Why Austin is the Live Music Capital of the World
By: Sam Nesler
Whatever music you are looking for, you can find it in Austin, Texas. Ranging from large, rowdy music festivals twice a year, to the smallest local secret talent Open Mic Nights, Austin has it all. The “Live Music Capital of the World” does not disappoint on any day of the week. Artists from all genres are quick to add Austin to their tour, as it has proven to be among the most exciting and beautiful places to visit and play a show. Let’s breakdown a music-filled week you can experience down here:
Monday – The first day of the week, known for hard work and a calm night is surely not the case here. Among local shows and the occasional bigger artist, the best Monday night for your ears belongs to Open Mic Nights. It starts at the outdoor coffee and beer garden, BuzzMill, where you sit out in the sun and socialize over some beer, coffee, and grub. Around 9pm, the stage lights turn on for a few local artists to show their stuff.
Next up, the mic turns to anyone who wants to sign up and play a few songs for the encouraging crowd. If you are not ready to turn in just yet, head over to Speakeasy for another Open Mic, beginning around 10pm and sometimes heading into the early Tuesday morning air.
Tuesday – The smell of the fresh grass, warm pavement, and cold beer makes a nice outdoor scene for a concert. Dierks Bentley, Brothers Osborne, and LANCO rock the Austin 360 Amphitheater for everyone in their seats and scattered across the lawn just outside of the heart of Austin. Connected to a large racing speedway, this is an exhilarating place to see a show; especially in the summertime.
Wednesday – Midweek can be a lull around the world, but not in Austin. There are tons of local shows to see, but my personal favorite midweek moment was young and upcoming country artist Morgan Evans rocking the crowd of 150 at Stubbs BBQ’s indoor stage. Over the smell of delicious ribs and craft beer, smaller musicians and bands get up-close and personal with their fans. Stubbs also features a much larger outdoor stage for bigger crowds.
Thursday – The weekend is near and it’s time to get rowdy. Famous band New Found Glory brings their longtime fans of all ages over to Emo’s for a late night of hard punk rock. Emo’s is a legendary venue in Austin, hosting some of the best names in Punk music, as well as ranging out to other genres.
Friday – Head up a short drive north for a big-time show, as Jon Bellion brings his crazy style of pop, hip hop, and R&B music to the HEB Center in Cedar Park. The home rink of the Texas Stars hockey team is home to a plethora of concerts as well for bigger artists.
Saturday – Now it’s time to see what Austin really has to offer. Head on down to 6th street, which closely resembles Broadway in Nashville, for every bar you can imagine and tons of music. You can sit out on a rooftop bar listening to a live cover band, or people-watch the streets while a DJ hits the millennial style of music. There is no shortage of music across the entire 6th St landscape, and the bars stay open until late night, so you can enjoy yourself all day and night.
Sunday – It’s time to wind down a bit, but the music and fun are not done. Head over to Bangers on Rainey St for an incredible brunch menu, featuring a massive “Manmosa” that will not only get you buzzing, but is sure to make your Instagram page. Sunday Funday can continue, all up and down Rainey St, as all bars have music of some kind along with the football games and dogs! Unbarlievable usually features a local songwriter playing covers if you feel like moving your hips, which you should.
If you are looking for the big-time events, then be sure to stop by in October or March for the biggest events Austin has to offer. The first two weekends of October bring Austin City Limits festival to beautiful Zilker Park. Three days of all-day music is not something everyone can handle, but you can go in and out as you please.
Early March is when Austin is really buzzing. SXSW (South by Southwest) festival controls the streets for 10 days. This festival brings many big names all the way down to newcomers in film, art, and music, and there is absolutely no downtime. Many events are free to attend and supply free alcohol and food with just a simple RSVP. There are also bigger events you can purchase tickets for. There has been a vast amount of celebrity sightings during this week of madness!
Whichever mood you are in, there is something for everyone all week long.
Get to Austin, you will not regret it!