by Eboni Jones, Ticketfly Marketing Intern
With almost 20 years as a leader in live music, it is time for Emo’s on Red River to say goodbye. Opening in 1992, Emo’s was the must stop spot of Austin’s indie music scene. Culture Map Austin said it best: “For touring acts, being able to say that you were playing that venue in Austin bestowed instant credibility on your efforts; for locals, it was a stage that struggling bands dreamed of reaching.”
The downtown venue originally built in the 1870s was intended for horses. The outside stage served as a livery stable and the inside stage was a carriage house. Frank Hendrix, the owner since 2000, said “It was never designed to do what we are doing with it. We made the best of what we’ve got.”
Although a bittersweet goodbye for the venue known for the legendary Johnny Cash SXSW showcase, the move to a new location signals a sea change in the Austin music scene. According to Frank Hendrix, “We were going the way of CBGB’s. When Moody Theatre moved downtown, it raised the bar for everybody.” The state of the art and sustainably run home of ACL Live (another Ticketfly client) perhaps put some pressure on the old live music staple (and stable!) to upgrade. And despite how hard it is to let go, we’re glad they did!
Thankfully, music lovers and fans of Emo’s can breathe a sigh of relief because a sister venue, Emo’s East, recently opened in Austin’s Riverside area. The much bigger club will be able to pull in even bigger name bands and offer live music 5 days a week. It now has a 1,700-person capacity with high ceilings, a double ticket window (meaning faster moving lines), and the most buzzed about new feature — the bathrooms! Emo’s East has a 48-foot ceiling that transitions back to a 12-foot height, meaning awesome lines of sight for everyone!
While Ticketfly will miss the venue that has a history of massive sellout tours like Donald Glover’s IAMDONALD, we are excited to be a part of Emo’s new chapter.
“What makes a venue a venue is not four walls, it’s the people and the community that support it. We haven’t lost our spirit. We’re still Emo’s” – Frank Hendrix, owner.
Be sure to check out one of the last shows at Emo’s on Red River and visit the new Emo’s East!