About the festival

Initiated in 2003, No Idea Festival is an annual festival of improvised music based in Austin, Texas.

No Idea’s curation focuses on three aspects of creative process generative to the advancement of contemporary music:

1. Presenting festival curated first-time collaborations between artists.
2. Advancing existing collaborations that are in various stages of development.
3. Establishing new music projects involving festival artists.

During No Idea events, artists articulate a wide variety of working methods and perform within several gradations of improvisation and composition. Audiences witness a broad spectrum of an artist’s work as they move through their most established ensembles, their developing groups, and new, festival-curated first-time meetings. Artists are often brought back to No Idea for multiple years to advance connections and enable a new music to flourish.

Since 2009, No Idea has placed an increasing emphasis on working with musicians and sound artists from Mexico City’s burgeoning contemporary music community. These collaborations seek to create new pathways to establish enduring connections between Mexican artists and the US. Since this time, No Idea has included over 25 musicians, filmmakers, curators, writers, and academics from throughout Mexico and has held events in Austin, San Antonio, Houston, Mexico City, and Mérida, Yucatán. Building on this success, No Idea is expanding its focus to build enduring connections with artists and culture generators in several countries in the coming years, including Germany, Japan, Norway, and France.

Previous Festivals

Contact us


No Idea Festival
P.O. Box 684335
Austin, TX 78768

Center for No Idea

Center for No Idea incorporated as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit in May 2017 with the intention of expanding the festival's reach via programming across Texas, Mexico, and beyond.

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