Best Venues: Austin – Red River

Red River, Austin

Top 5 Music Venues in Austin’s Red River District

In addition to the perpetual weirdness of its inhabitants and the faint scent of barbecue that seems to linger throughout the city, Austin will always be known for its live music. On any given night, you could easily go from drunkenly swaying arm-in-arm with a whiskey-soaked cowboy at a Texas honky-tonk to finding yourself covered in sweat in the middle of a mosh pit at a local punk show. And that’s just on a slow night. Check out our top venues in Austin’s Red River district.

As the self-proclaimed “Live Music Capital of the World”, it is universally expected that Austin provides its music lovers with not only world-class music on a nightly basis, but also memorable venues to showcase these talented artists. Luckily, Austin delivers in both of these categories. You can see great shows at a multitude of different live venues; each doing their part in capturing the true essence that is Austin, Texas (whatever that may be).  Here are some of the best places to catch a show in a city whose biggest hero is a guitar-wielding, pot-smoking, pig-tailed country outlaw.

1. Stubb’s Waller Creek Amphitheater


Stubb’s is an undisputed Austin landmark, serving up great barbecue and even better live music to Austinites and visiting music lovers since the 1970s. This outdoor venue features fantastic acoustics in an intimate setting that regularly attracts some of the biggest names in music. Stubb’s is a must-see venue if you ever plan on visiting Austin.

Upcoming Shows:

Sleigh Bells – October 27

CHVRCHES – November 22

Built to Spill – November 23

2. Mohawk


Photo Credit: Chris Tzitzis

When it comes to premier concert venues in Austin, this place sets the bar. Mohawk has it all: indoor/outdoor stages, open balcony area, great sound, cheap beer, and most importantly; consistently-great acts. If you’re not in the market to pay top dollar for a show at the legendary Stubb’s venue, I highly recommend you walk a couple blocks down Red River and check out the fantastic Mohawk.

Upcoming Shows:

Phantogram – October 26

Of Montreal – November 15

Kate Nash/La Sera – November 16

3. Scoot Inn

Scoo Inn Austin

Located in East Austin, this historic venue looks like an old barn at first glance. But don’t let appearances fool you; this cozy Austin establishment hosts both an indoor and outdoor stage where you can see some fantastic up-and-coming local talent for cheap. Though the indoor area is relatively small, the Scoot Inn boasts a superb outdoor stage, decorated with Christmas lights and littered with benches throughout to enhance your concert-going experience. The wooden stage and quaint ambiance will have you feeling like you’re seeing a show at a barn in somebody’s backyard. And if that’s not enough, they have a pretty intense skee ball league every year.

Upcoming Shows:

Sarah Jaffe – November 2

Mayeux and Brossard – November 7

Hooka Hey – November 21

4. Red 7

Red 7

Red 7 is definitely not for the music lover looking to enjoy a laid-back evening of live music.  This smaller music venue has both indoor and outdoor stages that showcase lesser known punk, metal, and alternative acts with the occasional buzz-worthy independent artists stopping by. Where Red 7 lacks in it’s…let’s call it “charm,” it most certainly makes up for in its energetic shows and incredible sound. If you’re looking to have a night of great, high energy music blasted into your face at high volumes, Red 7 is the place to be.

Upcoming Shows:

Surfer Blood  – October 27

The Blow – November 2

Chelsea Light Moving – November 8

5. The Parish

The Parish

Located in the middle of the madness that is 6th Street, the Parish hosts some of the bigger names in independent music. This venue regularly caters to a great crowd that genuinely appreciates quality live music. The Parish is an indoor venue that provides its guests with amazing sound and top notch lighting that contribute to its intimate setting. However, if you’re not quite in the mood for a concert and just want to dance, the Parish hosts weekly dance parties that make the other 6th Street dance clubs look like a sock hop.

RJD2 – November 7

Bonobo – November 10

Charli XCX – November 24

 Article by Trevor Ziegler

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