Live Entertainment Venues in Austin, TX
When PBS first developed the successful series “Austin City Limits” back in 1976, no one expected that the show would become such a smash that it would result in the eight-stage 3-day music festival held annually in Zilker Park. That fact alone makes the Austin City Limits Music Festival the top live entertainment venue in the city. Add that to a killer lineup of headliners, fan favorite bands and fresh acts in a myriad of music genres and you’ve got a recipe for one of the best music festivals in the country. As any music fan will tell you - Austin’s Zilker Park is the place to be in September.
Wait, what? Is that a typo? Is Austin City Limits listed twice? Not exactly. The music festival may be one of Austin’s top live venues, but the television that inspired the event is still going strong too. For over 35 years, PBS’s acclaimed concert series - the original “Austin City Limits” - has been airing one-of-a-kind musical performances by the top talent in the country. Today, the landmark series has been honored by the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame by an exhibit on the series in the museum and remains the only television series to ever be awarded the National Medal of the Arts. Attend an ACL show and become part of American music history.
Given that this nightclub was founded by the legendary music promoter Clifford Antone in 1975, it’s no surprise that Antone’s stage has seen graces by the likes of Bono, Eric Clapton, Muddy Waters, B.B. King, Elvis Costello and so many more. Some greats like Stevie Ray Vaughan got their start playing Antone’s -- and the club continues this tradition of discovering musicians by hosting showcases and open jam sessions. Cover charges vary depending on the acts, and headliner shows fill up fast so your best bet is to purchase tickets in advance. For underage music lovers, Antone’s is one of the few venues in Austin to offer shows for all ages -- but check the event details before heading out the door as some shows are only for 21 and over.
With a name like La Zona Rosa, you might expect to hear only music with a Latin flavor when walk into the club. A Latin band may very well be on one of the club’s two stages, but you’re just as likely to hear jazz, blues or rock. Names after a vibrant neighborhood in Mexico City, the eclectic nightclub exudes a bohemian feel most noticeable in its support of small-time singer/songwriter acts. The club offers a full bar, but don’t be surprised if you happen to see a few five-year-olds while your sipping your cocktail. La Zona Rosa is one of Austin’s only live entertainment venues to open their doors to all ages for every show. Don’t fret about underage drinking though - all patrons under 17 must be accompanied by an adult at all times.
Back in the day - when Stubb’s Bar-B-Q was a legend on the Lubbock, Texas music scene - famous musicians like Muddy Waters, Johnny Cash, Linda Ronstadt and Willie Nelson would take to Stubb’s stage to “sing for their supper.” Though the Lubbock location has closed it’s doors, fantastic bands are still rocking the Stubb’s stage in Austin. Stubb’s packs its weekend event schedule Thursdays through Saturdays with bands of all kinds -- come in Sundays and you’ll see their one-of-a-kind Gospel Brunch. Yes that is a play on words in their name, Stubb’s Bar-B-Q serves a full bar along with a tasty menu of Southern favorites. But you can still bring the kids -- shows are always all-ages.