Austin music promoters band together to relocate venue and open new bar and listening lounge
In an effort to amp up the vibes in the Live Music Capital of the World, some longtime champions of Austin’s music scene are fine-tuning a cherished local venue and simultaneously launching a new bar and listening lounge that’s sure to strike the right note with Austinites.
Independent concert promoter Heard Presents and live-music booking agency Resound announced Thursday, February 10 that the businesses will collaborate to rebrand and relocate one of Austin’s most noteworthy music venues — The Parish — from its home in the historic Sixth Street District to the near east side, and open an adjoining concept dubbed My Oh My.
The Parish, which will now be known simply as Parish, will move from its 214 E. Sixth St. location to 501 Brushy St., in the space that formerly housed the North Door. The COVID-19 pandemic caused that music venue to close in the fall of 2020. (It has since reopened in a smaller space at 500 San Marcos St.)
The new Parish venue and accompanying My Oh My bar and listening lounge concept — which the project’s partners are creating in the attached back area of the complex — are set to open March 10, just in time for South By Southwest.
The idea to refresh and relocate the Parish venue came about when the partners heard the North Door was closing and saw an opportunity to boost their collective booking, promoting, and branding business while also reviving the Brushy Street complex and concurrently breathing new life into the Parish brand.
And considering their combined experience, they’re hardly just playing it by ear; indeed, both companies are jam-packed with experts who have a storied history in the Austin music industry.
Central Texas-focused Resound was founded in 2021 by Graham Williams and Ian Orth, whose Margin Walker Presents shuttered in 2020. And Williams was also previously a partner in Transmission Entertainment and Austin’s Fun Fun Fun Fest.
Likewise, Stephen Sternschein and Dave Machinist, the co-founders of and brains behind Heard — which has long operated Austin’s Empire Control Room & Garage and The Parish — have been producing live music for the Austin community since 2012.
While the partners comprise a powerhouse group of Austin music industry pros, this is the first time they have partnered as owners of a venue.
“I’ve been in love with the 501 Brushy space for well over a decade. Being a native Austinite, I can remember when it was all soundstages back in the ’80s,” says Resound’s Orth. “It’s such a unique and special place, both in its feel and location. From throwing countless shows and DJ events there over the years, I’ve always dreamed of being able to transform the space into its full potential. To be able to finally have that dream realized with this team we have behind it is beyond exciting. Fully rebranding Parish and building My Oh My have also been a dream come true. It’s become a project I’m deeply passionate about and we can’t wait to share our vision with everyone.”
The new Parish venue will feature a 350-person capacity, a modernized look, and a lighting setup that should make for excellent photographic moments. The goal, the partners say, is to “create a vibrant and welcoming place that provides the kinds of experiences that fans and artists continue to come back for.”
Joining Parish at its new home is My Oh My, which aims to be “a small bar for big hangs” and will evoke a modern lounge vibe, with wood finishes, smoky mirrors, LED and neon lights, and a slew of colorful fixtures. More tweaks will be made to the décor and structure this year and next, according to a release.
The bar’s menu will include classic and batch cocktails, beer, and wine. Food will also be available from the kitchen connecting the complex out front. My Oh My will be open daily, and programming will be planned for the complex most nights of the week.
Additionally, Resound and Heard are partnering with Eastside Music School to incorporate AV recording capabilities into the space so it can be used as a soundstage.
“For the last 10 years, we’ve established ourselves as passionate music entrepreneurs who, at the core, want to sustain and enrich the community around us,” says Heard’s Machinist. “The rebirth of Parish on Brushy Street is our phoenix rising. We have the opportunity to create a space from all of the wisdom earned promoting and producing thousands of events in Austin. Doing this with expert partners like Graham and Ian makes it easy to transcend from visions of an ideal to a reality, and we couldn’t be more excited.”
The venue and new bar will open on March 10, with the already listed show featuring TWRP and Rich Aucoin as the first performance at the new spot. That show will be followed by performances from Soft Kill with Alien Boy and Topographies on March 22, Lala Lala on March 30, Chori Boy on April 4, Naked Giants with Wombo on April 7, and Carl Craig on May 6. More scheduled spring shows will be announced soon.
Official SXSW shows start March 14 and will be announced in the coming weeks. Any shows booked at the former Parish location after March 10 will take place at the venue’s new home. Additional shows, along with specifics about grand opening events, will be announced at parishaustin.com.