Blues on the Green has been bringing blues (and other genres of music) to Austin since 1990. It’s laid back, family friendly, and the city’s largest free concert series! If you’d prefer to read about Blues on the Green, the transcript can be found below the video.
Other Discover Austin topics mentioned or seen in this episode: Moonlight Towers
Greetings! I’m Craig Smyser. Once again I’m in Zilker Park, this time for Blues on the Green, on the 50th episode of Discover Austin.
In a city that hosts a lot of live music events, Blues on the Green is the largest free concert series that we have. There is usually one concert per month from May to August. The concert series spotlights Texas musicians and while some definitely play blues, over the years other genres of music have been introduced.
Blues on the Green started back in 1990 as a way to lure customers to the Arboretum shopping center on Thursday nights. To sponsor the free concerts, the shopping center paired up with radio station KGSR, which was then new to Austin. The first concert featured the godfather of Austin blues, W.C. Clark. It exceeded expectations with 3,000 attendees. By 1999, the concert series had outgrown the Arboretum and moved to Zilker Park. The concert series is still free and still sponsored by KGSR, though the station is now known as ACL Radio.
Naturally, it wouldn’t be an event in Austin unless there was food. There are numerous local food vendors on site as well as sponsor booths – be sure to stop by to see them because they help keep the concerts free.
The concerts usually start at 8:00pm, but you’ll want to arrive early to get a good spot. You are welcome to bring blankets, lawn chairs, non-alcoholic beverages, and dogs if they are on a leash. As is usually the case in Austin, traffic and parking can be a bit of an issue, so plan ahead before you come down. You can buy a parking pass for Zilker Park ahead of time. You can also park at Austin High School or the Palmer Events Center which are both within walking distance. There are several bike parking areas and, of course, areas for ride sharing dropoff and pickup.
Live music. It’s kind of something we do a lot of here in Austin. So bring your family and friends down to Zilker Park to enjoy a free evening of music at Blues on the Green. I’m Craig Smyser, thanks for joining me for the 50th episode of Discover Austin.