All Articles Where to see live music in Austin, Texas

Where to see live music in Austin, Texas

These five iconic venues blast everything from country to punk rock to jazz.

 Amber P. Lewis
By Amber P. Lewis 21 Nov 2022 2 minutes read
Rear view of concert goers with arms raised at a music concert
Image: Yuri Arcurs/Getty Images

Recognized by many as the “Live Music Capital of the World,” Austin has impressive variety when it comes to music venues. Whether you’re looking to jam out to punk rock, indie, jazz, country, or something altogether different, Austin has a concert venue for you—some of which are over a century old. Read on for some of the best live music venues in Austin, and the sort of acts you can expect to see in each.

Historic Scoot Inn

Band performing at the Historic Scoot Inn in Austin, Texas
Band performing at the Historic Scoot Inn in Austin, TX
Image: Derek D/Tripadvisor

You can’t talk about live music in Austin without bringing up the Historic Scoot Inn. Considered one of the oldest continuously running beer joints in Texas, this iconic dive bar opened its doors in 1871 and has been showcasing a mix of musical talent ever since. The outdoor stage hosts a wide range of performers, from nu-disco group Poolside to Texas’s own Charley Crockett, while the interior bar (called Ivy’s Room) showcases piano performances. This is Austin, after all, so there’s a food truck on site, too.

The Broken Spoke

The Broken Spoke in Austin, Texas
The Broken Spoke in Austin, TX
Image: Michael E/Tripadvisor

Looking for a traditional Texan dance hall? The Broken Spoke has been open since 1964 and has proudly hosted country legends like Dolly Parton, George Strait, and Willie Nelson. Considered an old-fashioned honky-tonk, Broken Spoke serves up live music from local musicians and a full menu that includes chicken fried steak, barbecue staples, and Mexican fare, Tuesday through Saturday. New to two-steppin’? Broken Spoke offers dance lessons that cover two-step and western swing from 8 to 9 p.m., Wednesdays through Saturdays.

Elephant Room

Band performing at the Elephant Room in Austin, Texas
Band performing at the Elephant Room in Austin, TX
Image: mingfatsai/Tripadvisor

Located in the heart of downtown, Elephant Room is a popular basement bar with a nightly lineup of live jazz. The cozy venue offers an intimate atmosphere to hear professional jazz musicians, plus a full bar with more than 20 draft beers on tap and a laid-back, festive mood. Stop by early for the 6 p.m. show or settle in after dinner for the 9 p.m. jam. Bonus: Elephant Room only charges a cover ($5–$7, cash only) on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays.

ACL Live at The Moody Theater

Band perf orming on stage ACL Live at the Moody Theater in Austin, Texas
Band perf orming on stage ACL Live at the Moody Theater in Austin, TX
Image: Michael B/Tripadvisor

With a 2,750-person capacity, ACL Live at The Moody Theater is one of the larger concert venues in Austin, showcasing acts from Pat Green to Ginuwine. The venue is most famously known as the home for live tapings of PBS’ “Austin City Limits,” America’s longest-running TV music series, which has welcomed everyone from Pearl Jam to Johnny Cash to its stage. Be sure to book a ticket for the 90-minute tour of the venue if you don’t have time for a live show for a behind-the-scenes look at the dressing rooms, photography, and history of the concert hall.

The Continental Club

Stage at the Continental Club in Austin, Texas
Stage at the Continental Club in Austin, TX
Image: Stephen Brinkley/Tripadvisor

Calling itself “the granddaddy of live music venues,” The Continental Club first opened its doors in 1955. It was originally a private supper club but soon became a popular dive bar and live music venue for rock, country, swing, roots, blues, and rockabilly. Live music is offered every night of the week, starting as early as 3:30 p.m. on weekends, and entry is often free. The bar is so popular that a second location opened in Houston in 2000, but we’re forever partial to the original.

Amber P. Lewis
Amber P. Lewis is a passionate writer and self-proclaimed foodie who enjoys traveling the world. She is the owner of TrekLocal, a digital travel concierge company building custom travel itineraries for people who want to vacation in the U.S. Virgin Islands for the cultural experience.