venues dirty sixth
sxsw crowds on 6th street on Saturday music night.

Summertime in Austin is not a season to be missed. Days are filled with day drinking, boating and paddleboarding, or just old fashioned running around ladybird. Nights are filled with Rainey Street, West Sixth, or if you’re feeling really rowdy, Dirty Sixth.

Dirty Sixth is the ‘go-to’ going out scene in Austin. For those unaware of its glory, it’s essentially 6+ blocks of straight bars blocked off for pedestrians during the weekends. Think: New Orleans on Mardi Gras but with less catfish and beads. It’s littered with University of Texas students, occasional out of town-ers, and people looking to get weird. It is not for the faint of heart.

Dirty Sixth is the stuff of legends. It is not for rookies. If this is your first night drinking beer, maybe stick to your mom’s basement. Dirty Sixth has everything: Rooftop bars. Live music. The potential to be over-served (my personal favorite). An occasional naked lady. Don’t let it get away from you.

Now, we know I’ve established Dirty Sixth as the place, to get, well… down and dirty. But what if you want to see live music before making your way over to the graveyard for memories in Austin?

Ask no more. Here’s a brief overview of some of the walkable venues to the infamous Dirty (East) Sixth.

Mohawk

Mohawk utilizes Texan weather to its advantage. It is a multilevel space complete with indoor and outdoor bars, an intimate indoor stage, and amphitheater-style outside stage. The bar has cheap beer and specializes in highlighting local talent. Right up our alley. It also helps that there’s free parking on Red River, so you can leave your car there overnight once you walk to the Dirty for post-show drinks.

Wanna keep the indoor/outdoor thing going? It’s only six blocks from Blind Pig, potentially the most chaotic rooftop on 6th.

Mohawk

Website
912 Red River St
Austin, TX 78701

Parish

Parish is a unique, intimate venue. It consists of a raised wooden stage, painted brick walls, and  standing room only when a band performs, as there is quite literally no space for chairs. It’s considered slightly underground despite being on Sixth Street, since it’s easy to walk right past the entrance. The bar is full service and moderately priced.

If you’re looking to continue the night, the venue is directly across from Billiard Bill’s, which is known locally as Ryan Gosling’s favorite Austin bar. Enough said.

Parish

Website
214 E 6th Street
Austin, TX 78701

Empire Control Room and Garage

Another indoor/outdoor venue space not to miss in Austin. This is much bigger than Mohawk, but they are often compared. There are three stages, indoor, outdoor, and patio, but the patio hardly gets used as it is very small. The indoor stage has great visual capabilities with easy lines of sight.

Empire Control Room and Garage indoor stage

The outdoor garage space is much larger but perfect for summer nights. The patio stage doubles as a cool-down space with picnic tables if you get overwhelmed by all of the shows and need a light breather.

Empire Control Room and Garage outdoor stage

Website
606 E 7th Street
Austin, TX 78701

The Elephant Room

The Elephant Room is an underground jazz club. It has a dark, relaxing but inviting atmosphere and usually plays jazz and live piano. This jazz club is in a funky old basement off Congress, and they serve stiff cocktails at an affordable price. Elephant Room is a venue to hit if you’re not totally sold on getting crazy, but after a few cocktails you’ll definitely want to meander down Sixth. I’d recommend Pete’s Dueling Piano Bar five blocks away to continue the jazz theme.

The Elephant Room

Website
315 Congress Ave
Austin, TX 78701

Did we miss your favorite walkable venue? Let us know on Twitter!