These Austin Music Venues Are Reopened and Ready to Rock This Summer

Photo courtesy of Antone's

In non-pandemic times, music grows wild in Austin… funky blues sweep the sidewalks, rock riffs jump fences, and songwriters’ soulful refrains leak from coffee shops. For the past year, the streets have been eerily silent, so it is with a hallelujah chorus that storied venues are throwing open their doors. In some cases, the spaces may look a little different or have new Safe-in-Sound rules, but music will once again reign supreme this summer — which makes it the perfect time to visit the Live Music Capital of the World®. Whether you’re looking for a multi-level rock club, a barbecue restaurant that doubles as a concert venue, or an old-fashioned honky-tonk, check out our guide to what you'll find at each venue and start planning your trip.

East 5th Street
Antone’s may very well be the reason that Austin is the Live Music Capital of the World®. In 1975, Clifford Antone jump-started a musical revolution in his little sandwich shop. Though the venue itself has moved around, the stage continues to welcome both burgeoning artists and Austin’s octogenarian icons. Celebrate their anniversary with Antone’s this July by picking up some vinyl at nearby Antone’s records, sharing an Antone’s po-boy, and taking in a very affordable show or three. 
Upcoming Acts: Jackie Venson, Soul Man Sam, Chicago blues legend John Primer

Photo by Anna Hanks

Continental Family: Continental Club, Continental Gallery, C-Boy's Heart And Soul

South Congress Avenue
The Continental siblings allow visitors to choose their own adventure in Austin music. Each bar is distinct — both in vibe and musical acts. The classic Continental Club hosts musicians almost every night on their fabled stage—including residencies and one-off performances—that are always a guaranteed good show. The Continental Gallery (located just upstairs) gives off speakeasy vibes with funky jazz trios, singer-songwriters, and typically lower key performances. A giant disco ball hanging from the ceiling in C-Boy's is a nod to the fact that whatever is on stage—funk, blues, browngrass—things can get fabulously rowdy. 
Upcoming Acts: Barfield the Tyrant, Ephraim Ownes, Cari Hutson, The Greyhounds

South Lamar
It’s hard to get more essentially Austin than the Saxon Pub. The subject of a recent documentary, Nothing Stays the Same: The Story of the Saxon Pub, their small corner stage has hosted new artists and legends… and new artists before they became legends. This bar is inextricably interwoven into the history of Austin and its musicians. New and returning patrons will be glad to know that the Saxon has expanded their back patio and brought in food truck ATX Sliders, a welcome addition for those who may have overindulged in stiff drinks. 
Upcoming Acts: Walt Wilkins, Guy Forsyth, Beat Root Revival

Photo by Manny Moss

Red River
Mohawk is where Austin goes to get loud. Multiple levels, two stages, and its location in the Red River Cultural District makes it the perfect place to see rock, punk, metal, garage, and everything in between. Sometimes they’ll throw in a little yoga or a food event just to keep it interesting. Their matte-black-and-taxidermy decor and tattooed bartenders are all part of the attraction. During the pandemic, Mohawk launched a new website and made upgrades to the space. Like many venues, they’re easing back into the game with safety rules and limited attendance. 
Upcoming Acts: Megafauna, Darkbird, Angélica Rahe, Jukebox the Ghost

Red River
Only in Austin can a barbecue restaurant morph into a killer music venue. Cold beer, a little barbecue, and a proverbial parade of well-known artists and bands has solidified Stubb’s standing as one of Austin’s treasures. Stubb’s is a ticketed concert venue that attracts bigger names and award-winning artists, most recently the Grammy-award winning Black Pumas. Trust us when we say that there’s something miraculous about having the stars overhead and a Lone Star in hand while a band rips heroic guitar solos.
Upcoming Acts: Shakey Graves, Khruangbin, Surfaces, Louis the Child

Way South Congress
The Sagebrush may be new-ish to Austin but it feels like it’s been here forever. Veteran Austin bar owners transformed an old stone building into a three-stage bar, lounge, and music venue. The color-changing West Texas-style sunset feature, velvet curtained stage, and huge back lot make every show here uniquely enjoyable. The lineup—like the place—is eclectic. Stop in for blues, rock, swing, singer-songwriter, and country western plus free two-stepping lessons and jambalaya batons from Baton Creole.
Upcoming Acts: God Damn Good Time Band, Texas Blues Party, Pearlsnap Playboys

Photo by Roger Ho

Way South Congress
The Far Out has evolved significantly from its days as Red Shed Tavern and Austin’s better for it. Unlike many other venues during the pandemic, their expansive backyard made it possible for them to continue to have live music. Booking genius Lawrence Boone has made this place a new home for a variety of musicians along with burlesque acts, yoga, artist markets, comedy, and more. The onsite food truck Fowl Mouth and new addition Garbo's Lobster keep everyone fed throughout the week. 
Upcoming Acts: Ladyfang, Motown Mondays, Ray Prim

Burnet Road
The Little Longhorn’s impact on Austin belies its small footprint. Originator of Chicken Sh*t Bingo, there are few places better for a honky-tonkin' good time. They kept the bands and the bar afloat by hosting virtual shows on their small stage during the pandemic. Now that we can get together, the two-steppin’ will be fierce. They advertise music six nights a week and ice-cold beer and deliver every time. Come here on a Sunday for Chicken Sh*t Bingo, or any other night of the week to take a turn on the dance floor. 
Upcoming Acts: Fingerpistol, Chris Duarte, The Midnight Mezcal

Photo courtesy of Cheer Up Charlies

Red River
Raise your cups for the return of Cheer Ups! This self-proclaimed queer bar is a refuge and a delight for Austinites. Pandemic downtime gave them space to jazz up the place but their vibe remains the same: all ways welcome and all colorful everything. Both stages are once again abuzz with bands, DJs, theme events, and anything they can dream up. Head to Cheer Up Charlies for a creative crafty cocktail, a bite from their vegan food trucks Arlo’s (bac’n cheezeburger!) or Happea Vegan, and a lot of good feels.
Upcoming Acts: Boi Orbison, Walker Lukens, Elosi