Austin Texas is known as the "Live Music Capital of the World", and it seems to be well-deserving of this title. With Sixth Street, the South by Southwest Music Festival, and the popular "Austin City Limits" TV show, our town is definitely at the forefront of the live music scene nationally.
Because of the sheer number of musical venues in and around Austin, ranging in size from amphitheaters to small "hole-in-the-wall" places, it would be difficult to include every single venue in one article. With that in mind, I want to attempt to give you a cross-section and a taste of what to expect when it comes to the vibrant local live music available.
South by Southwest Music Festival – This huge annual event showcases literally hundreds of musical acts from around the globe on over eighty stages in downtown Austin. During the day, conference registrants do business in the SXSW Trade Show in the Austin Convention Center and partake of a full agenda of informative, provocative panel discussions featuring hundreds of internationally-known speakers.
Sixth Street – In the very heart of downtown Austin, Sixth Street is home to local revelers as well as visitors who are looking for Austin's biggest party. Once known as Pecan Street, 6th Street has many buildings which date back to the early 1900's or even the late 1800's in some cases. Live music here runs the gamut from jazz, blues, and country to rock, hip-hop, and derivations of these and other genres. Among the many bars here, you will also find just about every kind of food that you could want.
Antone's – 213 W. 5th Street – Founded by Clifford Antone in 1975, this club served as the launching point for several big-name acts, including Stevie Ray Vaughn (see statue above) and the Fabulous Thunderbirds, who were actually the house band for many years. This is still one of the best places in town to enjoy live blues and rock. As their website proclaims, "All Ages Welcome".
Esther's Follies – 525 E. Sixth Street – This comedy-music troupe has been entertaining Austin audiences for over 25 years now. From my own personal visits to Esther's, I can say from experience that no one is safe and nothing is sacred here. Their shows typically include some political satire, perhaps a bit of magic, and some hilarious comedic bits.
Austin Music Hall – 208 Nueces – This venue is used for concerts, special events, and national touring comedians. It was renovated in 2007 and re-opened last fall. Recent acts include the Cure, Ray Romano, and the Moody Blues.
The Backyard – 13101 Highway 71 West – This casual amphitheater in the Bee Caves area is located in the heart of the Texas Hill Country in a natural, open-air setting enveloped in the shade of 400-year-old live oaks. Seats about 5,000 fans. Named "Best Open Air Venue" and "Best Place to Hear Live Music" by local publications.
The Broken Spoke – 3201 South Lamar – Known to many as the "Best Honky Tonk in Texas", the Broken Spoke first opened its doors in 1964. Many of the best-known acts in country music have played here over the years, and according to their website, "Willie still stops in for chicken fried steak".
Cactus Café – Located on the University of Texas campus in the Texas Union Building, the Cactus Cafe is one of Austin's great acoustic music traditions. The Cactus is an intimate live music performance venue, and since the Cafe opened in February 1979, it has acquired a national reputation, showcasing the top local, regional, national and international acoustic music acts on the circuit today.
Cedar Street Courtyard – 208 W. 4th Street – This is an urban indoor/outdoor martini nightclub located in the heart of the Warehouse District in downtown Austin, TX. You can kick back at one of the indoor lounge areas inside or grab a cool beverage and hit the courtyard to enjoy live music from local acts seven nights a week.
The Continental Club – 1315 S. Congress – Located in the thriving heart of "SoCo" (South Congress entertainment and shopping area), this is the granddaddy of Austin live music, having opened in 1957. It has established a national reputation as one of the premiere clubs in town.
Elephant Room – 315 Congress – This cool club was named one of the top 50 jazz venues in the country. Enough said. Check it out if you have the chance.
Emo's – 603 Red River – Located at the corner of Sixth Street and Red River, Emo's sports two stages (one inside, one outside). If you are looking for a wild and fun rock experience, this may be the solution.
Frank Erwin Center – 1701 Red River – This is currently the largest capacity indoor facility for live music in Austin, and the destination for most national touring bands, with a seating capacity of about 16,000.
Speakeasy – 412D Congress Ave. – This unique club comes complete with a back alley entrance, just like the speakeasies of old. This is a cool, two-level club with live music most night out of the week. The upper level is a rooftop bar with a great panoramic view of downtown Austin (read: romantic and fun).
La Zona Rosa – 412 W. 4th Street – Live music along with Tex-Mex cuisine make this one of Austin coolest hangouts. Two stages. Comfortable atmosphere – great sound and lighting. Often attracts nationally known acts such as Joss Stone and Gavin DeGraw.
Stubb's – 801 Red River – By day, Stubb's is regionally known for its fantastic barbeque. By night, it hosts local and national musical acts at the Waller Creek Amphitheater. If you stop by, make sure you pick up a bottle of their famous BBQ sauce, too!
As you can see, there is a wide array of locales and styles of music to enjoy during your time in Austin, whether you are just visiting or if you are a full-time resident. If you are looking to make a move to our great city, please give me a call anytime at 512-796-7653 or email email@example.com. I look forward to hearing from you soon. Our Austin real estate website is at www.austintexashomes.com.