Best spots to catch free, live music in Austin

Jordyn Zitman

Come for the free music, stay for the community.

Visitors come from all over to soak up the sounds of the Live Music Capital of the World, seeking out and purchasing tickets to concerts and live performances. Living here year-round, these activities can quickly eat up a budget, especially for students. Luckily, Austin has no shortage of spots to watch live music for free. Here are some opportunities to check out this fall.

Thursday Noon Concerts

Every Thursday at 12 p.m., students from UT’s Butler School of Music can be heard putting on free concerts at Central Presbyterian Church in Downtown Austin. Guitarists, pianists and other instrumental musicians play for 30 minutes during lunchtime with light refreshments served afterward. Admission is free, but a donation of $3 for children and $5 for adults is suggested if participating in the lunch portion of the event. If timing or transportation is an issue, the concerts can be watched via livestream.

Longhorn City Limits

In its second year, Longhorn City Limits combines live music from regional and national artists and football to form the ultimate tailgate. Before and after each home game this season, artists including More Cowbell, Jack Ingram and Midland will perform on the LBJ Library Lawn. More artists will be added to the lineup, so keep an eye out. Admission is free for all members of the community and adds a little Austin flair to football season.

Last Sunday of the Month

On the last Sunday of every month, the South Austin Museum of Popular Culture puts on a free concert for members of the community. The show on Sept. 30, the last of the year, features The Mooks and Austin band Soulphonics. Admission is free at the museum, and the show runs from 3 to 4 p.m.

Unplugged at the Grove

Shady Grove restaurant on Barton Springs Road has two more free Thursday night concerts left in their summer series. Featuring artists Ruthie Foster and Dylan LeBlanc, there is no cover charge for guests, but food and drinks (alcoholic and not) are available for purchase. Enjoy the last few warm summer nights in Austin under the stars with friends, listening to great live music.

Richmond Concert Band

At Agecroft Hall & Gardens, the Richmond Concert Band will be putting on their free fall concert on Sept. 22. Titled “Let’s Have Some Fun,” the show takes place at the beautiful gardens, where visitors can also bring picnic blankets and snacks to enjoy alongside the orchestral music. The event website says that each song performed is selected to put a smile on the audience’s face, including familiar tunes like “The Avengers” theme. Admission is free and the event is family friendly.