4 Reasons Austin, Texas really is the Live Music Capital of the World

No doubt it’s a bold claim, but Austin didn’t pick their official motto out of a hat. We take a look at what makes this city a Mecca for music lovers worldwide and a perfect stop on any trip to the American South.

4 Reasons Austin, Texas really is the Live Music Capital of the World


We’re just going to name a few of the greats who’ve graced Austin’s stages. Elvis, Glenn Miller, Ray Charles, Bruce Springsteen, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Janis Joplin, Willie Nelson…do we really need to go on? Them’s some serious credentials.


When you get down to the nitty gritty of numbers – there’s a hard and fast reason why Austin chose its famous motto: it has more live music venues per capita than anywhere else in the USA. There is everything here, over 100 gigs a night in fact – with indie, classical (Austin has 2 orchestras), Blues, country, jazz, rock, hardcore and everything else in between represented there’s just no excuse not to catch some tunes during your stay.

Music in Unexpected places.

We’re talking coffee shops, burger joints, ice cream parlours, bakeries, barber shops, electronics stores, sign builders, Whole Foods the airport… honestly if we listed them all we’d be here all day. Though Austin’s musical menagerie means you’ll catch music in some of these venues fairly often, the day to see the more unusual ones (we’re looking at you random car garage) is the 23rd of September which is HAAM Benefit day (Health Alliance for Austin Musicians) when the businesses donate 5{8105bc8a7da0e4ee2985a05e217cd0e1bef95b551bf8bafd62a449e444182173} of their proceeds that day to the charity. How nice.


The big name here is South by Southwest – an iconic music festival that takes place in March over more than 50 venues. This is really a festival by musicians for musicians with over 2000 performers rocking up, networking, jamming, gigging and just generally tuning the city into a musical melting pot of unrivalled proportions. This then goes on for 5 days. 5. How anyone survives is beyond us.

Despite it’s well deserved international reputation, SXSW is just one of around 20 festivals that Austin puts on throughout the year. Every month has a gem from November’s Fun Fun Fun Fest (we hope this lives up to the name) to May’s Pachanga Music Fest and April’s Louisiana Swamp Thing and Crawfish Festival. We’re particularly intrigued by the latter.

Want to get jammin’? Jump on a cheap flight to the USA and find your own beats in the American South, New York, LA or anywhere else…