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More like this: red river, honky tonk and austin tx.

The Venues

What happens when you combine 37 years of music history with state of the art design? Austin City Limits Live. They are home of the Austin City Limits TV tapings and host a variety of other great shows throughout SXSW. Pollstar just named it the best new venue in the country.

Reopening just in time for SXSW, The Belmont on West 6th Street offers up a rooftop spot to hear breaking new bands. After SXSW finishes, they'll continue to showcase bands on this vibrant part of town.

The brand new Rattle Inn opened right off West 6th Street by Ray Benson of Asleep at the Wheel. They have live (Free!) music downstairs and a rooftop upstairs with one great views of the city.

At The Parish on Sixth Street, you feel like you've walked into someone's private parlor for a concert. There is an elegance about the room, but don't worry the bands that play there never let that hold them back from getting a little crazy.

Auditorium Shores transforms from a quiet park into a giant stage with the skyline as the backdrop. It's an official SXSW stage and typically has some of the biggest names of the festival.

Austin Music Hall is one of the bigger venues in town. They'll undoubtedly host some of the top acts throughout SXSW, so arrive early to make sure you get a spot up close or on the front balconies.

There's nothing better than a wide area in front of a stage at a concert. La Zona Rosa's footprint makes for an ideal spot for watching the top indie bands.

The Beauty Bar off of Red River is the best spot for a late night dance party. Throughout SXSW, many DJ's will take over this joint to help you close out your night on a high note.

Cactus Cafe is the spot on campus for checking out acoustic shows. Even if you've never heard of the band playing, you can trust the Cactus Cafe to deliver on great music.

Another Red River joint, Club De Ville is an open-air spot that's meant for rock and roll. With a steady flow of regulars, they always have a good crowd for both drinking and listening to music with.

During SXSW, shows pop up all over town, including at the St. David's Church downtown. As an official SXSW venue, the acoustics are perfect for grabbing a seat and taking in a quiet, intimate show.

It doesn't get much louder than the Mohawk on Red River. The outdoor shows are set up with two balconies and a packed floor, so scope out the best spot and rock out from there all night.

This laid back joint on campus is known for their, "Cheap Music, Fast Drinks, Live Women." They create an intimate setting for hearing any band play.

The Broken Spoke holds the title for best two-stepping, honky tonk in town. Take a break from the hip scene and see real Texas.

Step foot into the Continental Club and the music will consume you. The crowd is always energetic and you can't help but feel you are exactly where you are supposed to be.

Many emerging acts will take the stage at Antone's during SXSW, standing where Stevie Ray Vaughan got his start. It's buzzing with great music every day of the year and will forever be an Austin icon.

Spider House Cafe is a quirky coffeehouse and cafe (serves booze at night) with mismatched patio furniture, rescued statues, and windows hanging freely from the patio. It's truly beautiful at night and throughout SXSW they have some great music too.

  • Rye Clifton

    This is one of my favorite places in austin for coffee or a beer. They have Austin Beer Works beers on tap (big fan of Peacemaker). Wi-Fi, a stage, even a thrif-store upstairs. AWESOME.

  • Jocelyn S. Lai

    I had no idea there was a thrift-store upstairs. Austinite Fail.

  • Veronica Meewes

    ummm.. me either!!

The Alamo Drafthouse movie theater received nationwide recognition for their strict "no talking or texting" policy, but once you've been there, you'll remember them for their personality, food/bar service, and eclectic movie selection all under one roof.

The French Legation Museum is probably one of the most unexpected music venues in Austin. It not only boast the oldest home in Austin, but it also has a 2.5 acre park where you can enjoy the outdoors and the live music of SXSW.

The White Horse is a brand new honky tonk bar on the East Side. You can learn to two-step with the rest of them, or enjoy a drink while listening to the live music.