Recent changes shook the Austin music scene with the move of Antone's to East Riverside and the closure of La Zona Rosa. But the biggest change is the addition of the Austin360 Amphitheater.
Thanks to this new music home, classic summer “shed” tours — with big-name artists from Jimmy Buffett to Kenny Chesney to Dave Matthews Band — will now make stops in Austin.
Austin’s newest and largest outdoor music venue is 14 miles outside of Austin in Elroy, nestled inside the Circuit of The Americas track at the base of their signature tower. The venue opens on Friday, April 5 with country giants Kenny Chesney and Kasey Musgraves.
The venue holds 14,000 fans with reserved seating for 6,700 people. The venue offers a general admission pit area in front of the stage and open seating on a wide, gently sloped lawn behind the reserved seating.
The amphitheater and booking giant Live Nation have already eclipsed the summer schedule for the Backyard in Bee Cave. The Backyard, which celebrates its 20th anniversary this summer, was able to pull in some of the summer touring acts in recent history, but has not booked many gigs since moving down the road to its new location four years ago.
This summer the Backyard will host Willie Nelson’s 80th birthday party on April 28 and three nights with Colorado jammers the String Cheese Incident over Fourth of July weekend.
For the Austin360 Amphitheater, the nation’s biggest concert booker makes bringing in huge acts with big crowds easy. Live Nation books the similarly-sized Cynthia Woods Mitchell pavilion north of Houston and the Gexa Energy Pavilion in Dallas. The collaboration will bring artists on their summer tours of the country’s outdoor amphitheaters to Austin.
Live Nation, which owns Ticketmaster, has made some inroads in Austin, encroaching on a region that has been dominated by locally-based C3 Presents and ticketing company Front Gate Tickets. Time will tell if Live Nation’s booking of big names in Austin will have any effect on the headliners for Austin City Limits Music Festival, which is run by C3 Presents.
Ticket prices vary for the new venue. Reserved seating for Jimmy Buffet’s devout Parrot Heads cost $136 without fees; lawn seats, however, are relatively cheap at $48.50. Tickets for Mumford & Sons' two nights in town cost $49.99 for reserved seating and $35 for the lawn. Dave Matthews Band will set you back $75 or $40.50, respectively.
The full schedule for Austin360 Amphitheater is as follows:
- April 5: Kenny Chesney with Kacey Musgraves
- April 18: Zac Brown Band
- April 26: The Lumineers with Sam Doors + Riley Downing & The Tumbleweeds
- May 2: Jimmy Buffett with Jackson Browne
- May 5: Jason Aldean with Jake Owen and Thomas Rhett
- May 21: Dave Matthews Band with Carolina Chocolate Drops
- May 31: The Avett Brothers with Grace Potter and the Nocturnals and Dawes
- June 8 and 9: Mumford & Sons with Michael Kiwanuka and Mystery Jet
- August 2: Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival featuring Rob Zombie, Five Finger Death Punch, Mastodon and other various artists
- August 4: Train with The Script and Gavin Degraw
August 15: Keith Urban with Little Big Town