Long known as Austin's “Home Of The Blues,” Antone's today showcases a wide variety of popular Austin local acts and nationally touring shows in an all ages venue located in the heart of downtown Austin. Antone's Nightclub was first opened in the summer of 1975 by then only 25 year old promoter Clifford Antone and was one of the first clubs to open on Austin's 6th Street. Clifford Antone was quoted as saying, “When I finally heard the Chicago Blues, man, it was like I finally discovered what had been in my mind my whole life” and he began booking blues legends into the club such as Muddy Waters, B.B. King, Buddy Guy, John Lee Hooker, Pinetop Perkins, James Cotton, Clifton Chenier, Fats Domino, Albert Collins, Jimmy Reed, Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown, and many more. Before his death in 2006, Clifford Antone went on to play an instrumental role in the careers of many Austin based musicians, most notably Stevie Ray Vaughan, as well as Jimmie Vaughan, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Los Lonely Boys, Ian Moore, and Bob Schneider. Clifford Antone's sister Susan Antone continues to run the nightclub today. The stage at Antone’s Nightcub has been graced by countless famous musicians including Bono and The Edge of U2, Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top, Eric Clapton, Dwight Yoakam, Bruce Willis and Elvis Costello. Clifford Antone was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in Memphis, Tennessee in 2009 and Antone's has been the recipient of numerous Austin Music Awards, as well as being named Nightclub of the Year by USA Today and the W.C. Handy Awards. “Help Clifford Help Kids,” a non-profit charity started by Clifford Antone and his sister Susan in 2001, continues with an annual fundraiser benefiting American YouthWorks, a program for at-risk youth in Central Texas. Now located at 5th and Lavaca Streets, the walls at Antone’s display memorabilia and photographs honoring the musical history of the nighclub, the rhythm of all the musicians who have played there, and the spirit of founder Clifford Antone while continueing to bring in top talent to play the stage at Antone's.
The Austin City Limits studio moved from it's long time home at Studio 6A (which held less than 400 fans) on The University of Texas campus to a new facility at the W Hotel called the Moody Theater in 2010. The longest-running music program in television history and recognized by Time magazine as one of the 10 most influential music programs of all time, the original pilot for Austin City Limits was taped in October of 1974 with Willie Nelson. ACL had its final taping in Studio 6A with Lyle Lovett on November 8, 2010. The Moody Theater is a three-story venue that contains 85,000 square feet of studio space with a capacity of 2,700 people located at the corner of Lavaca and Second streets adjacent to the W Hotel. The stairs leading up to the venue are located on 2nd Street and Lavaca. Besides Austin City Limits television show tapings, the Moody Theater hosts 60 to 100 ticketed shows per year. The free Austin City Limits Tours on Friday mornings have been discontinued and replaced with tours on Monday through Fridays from 11 AM to noon. Tickets for the Austin City Limits tours can be purchased in person at the ACL Live Venue Box Office (open 10AM to 3 PM) or at the Austin Visitors Center located on 209 E. 6th Street. Tours will begin from the ACL Live Venue Box Office located on Willie Nelson Boulevard (West 2nd Street). Tickets are $10 per person or $8 per person for groups of 10 or more. The free Austin City Limits admission for television show tapings will be limited to about 800 fans to keep the more intimate atmosphere of the old studio. Tickets for tapings are free, but getting on the guest list requires connections to sponsors, staff or acts, or winning drawings posted on the Austin City Limits Upcoming Tapings page. Any announcements regarding ticket availability and giveaways for the public will be posted approximately a week before a taping. Free beer is no longer be handed out during tapings of Austin City Limits, one of the famous perks for the old TV audiences. State liquor laws covering the new commercial facility will no longer allow free beer, however bars selling alcoholic beverages will be open during ACL tapings. The garage under the building is for W Hotel guests and condo residents only. Concert-goers must use streetside spaces and parking garages. The City Hall garage and a state garage are all within easy walking distance.
Set in downtown Austin Zilker Park, the Austin City Limits Music Festival is annual three-day music and art festival that has become one of the United States premier rock festivals. Approximately 130 bands on eight stages attract crowds of around 65,000 fans to listen to music including rock, country, folk, indie, Americana, hip-hop, reggae and bluegrass. Named after the public television show Austin City Limits produced at the KLRU studios at the University of Texas since 1977, C3 Presents licenses the “Austin City Limits” name for the annual festival. There is usually a brief and competitive pre-sale of discount price three-day passes about six months before the Austin City Limits Music Festival. The regular sale starts a few months later with gradual price increases as Austin City Limits Music Festival gets closer. Single day tickets go on sale about a month before Austin City Limits Music Festival. The best way to get tickets is to sign up for the ACL Fest email list for notifications on ticket sale dates and discounts. The dates for the 2012 Austin City Limits Music Festival are Friday, October 12 through Sunday, October 14, 2012. The lineup for 2012 includes Jack White; Neil Young and Crazy Horse; The Shins; The Roots; The Avett Brothers, Iggy Pop and the Stooges; Willis Earl Beale; M83; M. Ward; The Afghan Whigs; Tegan and Sara; Metric; Andrew Bird; Delta Spirit; The War on Drugs; The Black Keys; Weezer; Thievery Corporation; Steve Earle; The Shins; and The Red Hot Chili Peppers. C3 Presents recently announced that the Austin City Limits Fest plans to expand to a two weekend format in 2013 with the 2013 Austin City Limits Festival taking place on October 4 through 6 and October 11 though 13, 2013.
The Austin Jazz Alliance is an umbrella organization connecting jazz musicians, jazz fans and jazz related businesses in Austin and Central Texas. Besides an online pop up radio player playing all local jazz from Austin, Texas, the Austin Jazz Alliance website maintains a very comprehensive list of all jazz events and venues in Austin, a database of jazz musicians and a classified ads section for musicians to buy and sell their equipment and services.
Traditional free stuff to do in Austin includes the Blues on the Green free Austin summer concert series presented by KGSR Radio at Zilker Park. KGSR has sponsored this fun free thing to do in Austin TX for over twenty years. KGSR's Blues on the Green has always been a free community event supported by Austin Parks and Recreation and Austin area businesses. The Blues on Green free music concert in Austin on Wednesday Nights at Zilker Park take place from 7:30 PM to 9:30 PM during the months of June through August. Concert goers can bring their own food or purchase food or soft drinks from vendors on site. It is a good idea to bring chairs or blankets. Dogs on leashes are also allowed. Glass containers and alcohol are not permitted in City of Austin parks. Public parking is available either across the street by the Barton Springs pool or the big lot off of Stratford Drive by the Mopac Bridge. In addition, free parking is available at the One Texas Center after 5pm. Bike racks are located at the North and South ends of Zilker Park. Capital Metro buses also serve Zilker Park. The 2012 season of Blues on the Green free music lineup is Charlie Mars with Max Gomez on May 30; Rhett Miller with Wheeler Brothers on June 13; Ben Kweller with Amy Cook on June 27; Marcia Ball with Nakia on July 25; BoDeans with Sahara Smith on August 1; and an ACL Festival preview featuring Quiet Company with The Eastern Sea and Wild Child on August 8.
Thought to be the first location in Travis County to sell liquor by the drink, the Continental Club opened on South Congress Avenue in 1957 as a private supper club hosting touring bands like Tommy Dorsey and Glen Miller. During the 1960's, the Continental Club became the first burlesque strip club in Austin featuring performers like Candy Barr and Bubbles Cash. It was during the 1970's that the current reputation of the Continental Club began to be established as performers with guitar driven blues and rock bands such as Joe Ely, Stevie Ray Vaughan, The Cobras, Jimmie Vaughan and WC Clark began to appear on a regular basis, as well as punk and New Wave Bands like D-Day, The Skunks, The Butthole Surfers and The Explosives. The current owner, Steve Wertheimer, took over the club in 1987 and remodeled it to resemble the original Continental Club as in appeared in the fifties. The Continental still hosts touring bands like Igor and the Red Elvises, Southern Culture On The Skids, Hank Williams III, Bill Kirchen and Jonathan Richman and some of the most popular Austin home town performers with a variety of music including rock, rockabilly, blues, singer-songwriters and swing. Regular performers on the calendar include Junior Brown, Jon Dee Graham, Toni Price, Alejandro Escovedo, James McMurtry, Dale Watson and the LeRoi Brothers. The Continental is often a great location to spot celebrities both visiting and resident to Austin like Johnny Depp, Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top, Matthew McConaughey and Dennis Quaid. The Continental Club is also home base for a custom car and hot rod shows like the Lonestar Rod and Kustom Roundup in April.
The dates for the 2012 Fun Fun Fun Fest are Friday November 2, Saturday November 3 and Sunday November 4, 2012. Presented by Transmission Entertainment, Fun Fun Fun Fest is an independent genre based annual three day music festival in early November featuring many progressive and underground musicians with a focus on indie rock, punk rock, hardcore and hip hop and DJ music. The first Fun Fun Fun Fest was in 2006 at Waterloo Park in downtown Austin. Fun Fun Fun Fest is now taking place at Auditorium Shores on Lady Bird Lake adjacent to the Palmer Events Center. The 2012 Fun Fun Fun Fest lineup includes Run DMC; A$AP Rocky; Girl Talk; De La Soul; Etienne De Crecy; Bun B; STRFKR; AraabMuzik; Dillon Francis; Rakim; Danny Brown; The Octopus Project; Trust; Tanlines; Edward Sharpe And The Magnetic Zeros; Public Image Ltd.; Explosions In The Sky; Santigold; The Head And The Heart; Superchunk; Real Estate; The Black Angels; Bob Mould (Performing Copper Blue); Refused; Turbonegro; X (Performing Los Angeles); Tomahawk; Against Me!; Fucked Up; Wavves; Seaweed; The Sword; Converge; Youth Of Today; Lagwagon; Between The Buried And Me; Napalm Death; David Cross; Hannibal Buress; Wyatt Cenac; Doug Benson; Eugene Mirman; Saul Williams; Jon Benjamin; Tig Notaro; W. Kamau Bell; and Duncan Carson with a wide mix of old and new acts presented on four stages
Open for more than thirty years and the only remaining dive bar on the Drag across from the University of Texas, the Hole in the Wall features local music from country to punk to jazz. Most weekday shows are no cover with a $5 cover on Fridays and Saturdays.
Jovita's on South First serves up Mexican food and live music six nights a week. A large tree covered patio with an outdoor stage overlooks Bouldin Creek in the back and indoors there is another stage where often you can find some of the mainstays of Austin's music scene like the Cornell Hurd Band, Tex Thomas and the Danglin Wranglers, The Gourds, Flounders Without Eyes as well as up and coming musicians and touring acts like the Red Elvises.
Each May and June, tens of thousands of Austinites and visitors from all over the world make the two hour drive from Austin to converge at Quiet Valley Ranch in Kerrville for eighteen consecutive days of traditional folk, bluegrass, acoustic rock, blues, country, jazz, and Americana music. Founded by Rod Kennedy, the Kerrville Folk Festival has run annually since 1972 and is the longest continuously running music festival of its kind in North America. Many visitors camp at the ranch during the festival and almost all the staff are volunteers. One of the most unique aspects of the festival happens after the official shows when fans, volunteers and performers play music by the campfires, sometimes till dawn. The 2011 Kerville Folk Festival is scheduled for May 26 through June 12.
The Joe R. and Teresa Lozano Long Center for the Performing Arts (The Long Center)is a sustainably built performing arts venue located located along Lady Bird Lake and is a remodel of the Lester E. Palmer Auditorium that hosts local, regional, national and international artists and performances. The City of Austin leased the Lester E. Palmer Auditorium to the nonprofit group Arts Center Stage and after ten years of construction, the grand opening of the Long Center took place on March 28, 2008. The funding for this first phase of renovation was exclusively provided through private donations from more than 4,600 supporters and 95% of material from the deconstructed Palmer Auditorium were recycled in the new construction. The circular “ring-beam” around City Terrace and Hartman Concert Park located just outside the Dell Hall overlooking Lady Bird Lake and Auditorium Shores was originally an anchoring structure for the Palmer Auditorium and the colored aluminum panels that were once the distinctive Palmer Auditorium roof were reused for the exterior finish and wall decorations of the Dell Hall. In all five tons of steel from the Palmer Auditorium were melted and reused in the construction of the new Long Center. The Long Center today encompasses multiple technologically advanced performance and event spaces, including the 2,400-seat Michael and Susan Dell Hall and the multi-functional Debra and Kevin Rollins Studio Theatre. The Dell Hall is home to the The Long Center’s Founding Resident Companies, the Austin Symphony Orchestra, Austin Lyric Opera and Ballet Austin.
Stubbs BBQ Restaurant is one face of the multi level entertainment corporation C-3, the same folks behind the Austin City Limits Festival. The original C.B. Stubblefield was a Black Korean War vet who opened a BBQ stand in Lubbock, Texas in 1968 across from the county fairgrounds. He apparently made some really good BBQ in the hickory pit behind his place and filled the jukebox with vintage blues music. Unfortunate circumstances led him to Austin, Texas in 1985 and he began to sell BBQ outside of Antone's Blues Nightclub and eventually opened a restaurant in Austin on Interstate 35 in 1986. After Stubblefield died in 1995 his name and likeness was purchased for the current incarnation of Stubbs BBQ Restaurant on Red River. Besides having indoor restaurant seating for the BBQ restaurant, Stubb's is also an 1800-seat stone ampitheatre that hosts a variety of rock, blue grass, punk, reggae and other music acts including such artists as Rebelution, Counting Crows, Blue October and Pete Yorn. Stubb's BBQ also has a separate indoor stage that often features Austin area musicians. Sundays there is a gospel brunch with live Gospel music and a southern-style buffet with grits, migas, fried catfish, and brisket.