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.

2010 Grammy Winners On Tour

The music industry handed out small replicas of an obsolete piece of audio equipment last night. Many of the winners are fixtures on my weekly Friday updates, and a few may be this summer as they have tours in the offing. So here’s the list of the major category winners. You can pick up tickets to current tours or sign up to get updates when tickets become available for future tours.

Album of the Year
Best Country Album
Taylor Swift

Best Dance Recording
Lady Gaga

Record of the Year
Kings of Leon

Song of the Year
Best Female R&B Vocal Performance
Best Female Pop Vocal Performance
Best Traditional R&B Vocal Performance
Beyoncé

Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group With Vocals
Best Pop Vocal Album
Black Eyed Peas

Best Rap Solo Performance
Jay-Z

Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group With Vocals
Lady Antebellum

Best Rock Album
Green Day

Best Male Pop Vocal Performance
Jason Mraz

Best Pop Collaboration With Vocals
Jason Mraz & Colbie Caillat

Best New Artist
Zac Brown Band

Best Male R&B Vocal Performance
Maxwell

Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group With Vocals
Jamie Foxx & T-Pain