Welcome to Austin, the live music capital of the world! With a plethora of venues to choose from, finding the perfect spot to enjoy live music in Austin can be a daunting task. That's why we have curated a list of the top 25 live music venues that you simply cannot miss. From intimate acoustic settings to large outdoor stages, this comprehensive guide has something for everyone.
Legendary Rock Stages
The Iconic Moody Theater
ACL Live at The Moody Theater: Home to the long-running PBS television series "Austin City Limits," this iconic venue offers a state-of-the-art sound system and seating for up to 2,750 people. With a diverse range of artists gracing its stage, ACL Live is a must-visit for any live music fan.
As an iconic part of Austin's music scene since 1992, Emo's has hosted countless legendary performances. The venue is known for its eclectic mix of punk, metal, and indie rock acts, making it a must-visit for fans of alternative music.
With multiple levels and stages, The Mohawk is a versatile venue that showcases a variety of genres. Its outdoor stage and rooftop bar provide a unique concert-going experience, while its central location makes it easily accessible for visitors.
The Highball is a historic bar located next to the Alamo DraftHouse on South Lamar. They commonly host bands such as Matchmaker band or host Live Band Karaoke sets weekly. Their large dance floor and fairly priced drinks make this an easy choice for anyone looking to get groovy.
Outdoor Music Experiences
This renowned venue combines mouthwatering barbecue with exceptional live music. Stubb's expansive outdoor stage has hosted numerous high-profile acts, making it a favorite for both tourists and locals alike.
The Long Center:
With a stunning view of downtown Austin, this outdoor amphitheater hosts a diverse range of musical events, including the Austin Symphony Orchestra and the Austin Opera. The Long Center's spacious lawn seating ensures a comfortable and enjoyable experience.
Icenhauer’s is an iconic bar located on Rainey Street and is famous for hosting live music most nights of the week. On Sundays they host PDA Band from 4pm to 7pm, this is a high-energy show for anyone looking to cap the weekend off in an unforgettable way. They also hold a live band karaoke set every Wednesday from 8:30pm to 10:30pm and if you have never sang with a live band before, you will definitely not want to miss this.
Jazz and Blues Gems
As the "Home of the Blues," Antone's has been an integral part of Austin's music scene since 1975. Located on sixth street, this legendary club is perfect if you are looking to grab a drink and catch some jazzy vibes. With a commitment to showcasing the best in blues, soul, and R&B, this legendary club is a must for fans of these genres.
The Elephant Room:
Tucked away underground, this cozy jazz club offers an intimate setting for experiencing some of the finest local and touring jazz musicians. With nightly live music and a full bar, The Elephant Room is a hidden gem in Austin's music scene.
Located on the University of Texas campus, this intimate venue has been a favorite of singer-songwriters since 1979. With a cozy atmosphere and outstanding acoustics, the Cactus Cafe is perfect for those seeking a more personal live music experience.
Boasting a rich history and an impressive lineup of musicians, Threadgill's is an Austin institution. The venue's relaxed atmosphere and open-air seating make it an ideal spot to enjoy live music with friends and family.
Unique and Eclectic Spots
Cheer Up Charlies:
This LGBTQ-friendly venue boasts a colorful and inclusive atmosphere, making it a welcoming space for everyone. With a mix of live music, DJs, and themed dance parties, Cheer Up Charlies offers a truly unique night out.
The Sahara Lounge:
Offering a taste of Africa in Austin, The Sahara Lounge features a diverse array of world music, from Afrobeat to reggae. The venue's laid-back atmosphere and eclectic decor make it a truly one-of-a-kind experience.
Dance Clubs and Electronic Music
This downtown hotspot is the go-to destination for electronic dance music enthusiasts. With a state-of-the-art sound system and an impressive lineup of international DJs, Kingdom offers a high-energy night out for those looking to dance the night away.
Known for its themed dance nights and vibrant atmosphere, Barbarella is an Austin locals favorite for those seeking a lively night out. The club's diverse music offerings ensure there's something for everyone, from indie dance to new wave.
Country and Americana Favorites
The White Horse:
This East Austin honky-tonk is a haven for fans of traditional country music. With live music every night, a spacious dance floor, and a welcoming atmosphere, The White Horse is a must-visit for anyone looking to experience authentic Austin country culture.
The Saxon Pub:
Since 1990, The Saxon Pub has been a home for local and touring Americana, folk, and country artists. With an intimate setting and a commitment to showcasing the best in singer-songwriter talent, this venue is a favorite among music lovers.
Larger Concert Venues
Frank Erwin Center:
As a multi-purpose arena, the Frank Erwin Center hosts a wide range of events, including major concerts featuring world-renowned artists. With a capacity of over 16,000, this venue offers a big-stage experience for fans of all genres.
Circuit of The Americas:
Known primarily as a Formula 1 racetrack, Circuit of The Americas also serves as a large-scale concert venue. With past performances by icons such as Taylor Swift and Metallica, this venue guarantees an unforgettable live music experience.
Intimate Listening Rooms
C-Boys Heart & Soul
C-Boy's Heart & Soul, founded by the creators of the legendary Continental Club, is a lively juke-joint offering the finest R&B, Soul, and Blues on South Congress Avenue since 2014. The venue features live music seven nights a week, a spacious outdoor patio with vintage shuffleboard, and the intimate, 50s-era Japanese GI bar-inspired "Jade Room" cocktail lounge. With its vibrant atmosphere and easy parking, C-Boy's Heart & Soul promises an unforgettable night out.
Parker Jazz Club:
Located in the heart of downtown Austin, this intimate jazz club offers a sophisticated setting for enjoying the best in local and touring jazz talent. With its plush seating and elegant ambiance, Parker Jazz Club is perfect for a classy night out.
Breweries and Beer Gardens
Combining craft beer with live music, The Austin Beer Garden Brewing Co. (The ABGB) offers a unique experience for music and beer lovers alike. With a spacious outdoor stage and a rotating selection of food trucks, this venue is perfect for a relaxed afternoon or evening of entertainment.
Banger's Sausage House & Beer Garden:
This Rainey Street favorite features a massive beer selection, delicious sausages, and regular live music performances. Banger's festive atmosphere and communal seating make it an ideal spot for a fun night out with friends.
Central Market North:
This popular grocery store doubles as a family-friendly live music venue, hosting performances on its outdoor patio. With a playground and plenty of seating, Central Market North offers a laid-back environment for families to enjoy live music together.
Nutty Brown Amphitheatre:
Located just outside of Austin, this outdoor venue offers a fun and family-friendly atmosphere. With a mix of local and touring acts, Nutty Brown Amphitheatre provides a memorable live music experience for all ages.
A cocktail bar on Rainey Street featuring modern takes on classic recipes, mezcal, live music and Happy Hour specials Tuesday through Friday from 4-7 p.m. Be sure to check out this venue if you are in the Rainey street area because its a must visit!
Located in the heart of East Austin, Hotel Vegas offers a mix of live music, DJ sets, and themed dance nights. With an emphasis on showcasing up-and-coming artists, this venue is perfect for those looking to discover new talent and enjoy a memorable night out.
Now that you have our locally curated list of the top 25 live music venues in Austin, you're ready to explore the city's vibrant music scene. From iconic institutions to hidden gems, these venues offer something for everyone. Don't miss out on the opportunity to experience the incredible talent that graces Austin's stages. So, grab your friends, plan a night out, and immerse yourself in the live music capital of the world.