Story by Jenna Khakoo
Illustration by Elizabeth Warren
Austin’s impact on the music industry does not remain local. The city recently made headlines when three local festivals — Austin City Limits, South by Southwest , and Fun Fun Fun Fest — were included in USA Today’s 20 Best Music Festivals list. Sure, they didn't top the votes, but you don’t need to look far to realize the grand influence of the Austin music scene. ORANGE asked out-of-state students their opinion on the music scene in town to get a feel of just how influential Austin is:
How do Austin festivals compare with out of state festivals?
“I’ve been to other festivals in Wisconsin, and I have to say that ACL was a way better experience than any other festival I’ve been to. Everyone was friendlier and more laid back.”
— Courtney Burkett, Neenah, Wisconsin
What was your favorite part about the festival you attended?
“My favorite part is all of the awesome artists they bring in. It gives me the chance to see a lot of my favorite performers without having to fork over a ton of money to go see each of their individual concerts. I also love that I am easily able to move from stage to stage to see all the different artists. ACL is very easy to get around.”
— Nicole Ringdahl, Madison, Wisconsin
Has living in Austin altered your music taste?
“I think Austin has really broadened my horizons to all different genres. Living here, I have seen all sorts of rappers, country artists and EDM DJs. I feel like I hear about artists right before they become really famous, which has been exciting.”
— Taylor Holmes, Kansas City, Kansas
In your opinion, what makes Austin the “Live Music Capital of the World?”
“No matter the time of the year, you can easily find live music in Austin. Sure, there is ACL and SXSW and many more festivals, but even on a Tuesday night, I can walk to my neighborhood coffee shop and listen to a new artist. Goodness, there are even awesome singers at the campus Potbelly’s.”
— Riley Samaniego, Nashville, Tennessee
How does it make you feel to know that three Austin music festivals have made USA Today’s Top 20 Music Festivals list?
“I love that. I think it is so cool that Austin makes a splash in the music industry, that everyone recognizes Austin as the “Live Music Capital” and that everyone travels from all over just to perform here.”
“It’s pretty awesome, but not surprising. It’s amazing to know that I go to a school in a city that has so much to offer. My friends back home are always so jealous that it is so easy for me to go see all of these amazing artists right in my college town.”
“Honestly, I’m not surprised. I am constantly shocked by the cool things that take place in this city. Not only that, but how well they are executed. Austin does not hold back when it comes to music and fun. SXSW is incomparable to any other experience and I would say that mirrors the city of Austin. This place is unique in itself, and there is a spot for everyone. I 100% believe that Austin has some of the best festivals in the U.S.”
“That’s so amazing. Austin deserves that. Not only are the music festivals great, but the people here love the festivals. The ease and access to the best live music drives people toward the festival attraction.”
Austin’s appeal is that it has something to offer for all types of people. A common thread that connects many is a passion for music. Austin clearly delivers — with more live music venues per capita than any other U.S. city, our city has been lovingly, and accurately, deemed the “Live Music Capital of the World.”