Austin’s 25 Years Of Blues On The Green

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Whenever I travel to a new city, I make a conscious effort to experience as much as possible and observe what makes the city unique. I am always learning new things about the culture here in Austin and let me tell you, this city does not disappoint. My recent experience at Blues on the Green, a summer series of free concerts that has been an Austin tradition for over 25 years, was no exception.

The Background

Every Wednesday during the summer months, KGSY Austin Radio hosts a series of free outdoor concerts. Head over to Zilker Park on any concert Wednesday and you’ll find it packed with over 10,000 music lovers. People flock to the park with their friends, children, dogs, and coolers of refreshments to enjoy an amazing evening of entertainment, even in the 100+ summer temperatures. Several roads are blocked off for the event, which is filled with friendly, music-loving people looking for a dose of true summer fun.

Why it Works

Repetition. A lot of cities hold music festivals, particularly in the summer months, but the routine is one of the key reasons Blues on the Green works so well. Everyone knows exactly when the event is going to take place, which makes it so easy to work it into the hustle and bustle of your busy weeks and months. Unlike the last minute concerts sprung on you by friends or coworkers, Blues on the Green occurs at the same time and place each month. This makes it super easy to attend and coordinate plans.

Fun for Everyone. This event is for everyone.  If you are really into music and want to be front and center to see your favorite bands, you must arrive at least two hours early. If you go this route, be prepared to stand (very) close to your fellow music lovers in extremely hot temperatures. However, if you prefer a more relaxed scene and just want to enjoy the outdoors with family and friends, you can arrive at your leisure, claim your spot with a blanket, and groove to the music from afar. As a general rule, the further you move from the stage, the calmer the environment feels.  

It’s Free! In addition to the free admission, the flexible refreshment policy at this event makes it affordable for even the leanest budgets. While some venues waive admission fees, they often prohibit outside food and beverages so you’re forced to pay sky-high prices for even a bottle of water. Not so with Blues on the Green. You are welcome to bring your own food and beverage of choice (both alcoholic and nonalcoholic drinks are permitted).  

One last tip . . . as the owner of a promotional products company, Ali Specialties. I would be remiss to not mention that this event is a FREE branding haven. Be sure to bring your own promotional products so you can market your business while enjoying the music. The lawn is covered in sports chairs, coolers, towels, blankets, “vino to go” cups and tumblers. I have never in my life seen so many promotional products being used as I consistently witness at Blues on the Green. I keep a variety of these items in my trunk for times like this, but simply sipping from a cup with your own company logo is a great place to start.

This past Wednesday concluded the final concert in this year’s summer series, but I’m so happy I was able to experience this amazing event on multiple occasions. Although you will have to wait until next year for Blues on the Greens to start up again, the Austin music scene never stops. You can check out tons of bands in the upcoming months in this music-loving city (hello ACL in October).

What was your favorite summer concert moment? Please share below!

Check out live video from the event here:


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