Party Like A Brazilian

by Juliana Stanford on February 1, 2023 in Entertainment,

The largest party in the world comes back to Austin. The drums are beating. The music is pounding. The feathers and sequined dresses are swaying.  We are waiting . . . February 4th at 9 p.m. will mark the greatest party in Austin history, Carnaval Brasileiro. Get your tickets now! 


The post Carnaval smile. A night well spent. Photo Courtesy Carnaval Brasileiro Austin.

Rio de Janeiro, the original home of Carnaval, knows how to throw an exceptional party, but Austin can compete. Carnaval Brasileiro is the largest indoor Brazilian Carnaval party on the planet hosting upwards of 6,000 people per year in the heart of Texas. The sensations of this evening are unmatched – “sinuously seductive, rising up through your feet until it frees your mind from daily cares and concerns.” Carnaval Brasileiro began in the early 1970s to offer University of Texas’ Brazilian students a taste of their homeland’s remarkable festivities. But, this event has since grown into one of flamboyance and has attracted Brazilians (or passionate party lovers) from around the world. 

Traditional Carnaval clothing – bright colors, feathers, and minimal fabric! Photo Courtesy Carnaval Brasileiro Austin.

Carnaval is an annual Brazilian festival meant to celebrate the start of Catholic Lent, but is most well known for its world-renowned parade, live music in the streets, and cultural celebration. It is a commemoration of the food and pleasures that one stereotypically abstains from for the 40 day Lenten period. This yearly phenomenon is most generously celebrated in Rio de Janeiro but it also takes place all over in the most diverse ways. The Texas capital, Austin, boasts an unmatched Carnaval celebration with live music from Samba de Opera as well as authentic performances by Austin Samba school of dance. Think of New Orleans Mardi Gras – but on steroids. 

The crowd going wild, ornately masked and hands in the air. All inhibitions left at the door of the Speakeasy. Photo Courtesy Carnaval Brasileiro Austin.

Beginning in 1978, Mike Quinn took the reins of the Austin Carnaval. Hoping to marry his interests in massive party planning to his love for Brazilian music and culture. He started the Austin Carnaval career at Boondocks on East Fourth Street. Quinn anticipated at most 400 people to show up. Instead, he was greeted with 1,000 people lining the outside of Boondocks and later ended up partying till the wee hours of the morning and drinking the bar dry. Clearly needing more space (and alcohol), Quinn moved the Party to Armadillo World Headquarters. Year by year, the festivity keeps growing. For its 45th anniversary, Carnaval Brasileiro will take place at The Ballroom at Speakeasy.  

A film photo of party goers past. This party has survived the test of time (decades) and is waiting for you. Photo Courtesy Carnaval Brasileiro Austin.

For one night each year, you can visit Brazil without ever leaving the comforts of Austin. The evening will begin at 9 p.m. on February 4th. Although not required, guests are encouraged to enter in Carnaval costume. Anything gorgeous, sparkly, feathered, and vibrant. Not to mention, a body painter will be onsite to help finalize your spirited look! To attend the highly sought after evening, you may purchase a ticket online and present it at the door. Upon entrance, you will hear the beat of the drums and walk into an ambiance created by professionally trained Rio-style samba dancers and authentic Brazilian music. Everyone’s hips will sway and shoulders shimmy to a mix of Carnaval marching songs, frevo, trio elétrico, afro-Bahian, marchinha, and Brazilian reggae. Grab your flashiest clothing and hit the dance floor – celebrate with us and indulge in the richness of Brazilian culture on February 4th! 


 Cover Photo Courtesy Carnaval Brasileiro Austin

Juliana Stanford is an undergraduate Public Relations student at the University of Texas at Austin and is a native Texan. She aspires to work with international nonprofits and with abroad entities.