Red River Street
The best concentration of live music in Austin
While Austin is teeming with incredible live music, Red River Street between 10th and 6th Streets has the densest collection of incredible shows in the city. Starting at 10th Street and heading south, our favorite venues are: Mohawk for indie performances at one of the best venues in town, Stubb’s for a great lineup with a side of barbecue, Cheer Up Charlies for a variety of events and performances in a fun and inviting space, Elysium for goth and industrial rock, Swan Dive for indie acts and other events, Barracuda for all sorts of genres and acts, and Empire Control for hip-hop and electronic.
The White Horse
Hippest honky tonk in town
With a diverse crowd and cheap drinks, this high energy, no-frills spot for live music and dancing is about as fun as it gets. If you get hungry, the Bomb Tacos food truck is stationed out back, and if you need a bit of a break from dancing, they also have an small patio. Check their website to find out when they offer their free dance lessons. They usually charge a small cover on weekends.
The Continental Club
Austin institution for live music
This cozy, casual spot may not seem like it when you walk in, but it has been the hub of the Austin music scene for years. All of the greats who got their start in this city have played here at one time or another, often returning multiple times. While the main stage is downstairs at this classic venue for rock, country, blues, and rockabilly, don't discount The Gallery upstairs for a more low key listening experience.
Iconic record store with huge selection
This massive record store that has been a staple in the Austin community since 1982 has a great selection of music to explore and listen to. And while it is easy to spend hours browsing their stock, you can also listen to live music without leaving the building because they host frequent, free in-store concerts.
The Skylark Lounge
Newer music venue with an old soul
While this spot only opened in 2013, the owner's commitment to the neighborhood makes this welcoming place feel like it has been around forever. At this dive, you feel like you get the true soul of Austin and its music scene. Margaret Wright is an Austin legend who has a residency here, but you really can't go wrong with any of the performances here. The cover varies depending on who is playing.
Austin Music Heritage Tours
Tour the Live Music Capital of the World
While Austin has come to be known for large music festivals like SXSW and Austin City Limits, it's music history goes much deeper than that. Richard Roberts, a musician and history lover, will take you through the last 50 years of the city's music history during his one hour walking tour. He offers tours every day at 10:30 and 2:30, but you must make a reservation to join.