Austin, TX is world-renowned as the live music capital of the world. With more than 250 live music venues you can catch everything from country to blues, hard rock, pop, hip-hop, and even electronic music most any night of the week. With so many great venues to choose from, TicketCity decided to leave opinions out of it and share the most popular venues ranked by annual attendance.
Frank Erwin Center
The 17,000 seat multi-purpose arena is located on the campus of the University of Texas. The Erwin Center is hands down the most popular stop in Austin for the biggest names in Country, Rock, and Pop. However, the venue’s days are numbered as it will soon make way for the Moody Center, which is currently under construction as a replacement.
ACL Live at Moody Theater
The ACL Moody is in Austin’s trendy Warehouse District, just look for the huge statue of Willie Nelson out front. The three-level, 2,500 seat theater plays host to live tapings for the world-renowned “Austin City Limits” music series. When the theater is not playing host to the wildly popular live tapings, the venue has no trouble bringing in top talent. Despite the venue’s relatively small size, it’s able to grab the number two spot on the list by playing host to over 100 concerts a year.
Germania Insurance Amphitheater
The first outdoor venue to make the list, the Germania Amphitheater is located on the site of the Circuit of the Americas, Austin’s Formula 1 race track. With a capacity of 15,000 and ample lawn seating it is a sure bet to catch big-name acts on their summer tours.
H-E-B Center at Cedar Park
The only other multi-purpose arena of note in the Austin area. The H-E-B Center, while technically located outside the city limits of Austin, is still able to draw in today’s fast-rising stars and established acts across all genres.
Stubb’s Bar-B-Q Waller Creek Amphitheatre
Indie bands and top touring acts frequent this Bar-B-Q joint which happens to also be a world-famous concert venue. The 2,200 capacity outdoor Waller Creek Amphitheatre is the more popular of the two stages, with the indoor stage playing host to much smaller shows. Stubb’s is located just two blocks from Austin’s famed Sixth Street in the heart of Austin’s Entertainment District. The venue is exclusively promoted by Austin based C3 Presents, who flexes its muscle as the promoter of both Austin City Limits Festival and Lollapalooza to bring top talent to the popular Austin venue.
Bass Concert Hall
The second venue located on the University of Texas campus, the Bass Concert Hall has superb acoustics and proscenium stage which give performances here a regal feel. The cavernous venue’s accouterments and size (2,913 seats) help it attract world-class performers year-round.
Emo’s is the spot to catch cutting edge acts in Austin. The famed venue outgrew its Sixth Street home and moved out to East Riverside in 2011. The new Emo’s sports a $200,000 sound system and supports multiple configurations to give every show the energy you only get from a crowded feel.
Paramount Theatre traces its roots back to 1915 and is the grandest of Austin’s concert venues. In addition to concerts, the venue is ground zero for the SXSW Movie Festival and Moontower Comedy Festival.
The Long Center’s mission is to bring quality performances and events to Austin. The Long Center prides itself on the variety of entertainment acts it provides to the city of Austin. The programming is eclectic and there are deliberate efforts to feature local talent when possible. The venue’s location along the shores of town lake and unmistakable architecture make it arguably the most picturesque concert venue in Austin.
Nutty Brown Cafe & Amphitheater
Look for the neon cowboy out on Highway 290 West to find this jewel of a venue in the Texas Hill Country. The genre of choice is country music, with Texas Country artists featured most prominently.