I covered my experiences with the Frank Erwin Center last month and found that it helped quite a few people make some decisions on seats, parking, and what to look forward to when heading to the venue. This month I am looking at Austin’s newest member to the massive family of venues, the Austin360 Amphitheater.
I was ecstatic to hear Austin was bringing in an amphitheater, and when they announced it would live right in the middle of the Circuit of the Americas F1 racing grounds and I couldn’t wait to check it out. Sometimes when you hold such high expectations for something you end up being disappointed. Let me be the first to say this is not the case for the Austin360 Amphitheater.
My first visit out to A360 was the venues debut and Kenny Chesney was taking the stage. Though I will admit $20 for parking was a bit lofty for me and the walk can get pretty far depending on the lot you have to park in, the staff goes out of their way to make up for it. First of all I have never been to an event where the traffic flows with such ease upon entering and exiting. Along with an extremely friendly traffic control staff the venue offers a free shuttle to and from the entrance (as well as an army of pedicabs).
Having seen Chesney twice before at the Erwin Center and FC Dallas Stadium I knew the show was going to be good regardless of the venue. Like I said before, the 360 Amphitheater did not disappoint. I had lawn seats and my only suggestion for this section is if you are a stickler about being in the front get there early because it fills fast. Don’t worry if you don’t get there early enough because the lawn is elevated so you won’t have to deal with me (the tall guy that stands in front of you at every show). The grass is thick and lush making for a great seat (even though most everyone in the lawn stands for the whole show) but blankets and seat-back chairs (chairs that don’t have legs) are acceptable. My most recent visit to the Austin 360 Amphitheater was at Dave Matthews Band, I didn’t sit in the lawn but noticed an additional riser with tables and a full service bar which would have been hell-a-nice at Chesney. The view from the lawn depends on where you get situated at but the sound is just as good as the front row. There are giant screens on each side of the stage and they are plenty big to satisfy your viewing needs. All in all, the lawn is a great, cheaper way to get in on a great show. I already snagged two lawn tickets to the Mumford & Sons show in June and can’t wait to get back to the amphitheater.
Last time I had tickets to see DMB was in 2009 at ACL, the year it poured all weekend and led me to leave before getting a chance to see one of my favorite bands. I was not about to miss Dave the second time around. My wife and I sat in the back of section 105 on row U and it was amazing. I know what you’re thinking too, it was your favorite band of course you thought it was amazing. Well you’re right but that doesn’t mean the venue didn’t have a role in my enjoyment as well. The picture at the top and to the right were both taken from my seat to give you a perspective of the view from section 105. The 100′s sections are all very similar so you can expect the same view in 101-107. The 200 section is a bit further back but still not bad and all the seats are roomy and comfortable (for amphitheater chairs).
My biggest complaint is the price of the booze. Domestic 16 oz. beers were $8-8.50 and the imports were a dollar more and after everything you spend to get into the joint nobody wants to pay that much for a beer. There is a solution though and I have seen tons of people taking advantage of it so far. They allow tailgating in the parking lot prior to the show. Tents, beer pong, washers, and corn-hole, I have seen it all out in the parking lot which is cool because the concession stand will win the battle with your wallet.
The Austin360 Amphitheater is a great place to catch a concert and I keep telling people to go check it out. With Mumford & Sons scheduled for two shows in June, Wiz Khalifa & ASAP Rocky in July, Maroon 5 & Kelly Clarkson in September, and Lil Wayne & T.I., Train, and Keith Urban in between there are plenty of good times to be had at Austin360. Check out A360′s full schedule and get tickets to your favorite artist.