The Live Music Capital of the World

The Live Music Capital of the World

Ever wonder why Austin Texas is known as the Live Music Capital of the World®? The slogan became official in 1991, after it was discovered that Austin Texas had more live music venues per capita than anywhere else in the nation.
Listen closely and you’ll hear the sounds of more than 1,900 bands and performing artists living in and around our city. From blues to indie rock, country to jazz, rock en español and more, Austin’s nearly 200 live music venues mean you can catch a show any day of the week, at almost any time.


Check out this video highlighting the many reasons Austin Texas is known as The Live Music Capital of the World…


Most college towns calm down during Spring Break as students leave for party points beyond – but not Austin Texas. After all, why would anyone leave when one of the biggest events in the music, interactive and film business happens right here?

Every March since 1987, South By Southwest (SXSW) has taken over the Capital City. One of the world’s largest and most respected industry conferences, SXSW showcases two weeks of the best in new music, film, digital media and interactive arts – plus hundreds of industry related seminars, discussions, workshops, interviews, meetings, and panels.

Though they’re all housed under the general SXSW name, the event is actually made up of three distinct industry conferences: the SXSW Interactive Festival; the SXSW Film Conference & Festival; and the SXSW Music & Media Conference. And no matter what your industry preference, there’s no question that the festival has a huge impact on the city.

Headquartered at the Austin Convention Center, the 2012 dates are March 9-18, and it’s a golden opportunity for musicians, filmmakers and interactive experts to expand horizons, network, and even get discovered.

The SXSW event starts with SXSW Interactive, overlaps slightly with SXSW Film, and is in full swing by the time SXSW Music begins.The SXSW Music and Media Conference wraps up the week, and there’s a clear distinction when film and interactive ends and when music begins. From the hipsters on the street to the multiple venues around town stacked with amps and guitars to the long wait times at every restaurant and all-night breakfast place in town, things change during music – and that’s a good thing.

To learn more about South by Southwest, check out the Austin Relocation Guide’s website article on SXSW.


Now celebrating its tenth year, this annual, three-day, Autumn musical event brings home the city’s nickname as the Live Music Capital of the World by presenting a vast array of artists from the local to international stages.

Named after the legendary PBS concert series that has been broadcast from the University of Texas in Austin Texas for more than 35 years, the ACL Music Festival is produced by Austin-based C3 Presents, who also produce Lollapalooza.

In all, the ACL Music Festival hosts more than 130 acts playing rock, indie, country, folk, electronic and more on Zilker Park’s eight stages, with over 70,000 fans attending the festival each day. Its carnival-like atmosphere, which is reminiscent of Woodstock, also provides patrons with food and art, most of which is provided by local vendors. Learn more by visiting the ACL Music Festival website.


When you come to the “Live Music Capital of the World”, you would expect to find a variety of live music, and you will not be dissappointed.
There are currently 200 live music venues in Austin Texas, writh more than 1,900 musicians calling the Live Music Capital of the World home.

While live music can be found throughout the city, there are a number of areas that have become hubs for the music of Austin Texas. Some feature quintessential live music venues. Others, like the Stevie Ray Vaughan Memorial, are sites that no music lover should miss.

Sixth Street

Sixth street in Austin is Texas’ best known street. The seven block’s between Congress and IH 35 are certainly Austin’s entertainment center and the heart of Austin’s live entertainment scene.

Sixth Street (formerly known as Pecan Street) is lined with many historical houses and commercial buildings dating from the late 1800′s and early 1900′s. These storied old buildings now house numerous bars, a host of live entertainment venues, art galleries, casual cafes, upscale restaurants, and the elegant Driskill Hotel.

Here you’ll find Live music from almost every genre: jazz, blues, country, rock, hip-hop, beat, progressive, metal, punk and more. Great food also abounds on Sixth Street, featuring such regional staples as chili, ribs, and Tex-Mex plus steak, seafood, cajun-cooking, and deli.

Sixth Street draws an eclectic bunch including endless streams of single UT students, the YUP’s, the burb’s, some interesting street folk, and lot’s of out of town visitors.

Sixth Street is Austin’s entertainment showpiece, and deservedly so. Great events like the Austin Mardi Gras celebration, SXSW, The Republic of Texas Bikers Rally, the Pecan Street Festival and Sixth’s Street infamous Haloween celebration all make for great times with great people.

Red River

An eclectic three blocks of the best, and most, live music in Austin Texas. You can see more than twenty bands in a three block stumble on any weekend night. From Austin’s best and worst home grown indie’s to lot’s of almost famous road shows, Red River is a music lovers panacea.

Born from the rubble of Austin’s crack row and homeless hideaway, Red River still brandishes it’s seedy, tough exterior. But it’s “Sunset Strip” aura lends even more to it’s raw, real, live vibe.

The Warehouse District

The Warehouse district, just west of the central business district, is the upscale cousin to 6th street. A bit trendier and certainly more pricey, it caters to a slightly older crowd than the other downtown entertainment areas.

True to its name, the restaurants and clubs in this district have been renovated from former warehouses into trendy restaurants, top-notch concert halls, and distinctive bars. Live music is everywhere in the Warehouse District and great restaurants are easy to find.

South Congress (SoCo) and South Lamar (SoLa)

South Congress Avenue and South Lamar Boulevard deliver off beat shopping and dining and legendary live music haunts including the Broken Spoke, the last of the true Texas dance halls, the legendary Continental Club and the Saxon Pub.

First Thursdays on South Congress offer a pedestrian-friendly atmosphere that brings the musicians to the street and shopping late into the evening where funky galleries, vintage shops, clothing and furniture stores, jewelry shops and salons stay open until 10:00pm (or later). South congress is Austin’s SoHo, eclectic and fun.

On South Congress Avenue, two to three blocks are filled with a diverse selection of quirky shops featuring everything from ’50s-style furniture to folk art. Boot shops, galleries, antiques and other curiosities fill quaint boutiques. In between the shops, visitors will find a wide variety of culinary delights.

For a detailed map of Austin’s Music Districts, and info on specific venues check out the Austin Music Guide.

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