Dubbed the “Live Music Capital of the World,” Austin is rich in music history. With 250 venues in the area, visitors are bound to find live music any day of the week. Here are music venues with a rich history to stop by during a visit to Austin.
Janis Joplin once waited tables at this venue. Huge portions of southern cooking is also served here. This place is also right next door to where Willie Nelson integrated the hillbilly and hippie communities and birthed the Austin music scene, the Armadillo World Headquarters. Although Armadillo is now an office building, Threadgill’s holds its memorabilia. Read more about the venue’s history here.
ACL Live at the Moody Theatre
Although the venue is no longer in its original location at The University of Texas (hence the name Moody Theatre) it still hosts some of the most unforgettable music moments in Austin history. It’s now located near the W hotel on W. Willie Nelson Blvd. It also serves as the new home for the PBS program “Austin City Limits,” which is the longest running music series in American TV history.
Hole in the Wall
Located directly across the University of Texas, this tiny bar is known for hosting new local artists, all the way to established rockstars. Located across from the original location of the Austin City Limits Moody Theatre, this place had frequent visits from famous acts since 1974. Names like Courtney Love, Dave Grohl, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Quentin Tarantino, and even Natalie Portman have all spent time at this historic venue. It’s worth your time to check out their full story on their website.
Victory Grill is one of the venues that planted the seed for today’s Austin music scene. With its rich African American history, the place has hosted some of the biggest R&B and blues artists such as James Brown, Billie Holiday, and B.B. King. They also serve some of Austin’s best chili and have weekly African American movie screenings.
The Historic Scoot Inn
It’s not called the HISTORIC Scoot Inn for nothing. Built in 1871, this venue is dubbed the oldest running beer joint in central Texas. Its Bier Garten patio is a spacious outdoor venue that is always available for private parties and events.
Willie Nelson, Dolly Parton, and George Strait have all played at this historic venue. It’s named one of the last true dance halls. There is even a memorabilia room filled with country music treasures. If you want an internationally recognized authentic honky-tonk, this is the place to go.
The Little Longhorn Saloon
If you’re looking for a honky-tonk scene, the Little Longhorn Saloon is another great place to end up. This saloon has served its country-loving guests for over four decades. It’s not only known for hosting the best honky-tonk artists, but the world famous “you-gotta-see-it-to-believe it” Chicken Shit Bingo held on Sunday nights.
This place is definitely more than a famous BBQ joint. This venue hosts endless iconic artists. In the 70’s, acts such as Johnny Cash and Willie Nelson played for food. They’ve been listed as number 25 on Complex’s 50 Best Concert Venues in America list.
The Continental Club
Located on the famous South Congress Avenue, this Austin venue now serves as a retro-country relic for music seven-nights a week. It was originally created as an upscale private supper club. Playboy Magazine named this venue as one of the best bars in America.
Cedar Street Courtyard
Cedar Street Courtyard is known as a landmark SXSW spot. But, that doesn’t mean it’s exclusive to the March festival. It serves nightly live music year round, as well as some of the best cocktails in town. The sunken courtyard provides for an intimate setting, and for a night in Austin you’ll never forget.
The Mohawk’s mission is to “provide endless music and entertainment to whoever walks through its doors and welcome music fans of all tastes by providing a variety of music and a diverse culture.” Although it’s only been open since 2006, The Mohawk is making moves with nights of endless fun in the heart of downtown. This venue is also on Complex’s 50 Best Concert Venues in America list.
Although the history of Emo’s started in Houston back in 1989 as The Back Room, the Riverside music venue has been creating it’s mark on Austin more recently. The 1600 person capacity venue has become one of the go-to places for newly-established artists to have their Austin tour stop. It is also home to many ACLFest after-shows. Check their events calendar to search for your favorite newcomers shows.
Located in the heart of sixth street, right next to Voodoo Donut, the Parish is known for being one of the most intimate indoor live music experiences in Austin. The venue has hosted acts ranging from musical legends to upcoming artists. The Parish hosts private events as well with it’s 425 person capacity.