5 Reasons Why Music Lovers Should Visit Austin – and not Just for SXSW
Feast Your Ears on Austin’s Bustling Music Scene
Austin has been referred to for years as the “Live Music Capital of the World,” and trust us, it’s not just because it’s where the beloved South by Southwest Festival is hosted. Austin has been home to a booming music scene since long before festival culture swept the nation, and it’s probably going to stay number one on the list of best cities for live music for many years to come (according to Thrillist, that is). So get on the bus and explore Austin for the treasure chest of music that it is.
Not only does Austin have an amazing music scene, but the food and family culture is also one for the books. Check out our listings page to explore the city on a local level before heading out to enjoy the music.
1) Austin’s Rich History
Simply stroll through the downtown district of Austin, and you will find pockets of history tucked in among the contemporary architecture and storefronts. As you wander the streets, be sure to check out the statue of Willie Nelson on Lavaca & Seventh. Nelson is known for reportedly helping to bring together the hippies and the rednecks at the Armadillo Headquarters, a bar and music venues that has since closed its doors.
Another must-see for those seeking an Austin-themed music history lesson is the “Hi, how are you” mural, affectionately referred to as “Jeremiah the Innocent,” on Guadalupe and 21st. Daniel Johnston painted the mural in 1993 on what was then the side of a record store. The record store has since closed, but you can still go check out the infamous little frog. You may recognize it from images of Kurt Cobain, who frequently rocked a t-shirt with the same image.
2) Vibrant Local Band Life
Since Austin is home to famous festivals like South by Southwest, It comes as no surprise that it has a bustling local music scene. You may recognize the bands Explosions in the Sky, Spoon, or Magna Carta – all amazing bands that hail from Austin.
3) Great Venues
You can’t earn the nickname “Live Music Capital of the World” without having some amazing venues for live music. Red River Street is an infamous strip of live music venues that constantly has good music, drinks, and food. A must visit location on this street is Stubb’s Barbeque, where you can enjoy a tender brisket and an ice cold beer while rocking out to some of the city’s best jazz, gospel, and country.
4) Austin’s Plethora of Record Stores
Record players are making a comeback, and fortunately for music lovers, that means that record stores are also making a comeback. Austin has an especially good selection of record stores to browse, including Waterloo Records.
Waterloo records not only has a huge vinyl collection, but they also host small shows and events. During SXSW, they convert their parking lot into a stage!
5) Austin’s Music Festivals (Other than SXSW!)
Austin’s rich music scene means that music festivals automatically flourish in this city. If you are looking for a smaller or more underground festival that SXSW, you should check out Austin City Limits, Fun Fun Fun Fest, and Pachanga Festival.
Austin’s festival lineups always include huge headliners, for example this year’s Austin City Limits is excited to be hosting artists like Jay-Z, Chance the Rapper, and The Head and the Heart.
Get a Taste of The Live Music Capital of the World
Austin is an objectively fun city. From delicious tacos to tasty tunes, Austin’s quirky atmosphere and historically rich landscape proves there’s plenty of fun for you and your friends, or even the whole family. Read up on shows and events happening when you visit so that you can take full advantage of your vacation to the live music capital of the world.
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