Article by: Kristelle Maguire Photos by: Diego Donamaria, Jason Bollenbacher, Marshall Foster & Jason Maguire AUSTIN, TX (August 25, 2016) - When a promoter takes on the task of organizing an outdoor event, they take on huge risks. The primary risk is whether Mother Nature will show love or wrath. This past weekend was no exception for Roadway Productions as they prepared for Austin's 12th Annual Bat Fest. Every year, for the past twelve years, French Smith and Tara Akins, owners of Roadway Productions, have played the game with Mother Nature as the owners of Bat Fest. This is a music and arts festival celebrating the worlds largest urban bat colony. 1.5 million Mexican free-tailed bats live under the Congress Avenue Bridge in the heart of downtown Austin. They can be seen from about April to November, nightly, heading out to hunt before migrating south for the winter. The bridge is shut down from both ends to allow for the event. Mother Nature wasn't as kind this year as she has been in the past. For days before the event, the forecast called for rain. Lots of rain. Although this might have kept some spectators at home, there were still a great number of dedicated Bat Fest fans and music lovers that fought their way through the weather to make it to Congress Avenue Bridge. One of the three stages was moved to the Austin American Statesman loading dock allowing for the first act go on as scheduled. Tony Vila, from Dallas, started the afternoon off followed by Brothers Grymn and The Boleys. Each year there is a bat costume contest for adults as well as children and this year was no exception. The contest was a break in music and gave the weather time to let up a bit. Other artists that were able to perform after the weather calmed were Blue October, American Authors, Coleman Hell, Warren G, The Mowgli's, Ace Frehley, Vallejo, Dharma Kings, Puddle of Mud and Seek Irony. Vendors ranged from corporate to independent artisans selling all sorts of wares as well as a fair share of food trucks. They are all set up atop the bridge where spectators can easily browse while enjoying the sounds coming from one of the three stages. It was a rough start due to the torrential down pour early in the game, however, most venders were able to weather the storm. Once the rain subsided, the shows went on as scheduled. The highlight of the evening was American Authors and Blue October. The rain may have tried it's hardest to stop the show, however, the production team was bound and determined to come through. At the end of the night, everyone who stuck it out was treated to some amazing music well into the night. Make sure to visit our gallery of photos from this year. Click here for or great images!