They don’t call Austin, Texas the “Live Music Capital of the World” for nothing. With its eclectic mix of historic honky-tonks, cozy bars, spacious amphitheaters, and cutting-edge modern venues, Austin’s music scene is as vibrant as ever. Let’s start our musical tour with some of the city’s most iconic and historic places, then move on to the newer landmarks built in the past decade.
Historic Music Venues
Continental Club: Often referred to as the Granddaddy of Austin music clubs, the Continental Club has been a cornerstone of the city’s music scene since it opened in 1955. This South Congress staple has hosted a range of genres from rockabilly and country to indie rock. @continentalclubatx
Antone’s Nightclub: Known as Austin’s Home of the Blues, Antone’s has been a staple in the Austin music scene since it was founded by the legendary Clifford Antone in 1975. The venue has hosted a range of blues and rock musicians, from local artists to music legends like B.B. King and Muddy Waters. @antonesnightclub
Stubbs BBQ: This world-renowned barbecue joint doubles as a must-visit music venue, hosting a mix of local and touring bands since 1996. With its outdoor stage and hearty Texas fare, Stubbs BBQ is as much an experience as it is a music venue. @stubbsaustin
Modern Music Venues
ACL Live at The Moody Theater: This 2,750-person capacity venue has been a staple of downtown Austin since its establishment in 2011. The Moody Theater is the home of the long-running Austin City Limits (ACL) television program, the longest-running music series in American television history.
Moody Center: Completed in 2022, this state-of-the-art arena seats up to 15,000 people and has quickly become a go-to venue for world-class performers. The Moody Center is designed with a fan-first approach, offering an incredible auditory and visual experience.
Moody Ampitheater: The ampitheater is part of Waterloo Greenway, a 1.5-mile park system with the power to bring the entire Austin community together. This ampitheater is a perfect venue for smaller acts with both chair and lawn seating.
Circuit of The Americas (COTA): While primarily known as a world-class racing facility, COTA’s Austin360 Amphitheater has hosted many high-profile concerts since its opening in 2012. With a seating capacity of over 14,000, this is the largest permanent outdoor amphitheater in Central Texas.
ACL Festival: Though not a venue in the traditional sense, no overview of Austin’s music scene is complete without mentioning the Austin City Limits Music Festival. This annual event, held over two weekends in Zilker Park, features a diverse lineup of big-name and emerging artists across eight stages.
Austin continues to draw world-renowned acts to its stages, and 2023 is no exception. This year, we can look forward to performances by powerhouse stars like Janet Jackson, Duran Duran, Kid Rock, Alicia Keys, Thomas Rhett, Foreigner, Stevie Nicks, Lionel Richie, The Jonas Brothers, Drake, Sting, Pearl Jam, Madonna, Depeche Mode, Christ Stapleton, Aerosmith, KISS, John Mayer, and Morgan Wallen at Moody Center. Bonnie Raitt and Liz Phair will be making stops at Moody Theater. Love an outdoor ampitheater? Don’t miss these headliners at Germania Ampitheater: Steve Miller Band, Weezer, Young the Giant, Eric Church, Boy George, Snoop Dog, and Jelly Roll! This year’s ACL Festival is being headlined by Foo Fighters, Kendrick Lamar, The Lumineers, Shania Twain, Alanis Morissette, Mumford & Sons, and so many other amazing acts. And do not miss out on the Formula One musical guests this year, The Killers and Queen with Adam Lambert!
So whether you’re getting down to a local band at Continental Club, swaying to the rhythm at Antone’s, singing along with a chart-topper at the Moody Center, or feasting your ears at the ACL Festival, you’re guaranteed a memorable musical experience in Austin. This city is truly where music—and its fans—come to live.