology with security, ensuring the rhythm of your business continues uninterrupted. Connect with Gravity Systems today for a tailored cybersecurity consultation that resonates with your operational melody.


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