The local band scene heats up in downtown Austin with free shows during Hot Summer Nights
Not sure anyone wants to hear about hot summer yet, but Hot Summer Nights will make it all worth it with the return of free festivals across the Red River Cultural District (RRCD) from July 20-23. The multi-genre festival offers something for everyone at 11 venues in the area, all within walking distance.
This is the sixth year for the decentralized festival, which the RRCD mirrors in the winter for Free Week. Hot Summer Nights was the originator, as the nonprofit’s first official district-wide event, which was planned to keep the gigs flowing during less busy months.
“Block out your calendars on July 20 through 23 as we all reunite for a summer celebration that not only offers festival-goers free access to some of Austin’s best bands and most popular venues, but also helps provide greater support for local venue workers and musicians,” said interim executive director Nicole Klepadlo.
Shows are booked courtesy of the RRCD in cooperation with each venue, meaning the performers get paid by corporate sponsorships and individual donations. Visitors can add to that pool by making a donation to keep the fun going.
Both an industry boon and a fun chance to get to know local bands from Austin and Central Texas, this festival keeps the Red River pocket of Austin at its best. Proceeds this year will go back to the RRCD for ongoing programs in “creative, service, hospitality, and production” sectors. The nonprofit has distributed $250,000 via more than 3,000 grants, and has paid for 300 gigs so far.
Participating venues from south to north, about half a mile apart, are:
- Flamingo Cantina
- Mala Vida
- Swan Dive
- Chess Club
- Empire Control Room & Garage
- The 13th Floor
- Stubb’s Bar-B-Q
- Cheer Up Charlies
So far, this announcement only includes dates and venues; Participating artists and more updates will come in May. The festival is still looking for corporate sponsors. (Email firstname.lastname@example.org.)
More information about Hot Summer Nights is available at redriverculturaldistrict.org.