Austin’s Newest Concert Venue: Tower Amphitheater

Tower Amphitheater, Austin’s newest concert venue, has the potential to significantly shake-up the music scene in the live music capital of the world.  Despite its nearly 200 live music venues, some mid-to-large bands may have previously bypassed Austin because there wasn’t a dedicated 12,000+ capacity venue to play.  As the largest outdoor entertainment venue in Central Texas, Tower Amphitheater is sure to mean more major, nationally-touring events coming through town.  Based on the opening season lineup, which includes county music’s #1 ticket seller Kenny Chesney and recently announced performances from Jimmy Buffet and The Lumineers, Tower Amphitheater is on track to draw an impressive list of shows in 2013.

Tower Amphitheater is situated within Circuit of The Americas’ 1,300-acre sports and entertainment complex.  Circuit of The Americas’ is the first motor racing circuit in the United States to be purpose-built for Formula One, which it hosted in November 2012.  The amphitheater is located underneath a 220-foot tall observation tower, with views of downtown Austin. The open-air venue includes best practices and design elements from iconic outdoor venues like the Hollywood Bowl, Red Rocks Amphitheater in Colorado, and Live Nation’s massively successful Woodlands Pavilion.

Expected to host 15-20 shows during its inaugural year, tickets are currently available for Kenny Chesney, Zac Brown Band, and The Avett Brothers. Tickets for The Lumineers and Jimmy Buffet will be available for purchase starting this weekend, February 15th and 16th, respectively.

Where to sit
Tower Amphitheater - Seating Chart

General admission lawn seats are the least expensive ticket in the house, situated behind the reserved seating areas.  But be sure to bring a blanket or lawn chair that sits directly on the ground as chairs with legs won’t be permitted inside the park.  If you want to be closest to the action, GA Pit tickets are the way to go for Zac Brown Band or The Avett Brothers.  While GA pit tickets are not available for Kenny Chesney, a limited number of premium floor seats will get you closest to the stage (known as the “golden circle”).

Where to eat

In addition to hot dog and burger stands typically available at event venues, Tower Amphitheater will also offer local vendors including Salt Lick BBQ and Gatti’s Pizza.  Concessions are available on both sides of the stage and throughout the Grand Plaza.

Where to park

Buy parking in advance.  Not only will you be able to get into the show faster, but you’re more likely to get a spot closer to the venue entry (and at a discounted rate).

When to arrive

Gate open times vary based on the event. For most shows, the main entrance gates to the Grand Plaza will open two hours before the show time and the interior gates to the amphitheater seating area will open one hour after that. If you’re planning on attending the upcoming Kenny Chesney show, don’t forget to arrive early for the pre-show tailgate party featuring a buffet of Kenny’s favorite food, drinks, and music starting at 5 PM.

The Week in TicketCity Search – You’ll Catch Up In That Direction

TicketCity Week in Search

Week of
May. 28th
1 - One Direction
2 - Justin Bieber
3 - ACL Fest
4 - Euro 2012
5 - San Antonio Spurs
6 - Texas Rangers
7 - Miami Heat
8 - Jimmy Buffet
9 - Jason Aldean
10 - Belmont Stakes

Well, now it’s a fight. When last we left this little pop soap opera, the esteemed Mr. Bieber had been trailing One Direction for weeks. The Bieber partisans had put up impressive numbers considering he hadn’t actually released any tour dates. Now the Believe Tour is on the books for this Fall, and interest skyrocketed. Just not quite enough to dethrone the boys of One Direction this week. Mind, the gap between #1 and #2 has changed from “brutal trouncing” to single digits.

Despite not announcing headlining performances from either Justin Bieber or One Direction, the ACL Festival secures #3. That rather wide gap now separates it from second place, though. Fans will simply have to “make do” with the likes of Florence + The Machine, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Neil Young, The Black Keys, Jack White and many others.

The Euro Cup, 2012 edition, lands in #4. Outside of the World Cup, this is one of international soccer’s biggest events. Hosted this year in Poland and Ukraine, 16 of the top European teams will compete, including Spain, who won the last Euro Cup and the last World Cup.

At #5 and #7, Spurs and Heat remind us the NBA finals are still in progress. These two are the favorites to meet in the Finals, though Boston and OKC still have a say in the matter.

Rounding things out in the bottom five we see the return of Jimmy Buffet and Jason Aldean this week. Buffet is on tour right now, and Aldean is part of the big Country Megaticket shows this summer with Luke Bryan.

Finally there’s a greater than usual interest in this year’s Belmont Stakes as enthusiasts buzz about the possibility of new Triple Crown winner. I’ll Have Another has won both the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes, and is set to race at Belmont. There hasn’t been a Triple Crown winner since Affirmed captured it in 1978. If I’ll Have Another wins, it may be a once-in-a-lifetime experience for the lucky spectators.

The Week in TicketCity Search – Two-Thousand Thirteen Directions

TicketCity Week in Search

Week of
Apr. 16th
1 1 One Direction
2 2 Justin Bieber
3 3 Kentucky Derby
4 - Garth Brooks
5 - Jimmy Buffet
6 - Dallas Cowboys
7 4 Texas Rangers
8 - Houston Texans
9 7 Drake
10 - New York Yankees

Protip: the kids like the One Direction. They also like the Justin Bieber, just not quite as many of them at this point, it would seem. Mr. Bieber still has no concerts scheduled, while One Direction recently announced the follow-up to the tour they haven’t finished yet. The “2013 World Tour” will kick off less than 3 months after the “Up All Night Tour” ends in December of 2012.

The Derby and Oaks hang onto the #3 spot, keeping the top of the countdown the same this week. Things get mixed up pretty quickly after that. Garth Brooks returns as interest in his headlining gig at the Calgary Stampede lands him in the #4 spot. Jimmy Buffet is swinging by ACL Live at the Moody Theatre next month, and that’s probably why he appeared at #5 this week.

The bottom five reminds us that the NFL has returned at a slightly more normal time this season. You may recall last year the season almost didn’t happen, but this year the schedules have been posted and you can stock up on your favorite NFL team’s tickets a solid 4 months in advance of the preseason. The boys of summer aren’t left out either, as the Rangers hold steady at #8 and the Yankees peak in at #10 this week.

The Week in TicketCity Search – A Clarity of Direction

TicketCity Week in Search

Week of
Apr. 9th
1 1 One Direction
2 3 Justin Bieber
3 7 Kentucky Derby
4 5 Texas Rangers
5 - Beyoncé
6 6 Bruce Springsteen
7 4 Drake
8 - Jimmy Buffet
9 - Detroit Tigers
10 - Kevin Hart

Not only did One Direction win again this week, but with the largest margin yet. They are posting numbers I rarely recall seeing before, digits that outstrip some of the biggest sporting events of the year, including one on this very list. Perhaps feeling the heat, fans of the esteemed Mr. Bieber have stepped things up, pushing him to the (still really distant) #2 spot. Credit where due, Bieber hit the second spot without any tour dates.

That sporting event alluded to earlier is the Kentucky Derby, and its little sister, the Kentucky Oaks. Together they posted #3 this week. There’s still a few weeks to get your plans set for a visit to Louisville and Churchill Downs. Two minutes of your trip are covered, the rest you can fill with the amazing sights, sounds and spectacle of Derby day.

Rangers fans are ready for the home opener, pushing them up a notch to #4, and relative countdown newcomer Beyoncé Knowles arrives in the #5 spot. Beyoncé’s return to live shows is set for the end of May in a three night stand at the brand new Revel Atlantic City casino. This promises to be a hot ticket despite the lack of English teenagers.

Springsteen stays put and once again kicks off the bottom half of the countdown, where Drake lands after dropping a few spots. Jimmy Buffet has been absent for a while, but with a new tour returns to the countdown this week. Finally, Kevin Hart takes over the comedy spot this week for Daniel Tosh who dropped off the list.

The Week in TicketCity Search – February 19th

This week the Games handily fend off the challenge from the WWE, though the later remains in the top 5. The Games reached #1 by a huge margin, probably the widest yet seen when all 8+ of the various terms used to search were added together. I do that regularly, though in this case a top 10 list of basically the same entry repeated with different names may have been an amusing diversion. Have maintain some standards, though. The remainder of the top 5 include the usual suspects, capped off by the esteemed Mr. Bieber.

With the loss of the Super Bowl and the All-Star Game, the lower 5 gets mixed up a bit. Starting off is a newcomer to the list but hardly to the concert-going public: Elton John. He’s been on tour solo and playing some dates with fellow “pianoman” Billy Joel over the past few months. Both fine choices in pop piano, though Hornsby was always my favorite, at least back when was playing pop piano.

Monster Jam returns to the list after being absent, and rounding things out is the SEC Basketball Tournament. The SEC is always one of the most popular conferences as far as championships are concerned. TicketCity has tickets to all the major conference tournaments, SEC included. All these are merely the appetizers to the main course, March Madness itself and the run-up to the Final Four.

1 1 Winter Games
2 3 Justin Bieber
3 5 Taylor Swift
4 7 John Mayer
5 2 WWE
6 - Elton John
7 6 Michael Bublé
8 - Jimmy Buffet
9 - Monster Jam
10 - SEC Tournament