Live Music Archives - 365 Things to Do in Austin, TX
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Austin, Texas live music is known around the world. We're not called the Live Music Capital of World for nothing! Check out great live music in Austin, Texas every night of the week!

Austin’s Ultimate Boy Band Experience.

See them at Cedar Street Courtyard every Thursday night at 9:30 for your favorite boy bands – from blackstreet & backstreet to boyzII men & bieber.

Things are getting real y’all. Oh and come prepared to dance your ass off.

Cost: $5

When: Thursdays

Time: 9:30pm

Location:
Cedar Street Courtyard
208 W. 4th Street
Austin, Texas 78701

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If you can’t get yourself and your giant hat to Lousiville this year, don’t fret—the Austin version is every bit as fun. The third-annual Derby in the City Music Festival, an event that fuses everybody’s favorite horse race with live music, is the best way to catch the 143rd running of the Kentucky Derby in Austin. This is, by far, the biggest Race for the Roses party in the city. Dress to impress and head downtown for an amazing lineup of live music featuring Black Pistol Fire, Sweet Spirit, Los Coast, The Watters, and headliner Citizen Cope with his full band!

The 3rd Annual Derby In The City Music Festival

Odd Duck will be crafting their Makers Mark mint julep, Kentucky mules, and other fabulous cocktails and there will be a solid beer list with Oskar Blues, Odell Brewing, Sierra Nevada, Deep Ellum Brewing, and Schilling Cider. Also check out the food trucks and massive Jockey Club Tent with flat screen TVs.

When: Saturday, May 6th

Time: Gates – 1:30 p.m. | Festival Ends – 9:30 p.m.

Cost: General Admission Tickets – $31.50 for a limited time – price increase coming soon!

VIP –  $100, includes:
  • Intimate area tucked beneath the oak trees for the ultimate shaded experience
  • Complimentary food provided by Odd Duck
  • Complimentary massages provided by Austin Massage Company
  • Dedicated bar with exclusive choices not available in general admission area
  • UPGRADED Luxury VIP toilet station
  • Ticket holders receive a swanky VIP GIFT BAG with access to exclusive discounts, products and experiences from companies/merchants such as Kendra Scott, Odd Duck, Austin Massage Company, Soul Cycle and more
  • Tables and chairs for seating (seating on a first-come basis)
  • Complimentary bottled water
Location:
Austin American Statesman
305 S. Congress Ave.

It’s time to dust off your BeDazzler and bring your A game. Tonight, come celebrate the birthday of the woman who started it all, the Queen of Tejano music … Selena!

Join Bidi Bidi Banda and guests for a night you’ll never forget. Learn how to cumbia or simply show off your skills with Melissa Corpus of MeliSamba. Get your kicks with Austin’s Puro Pinche Party Band, Su Madre.

Plus win prizes in the Selena lookalike and dance contest!

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When: Today, April 16th

Cost: $5

Time:
4-6 p.m. – Bidi Bidi Banda
6-6:45 p.m. – Cumbia Lessons with Melissa Corpus
6:45-7 p.m. – Selena Lookalike/Dance Contest
7-7:45 p.m. – Su Madre
8-10 p.m. – Bidi Bidi Banda

Location:
The Highball
1120 S Lamar Blvd.
Austin, TX 78704

Hours and hours of live music in the summer is great, but in Texas we always have the issue of it being roughly one thousand degrees. Well, no matter. The brilliant people behind Float Fest have solved that problem for everyone—float the river first, then music! It’s nature’s air conditioning.

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Everyone’s favorite concert/festival/tubing adventure just announced its line up and this year’s bands include: Zedd, Weezer, Cage The Elephant, MGMT, Passion Pit, Mac Miller, just to name a few.

This wet, wild, and weird adventure will take place July 22nd and 23rd in San Marcos, Texas.

Here’s how it all works:

The gates at Cool River Ranch open at 10 a.m. to all tubers on Saturday and Sunday. Once you show up you will be pointed toward the box office where you can redeem your tubing passes, camping passes, and concert tickets. If you are camping you can check in to your campsite starting on Friday at 2pm-8pm. See our Tubing and Camping page for more information on camping. Once you get your wristbands we will have a large tent and tubing staging area near the box office that tubers will wait for the shuttles. Once your turn arrives to hop on the shuttle, the shuttle will take you a few miles up river and drop you off at our river drop in location. Then, you FLOAT about 2 1/2 miles back to Cool River Ranch. The FLOAT takes about 2.5-4 hours so come prepared! Once you arrive at Cool River Ranch river exit you will be directed up the hill to the concert gates! Feel free to go back to your car and change or whatever you need to do before you come party at the concert.

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Click here to learn more about the weekend and to purchase your tickets. This event really is worth planning your whole summer around—so get your crew organized.

 

If you’re looking for an authentic slice of Austin, almost completely untouched by the new, surrounding mixed-use buildings and retail stores, look no further than the Broken Spoke.

An Austin institution since 1964, the current iteration of the honky tonk came together two years later, when, in 1966, owner James White expanded the space to include a now-famous dance floor. It turns out that when White opened the Broken Spoke (named so after the Jimmy Stewart movie Broken Arrow and his kinship with wagon wheels) as a café and pool hall, people kept two-stepping to the country music playing from the jukebox. There was barely any room, so patrons would, according to the stories, dance wherever they could: in-between tables and even out in the parking lot. Sensing he had something big on his hands, White made the Broken Spoke what it is today, what he calls, “the last of the true Texas dance halls.”

Since then, some of country music’s biggest stars have graced the stage at the Broken Spoke, including Ernest Tubb, Ray Price, George Jones, Bob Wills, Kris Kristofferson, Willie Nelson, the Dixie Chicks, and George Strait. Local legends Asleep at the Wheel are regulars at the Broken Spoke to this day. Films such as Wild Texas Nights and Honeysuckle Rose and the television show Friday Night Lights have filmed scenes at the honky tonk. In 2016, a documentary about the historic venue and restaurant, called Honky Tonk Heaven, premiered at SXSW.

Inside, the checkered tablecloths and neon lights are just as they were 50 years ago, and everyone from city slicker tourists to longtime locals spend their time and money at the Broken Spoke. Tuesday through Saturday, visitors to the 2010 inductee to the Texas Western Swing Hall of Fame can dance to live music, gulp down a couple of cold Lone Stars, or sample the Broken Spoke’s famous chicken fried steak. Whatever you do, don’t just stand on the dancefloor.

Photo by Makenzie Harrison. 

With twenty live bands spanning a ten mile course and a headliner concert at the finish, the Austin 10/20 celebrates what Austin is all about – live music and an active lifestyle. The run/walk will take place on April 9, 2017 in North Austin at The Domain. Now in its 6th year, the Austin 10/20 is expected to have 5,000 runners and walkers participate from all over Texas as well as the country.

Athletes come from all over because there’s no other race in the country that offer’s more music per mile than the Austin 10/20. Hundreds of bands apply every year to be a part of the race but only twenty of the best are selected. These rock ‘n’ roll bands are stationed every half mile along the course and provide entertainment as well as motivation to the participants.

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Many first time runners enjoy the race because they can use the bands as markers, motivators and milestones to get them to the finish. There is also plenty of course support including six water stations, two cold towel stations, 20+ port o potty locations and numerous cheerleader groups.

Still not convinced you can cover the ten mile distance? The Austin 10/20 offers a free “10 Weeks to 10 Miles” Training Plan for beginner, intermediate and advanced runners. The first day of the plan starts January 30 and will have you ready by race day: Sunday, April 9. With finishing times ranging from 47:55 (2016 Champion Kenneth Rotich) to just over 3 hours, all abilities are welcome and encouraged to participate.

Waiting for you at the finish line, is a post race party that includes free beer (thanks to sponsor’s Brown Distributing Co. and Michelob Ultra) as well as a Headliner Concert. Past headliner bands have included Everclear, Candlebox, Puddle of Mudd, Black Pistol Fire and Fastball. The 2017 Headliner band along with all of the course bands will be announced at the end of January.

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No other race offers more for you than the Austin 10/20. Perks for participants include a dazzling medal given to all finishers, comfortable tech t, customizable race bibs, age group awards, prize money for elite and local athletes, personalized finisher’s certificates and goodie bags with real goodies.

The 2017 Featured Local Charity is the Central Texas Food Bank. To learn more about the Austin 10/20 or to register online, visit Austin1020.com.

The coupon code 365AUSTIN is good for $10 off registration and expires on 1/20/17.

When: April 9th

Location:
The Domain

Tonight is the night! If you don’t have plans for NYE and you aren’t in the mood for total debauchery, the city’s giant celebration at Auditorium Shores is a great bet. Bring in the New Year with a free, fun, and family friendly celebration.

Austin’s New Year will have have three stages, 15 local and regional bands, food trucks, kid’s activities, and multiple art installations.

Check out the full music schedule here.

Capping off the festive evening, the traditional fireworks finale will start at 10 p.m.!

When: Today, December 31st

Time: 3:00-10:30 p.m.

Location:
Auditorium Shores
900 W Riverside Dr,
Austin, TX 78704

The best way to spend NYE is surrounded by friends and with the lowest possible expectations  … know that before jumping into this list! The lines for downtown venues are long, the covers are high, and there are thousands of people roaming the streets who apparently do not consume alcohol the other 364 days of the year.

That being said, it can be the pinnacle party of the holiday season with the right people, and the right venue. To help you with the latter, we’ve put together a list with ten options that will help you create a memorable farewell to 2016.

10. Speakeasy’s Legendary NYE Bash

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Speakeasy is great for ringing in the New Year due to the sheer size of the place. It’s basically three venues in one, which makes staying at the same bar for roughly four hours a lot more enjoyable.

Speakeasy will have a band in the main bar, and DJs in the Kaberet Room and on Terrace59 (the rooftop). Tickets start at $49, but I’d recommend spending a bit more to ensure access to the rooftop, which has a great view, and might even allow you to catch the fireworks over Lady Bird Lake.

Tickets/info: Here

9. City of Austin NYE Event at Auditorium Shores

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This year’s festivities on Auditorium Shores include live performances from Ray Wylie Hubbard, Shinyribs, and almost two-dozen other artists. There will also be food trucks on-site, activities for the kids, and the grand-finale fireworks show at 10 p.m.

This is a great event for families and couples that are looking to avoid the downtown madness, but still want to get out and do something memorable on New Year’s Eve. For an added bonus, admission is free!

More info: Here

8. Star69ties NYE Bash at Parlor & Yard

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Wanna party like it’s 1999? Maybe more like ’92—the years of Hammer pants and Hypercolor? This West 6th venue is offering a champagne toast at midnight, and light appetizers for the $35 price tag.

Tickets/info: Here

 

7. Blackfinn’s Rio Carnival Party

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Blackfinn is throwing a Carnival inspired party this year with a DJ, face painting, a photo booth, and much more.

Tickets start at $25 and include entrance to the event, two cocktails, a champagne toast at midnight, and party favors.

Tickets/info: Here

6. Banger’s New Year’s Eve Smoke Out

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If you want to enjoy the mild winter weather in Austin underneath the oaks, look no further than Banger’s. This year they’re smoking Prime Rib, and hosting live music, and a complimentary toast at midnight of Miller High Life (the Champagne of Beers).

No cover to get in, and the party starts at 6 p.m.

More info: Here

5. The Nightowls at Stubb’s

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Austin’s favorite soul band, The Nightowls, will rock the indoor stage at Stubb’s with an opening performance from Derrick Davis Band. The $60 ticket includes a champagne toast and a complimentary buffet!

Tickets/info: Here

4. Jason and Deb’s Casino Night at The Goodnight

The tagline for this party is “don’t go downtown,” and Jason and Deb of 101x are giving you plenty of reasons to avoid the area completely. In addition to the standard amenities at The Goodnight (bowling, karaoke, ping pong, pool, and more), this party is also all-inclusive!

That means the $100 ticket gives you access to free games, a full bar, $5000 in casino game chips, and free appetizers.

Tickets/info: Here

3. 80’s NYE Bash at Austin Roller Rink

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Tag this one in the ‘memorable NYE’ category. In addition to roller skating, the 4th annual bash also includes costume contests based on 80’s attire, a balloon drop at midnight, and it’s BYOB! Tickets start at $45.

Tickets/info: Here

2. Ghostland Observatory at Emo’s (SOLD OUT)

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Unfortunately, this show has already sold out at press time. We’ll do our best to snag a pair for a giveaway, so stay tuned to our Instagram account.

1. NEON GOLD by W Austin

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You know those NYE parties you see in the movies? While not for everyone, that’s what the two-party experience (one called Neon, the other Gold) at The W Austin provides.

If you’re looking to dress to the nines, pop bottles, and you don’t mind dropping some cash— there’s nothing else in Austin quite as glittery as this celebration.

GA tickets start at $50 for Neon, and $150 for Gold.

Pro-tip: Grab some friends (up to 15) and split the cost of a table ($2,000). Tables come with two bottles and will save you money assuming you trust your friends to cover their part of the bill!

***Bonus points if you can sneak into the sold-out Willie show happening next-door at ACL Live.

Tickets/info: Here

Happy New Year’s from 365 Things Austin! Please party responsibly and consider ride-share, public transportation (Cap Metro is offering FREE rides, see below), or taxi this holiday season.

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We love a homegrown Austin business and Odd Duck really did grow—from a humble trailer into a big, beautiful restaurant. And they never forget their awesome roots! Odd Duck’s #TrailerThrowback party is back, this time to celebrate the restaurant’s third year in their brick-and-mortar space. Friends, family, and fans can stop in for beer and wine, as well as the Odd Duck Farm To Trailer food from the days of yore. This is the one time each year when the OG dishes return, including grits with soft poached duck eggs, grilled broccoli, and chef Bryce Gilmore’s famous pork belly sliders.

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Entry into the party is a minimum donation of $25, with proceeds benefiting Sustainable Food Center and SFC Farmers’ Markets. A silent auction will also be set up at the event to raise further money for Zilker Elementary School’s school garden, which the Odd Duck team was instrumental in developing.

When: Today, December 11th

Time: 5-10 p.m.

Location:
Odd Duck
1201 S Lamar Blvd.
Austin, Texas 78704

Image via Facebook. Credit: Jody Horton Photography.