Walk-ins welcome

Free outdoor music series returns to Austin's Long Center lawn all summer long

Free outdoor music series returns to Long Center lawn all summer long

Long Center Drop In concert series
The Drop-In series runs every Thursday from May 26 to August 11.  Courtesy of the Long Center

Returning for its second year, The Drop-In concert series at the Long Center is bringing a dozen refreshing new outdoor shows for Austinites, completely for free. 

The Drop-In series, driven by Subaru and run by the Long Center in partnership with Austin City Limits Radio, will bring up-and-coming acts to the stage on the Hartman Concert Lawn every Thursday, starting May 26 and ending August 11. The Long Center and ACL Radio will share information about the following week’s event every Friday on social media, and some of the dates are in collaboration with Austin’s Black Fret, a champion of live music that collects patrons and distributes funding to local musicians.

The lineup, announced in alphabetical order via release, includes David Garza, David Ramirez, Geto Gala, James Robinson, Jeska and the Vanity Project, Luna Luna, Money Chicha, Natalie Price, Nuevo, The Octopus Project, The Past Lives, Ruthie Foster, San Gabriel, Sharon Silva, Sweet Spirit, and Think No Think. These shows will share the space with brand activations, food vendors, and a full bar. Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Estes Audiology, and Michelob Ultra are joining as supporting partners.

“We launched this series last year to provide our community with a safe space to enjoy music in the heart of downtown, as well as to provide a platform for local artists during an uncertain time for Austin’s live music scene,” says Long Center President and CEO Cory Baker. “Access to free, live music is what makes our city so special, and we are excited to expand this series in its second year. Throughout the summer, Austinites and visitors alike can expect to see some of their favorite sets and maybe even discover their new favorite band.”

Two of the groups slated to play The Drop-In series, the Past Lives and Luna Luna, will also both appear at the 2022 Austin City Limits Festival. While the name Past Lives is ambiguous, it might be a reference to the Austin band formerly known as Quentin and the Past Lives, who deactivated their Instagram page and haven’t updated their Facebook or website. Only Quentin Arispe appears on Spotify. Quentin And The Past Lives played the memorial show for Nané frontman Daniel Sahad on May 6. The latter, Luna Luna, hails from Dallas, and plays adventurous but unassuming pop with an '80s bent.

Last year, the series represented the return of live music, and was announced around the same time as sweeping music grants from the city and another concert series by the Long Center, this time virtual and in partnership with AT&T. Baker talked then about creative industries and their impact on Austin’s economic success, but this year's messaging has returned simply to musical matters. Eat, drink, be merry, and listen. Keep supporting the arts and following organizations that do, too.

The Drop-In series is one in a long list of free annual music programming that help the Live Music Capital of the World live up to its name.

Even though the shows are free, and as the name implies, drop-ins are allowed, attendees are encouraged to RSVP, as tickets are limited. Long Center Members can RSVP first, on Fridays, followed by the general public on Mondays. Learn more or start saving spots (May 20 for members, May 23 for the general public) here.