Live on Live
Legendary Austin blues club Antone's launches independent livestreaming platform
If Antone’s is your vibe but Fifth Street isn’t, first, know we get it. Saving Austinites the trip, along with countless people outside of the Austin area, Antone’s Nightclub is launching a new service for livestreaming its shows, starting November 25 and 26.
It’ll start with New Orleans-based funk and jam band Dumpstaphunk, for their special “Phunksgiving” show with Michael Hale Trio, and continue on for certain shows, delineated on the Atone’s website. Specifics are still loose before the launch, allowing the famous blues club to call the shots. The partner agency that created the streaming service, 3rd + Lamar, created the system to give Antone’s as much freedom as possible.
"Partnering with Antone's to build their livestreaming platform and produce each of their shows is an incredible opportunity for 3rd + Lamar," said the agency’s co-founder Nick Schenck in a press release. "The amazing talent that performs at Antone's – and their fans worldwide – deserve best-in-class live production quality, and we're thrilled to play a part in this operation."
Not that Antone’s needed to stand out more in the music industry (the nearly 50-year-old venue has always been one of the best places to see both local and national talent), but this achievement places it among relatively few venues across the country, especially those that operate their system independently.
Austin, of course, is already accustomed to this luxury thanks to Austin City Limits, but Antone’s offers a different flavor of live performance, simply by nature of being a small club rather than a multi-level venue. The more intimate shows are filmed by four Blackmagic 4K cinema cameras on tracks overhead, which ensure that the whole space is easily visible without having camera operators amid the audience.
“We did over 430 individually ticketed shows in 2019 and we felt like we were bursting at the seams,” said Antone’s owner Will Bridges. “Then when livestreams became more prominent during the pandemic we realized, this is our opportunity to take Antone’s outside of our four walls. … [W]e see people in the comment threads all the time saying ‘If I could only be teleported to Antone’s!’ Well now they can.”
The release emphasizes that the system means Antone’s “fully retain[s] ownership of their content, which can then be utilized at their discretion.” It also calls the service “an add-on option for all artists performing at Antone’s,” positioning the service as not just an audience luxury but a performer’s low-cost marketing tool. Suddenly, artists playing at Antone’s are afforded a choice without needing to be invited to record or pay an independent video team, while reaching even more viewers with no extra time spent advertising.
“Our ultimate goal is to make these amazing musical experiences accessible to everyone. Life is busy, but we want to give everyone the opportunity to participate no matter where they are or what they have going on,” said Bridges. “We want to make livestreams from Antone’s totally commonplace. When we announce our upcoming shows, fans have two options: watch it at the club our watch it at home.”
Livestreams are listed in a separate category at antonesnightclub.com, but links also appear on each applicable event across the site. Tickets are available now for Dumpstaphunk’s “Phunksgiving” ($10 to livestream, $30 in-person). Livestreams start 10-20 minutes before each show.