From the looks of it, there’s certainly no shortage of event venues in Austin, Texas to pair up with and make an occasion shine. From the hot new spaces in the trendy Rock Rose entertainment district to the hallowed halls of live music venues where legends have long graced the stage, there’s a perfect array of places and partners to suit any conference, retreat, product launch or good old-fashioned party. But for brands wishing to plan an event at the white-hot epicenter of everything that’s awesome about the Lone Star State’s capital, hosting an event in the downtown Austin — smack in the middle of everything — is the only way to go.
Live Music Capital of the World
Austin isn’t known as the “live music capital of the world” for nothing: it’s home to no fewer than 250 live music venues and countless local bands and solo musicians earning their stripes in front of live audiences hungry for fresh new sounds. Austin City Limits, of course, has become a national institution thanks to its 41 years (and counting) on the air, shot on the ACL Live stage of the Moody Theater adjacent to the W Austin on 2nd Street. Right next door, a recently-launched event space known as 3TEN books countless clients in need of that certain sonic something, using state-of-the-art acoustics to set the tone for impeccable events. Willie Nelson’s statue stands watch over the neighborhood from the north, while Stevie Ray Vaughan’s towering likeness keeps an eye on things from the south shore of Town Lake, which bisects the Texas capital as it runs past City Hall.
Visitors can’t help but find themselves on the stretch of Red River Street designated as the city’s official entertainment district, where live music pours out of every door seven nights a week all year round. And once each year, barely an inch of the city’s core isn’t inhabited by music lovers during the magical weekend in March known as the music portion of South By Southwest (SXSW). With as many brands as bands pouring into the city to connect with audiences, it’s a sight to behold as structures of all kinds, from private homes to retail stores and restaurants, transform into event venues for the famed global showcase. In fact, the city takes its title so seriously, it even has its own music office to–among other things–connect corporate conferences and special visitors to local musicians while they’re in town.
Pulse of the City
Downtown is, of course, home to the Austin Convention Center, which serves as the nucleus of SXSW each year, among countless other conferences and large-scale events. Six blocks’ worth of meeting space span five exhibit halls, seven ballrooms and 54 meeting rooms totaling nearly 250,000 square feet — enough to hold four football fields with room to spare. What’s more, the city’s largest hotel — the JW Marriott, just a few short blocks away — is soon to be eclipsed by an even more expansive contemporary: The Fairmont Austin, set to open in August 2017. Along with fellow large-capacity hotels like the W, the Four Seasons and the Radisson on Town Lake all just a streetlight or two away from the convention center, the heart of Austin is forever welcoming throngs of travelers (up to 8,500 of them a night, to be precise) into its nucleus and offering ultimate comfort as they lay down to sleep each night.
Plenty of exclusive, in-demand event venues can be found amid Austin’s most central addresses, including 800 Congress, Waller Creek Ballroom, Brazos Hall and Palm Door, to name a few. But it’s not just event spaces and hotels that light up the downtown streets at night. Amid luxury condominiums and office towers galore, the bustling urban core is alive with retail and restaurant spaces peppered throughout, many of them concentrated along the east-west corridors of 2nd through 6th Streets. With scores of reputable caterers, entertainers, rental companies and more, Austin’s event scene is hotter than ever, drawing companies from around the world into its hospitable downtown spaces, and the buzz shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon.
Want to put together an amazing event in downtown Austin (or anywhere else in the ATX, for that matter)? Get in touch with Kennedy Creative Events and let us show you how this city rolls.