Is Austin Really the Live Music Capital of the World?

The Proof Is In the Pudding

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If you’re a Texan and a music lover, you’re probably well acquainted with the many passionate artists and energetic bands of Texas’ most well-known music hub—Austin! These include Stevie Ray Vaughan, Willie Nelson, George Strait, Los Lonely Boys, and others. If that’s the case, we don’t have to tell you that Austin is home to some of the best talent in the country. 

However, there’s been an even bigger claim made about this city. Some say that Austin is the live music capital of the world. Is it true? 

Is the Austin Music Scene All It’s Cracked Up to Be?

When you consider the facts, it’s hard to argue with this claim. Did you know that Austin has more bands per capita than any city in the nation? That alone says a lot about this city’s deep love for music. But that’s not all there is to know. 

It’s also interesting to note that there are more than 250 live music venues in Austin alone. We suppose this shouldn’t be a shock considering that there are probably hundreds of musicians vying for their time on stage in the spotlight. But it’s still a pretty astounding figure and also great news for music enthusiasts. The sheer volume of venues and bands means that you can see a good show just about anytime you want no matter the style of music you like! There are many of the best Austin cover bands on the stage any day of the week as well as original bands if you like that flare.

This city has it all from country to rock to Latin and beyond, as well as a variety of eclectic styles that you just can’t hear anywhere else. 

So, is Austin the capital of live music? If you ask us, absolutely! Further proof of this are the many world-renowned music festivals held here. People come from far and wide to attend and get a taste of what many feel is the most thrilling live music scene on the planet.

Music Festivals and More Music Festivals

South By Southwest. Austin City Limits. Urban Music Festival. Fun Fun Fun Fest. Do these sound familiar? Of course they do! These music festivals—all of which are held here in Austin—are among the most talked about in the world. It’s not hard to figure out why. 

South by Southwest is a 5-day event that takes place in more than 80 clubs throughout the city. Concertgoers get to enjoy performances from 1,800 bands of all sorts and from all around the globe. You could say it’s a big to-do for those who love to be immersed in a diverse, rich, exciting musical experience.

And then there’s the 3-day Austin City Limits Music Festival, which is also very well-known and happens every fall. Upwards of 65,000 people flock to eight stages to enjoy performances from more than 130 amazing bands from across the globe. 

More than 10,00 show up to hear artists such as Cameo, Boyz II Men, and Sugarhill Gang at the Urban Music Festival. The same goes for the annual 2-day Fun Fun Fun Fest, which features bands such as Bad Brains and The Dead Milkmen. 

Music is a key, irreplaceable part of the everyday culture of Austin but it’s at these major events that we get to share that gift with fellow music lovers from around the country and the world. You might wonder, though, how the so-called live music capital of the world came to be. 

The Growth of the Austin Music Scene

The truth is that no one can put their finger on how Austin came to be home base for so many bands. But what we do know is that many gifted musicians flocked to the city because they felt that it would be the best place to get found and rise to stardom. 

Many of them got a rude awakening, though, when they found out that there wasn’t really any way to get signed aside from some unexpected stroke of luck while industry professionals were in town for festivals like South By Southwest. Plus, because there are so many musicians and bands here, competition is stiff. Getting gigs isn’t always a piece of cake. 

When it comes down to it, only the best bands get the gigs and have staying power in this competitive music market. This reality has led many many who moved here searching for fame to go back where they came from to escape from the fierce, constant competition. It’s hard hanging with the big boys such as The Grooves cover band, which has been a favorite in Texas for more than 25 years. 

Ron Ronhaar—the owner and bandleader of The Grooves—started the band in 1991 and it’s been in demand ever since. The band is always on the go traveling from Austin to Dallas to Houston and throughout Texas for weddings, corporate parties, fundraisers, and other events. 

The hundreds of clients they’ve served over the years all agree that The Grooves are the finest band for hire in Texas. As you can imagine, that’s not an easy title to earn or to hold onto in the live music capital of the world. It takes a band that can put on the most high energy, entertaining shows and keep the dance floor packed all night long. It takes The Grooves!  

If you’re having an event in Austin, there’s no better way to make it a smashing success. Check out what The Grooves have to offer!

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