A legendary Austin venue and its beloved barbecue restaurant have been purchased by a superstar group of local music-industry dignitaries with deep roots in the Capital City.
On Tuesday, February 15, Austin-based concert promoter C3 Presents — which produces the Austin City Limits Music Festival and Lollapalooza, among other massive music events — and its parent company, Live Nation, announced they have acquired full ownership of Stubb’s Austin and the city block in the Red River Cultural District where the venue resides.
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Stubb’s, which is located at 801 Red River St., got its start as a barbecue restaurant in Lubbock in the late 1960s, opening in Austin as a music venue and restaurant in the mid-1990s with the help of local concert promoter and co-founder of C3 Presents, Charles Attal. C3 Presents has also helped with show bookings for Stubb’s for decades.
These days, Stubb’s hosts more than 100 shows each year and has a capacity of 2,500 people.
As part of C3 Presents and Live Nation’s acquisition of Stubb’s, the group plans to begin improvements to the venue and surrounding land immediately, though info about the specific upgrades wasn’t provided.
“Stubb’s is truly one of the most special music venues, not only in Austin, but in the country,” says Amy Corbin of C3 Presents. “The C3 team has handled booking for the past 26 years, and most of the dedicated staff have been working there for most of their careers. It’s part of our DNA as Austinites, and we intend to carry on the outstanding legacy and experience fans have come to know and love over the years.”
The new acquisition is just one major investment C3 Presents and Live Nation have made in Austin’s music industry. The companies were project partners in and helped finance Austin’s new state-of-the-art Moody Center venue, which is scheduled to open in April, and launched a concert series at Moody Amphitheater at the city’s newly revamped Waterloo Park.
Stubb’s is not the only Austin venue to undergo some planned changes soon. Last week, local concert promoter Heard Presents and live-music booking agency Resound announced they will collaborate to rebrand and relocate Sixth Street venue The Parish to Austin’s east side in time for next month’s South By Southwest festival.
These changes could herald new beginnings for the Austin music scene, which pre-pandemic boasted 250 live-music venues and contributed significantly to the music industry’s $27.3 billion annual economic impact in Texas. Though the pandemic continues to rage, these moves could be an indicator that those most plugged into the local music scene finally have cause to face the music with renewed optimism.
“We are really excited to get to work on upgrading the current [Stubb’s] space to enhance the overall experience for both artists and fans,” Corbin says.