Best Clubs for the Under-21 Crowd
No ID? No problem.
Legally I'm Isabella, but for the bouncer's sake, I'm my older sister. At least for the past three years, until a month ago when my ID became horizontal. Big sis' borrowed ID wasn't even to drink – it was to avoid the X of shame that kept me out of 21 and over concerts. However, Austin also happens to take the title as the live music capital, so venues here tend to be more inclusive. Among them is Barracuda (611 E. Seventh), an all-ages venue that includes an indoor and outdoor stage that caters to everything from atmospheric lo-fi to pop-punk. "Red River venues have historically been the breeding ground for the next generation of music fans and musicians in Austin for a couple decades or more now," says Dan Holloway, Barracuda's booking manager, "and we want to keep that tradition alive and well." The Sidewinder, Mohawk, and Stubb's are among those Holloway singles out as the most popular for the younger crowd. The Sidewinder (715 Red River) radiates more intimacy than the others, emphasized by its burgeoning DIY scene. You go to Mohawk (912 Red River) to scream, sweat, and shove. Stubb's (801 Red River) elevates the backyard house show, encouraging swaying over surfing. Spider House (2906 Fruth), Emo's (2015 E. Riverside), Cheer Up Charlies (900 Red River), Empire Control Room (606 E. Seventh), Kingdom (103 E. Fifth), and Vulcan Gas Company (418 E. Sixth) fluctuate from all-ages, 18+, to over-21, depending on the show. Within walking distance of UT, Spider House offers a whimsical escape to do work or enjoy local talent thanks to their upcycled decor and cozy lighting. Emo's is one of the bigger venues supplying larger acts with the warmth of a smaller club. Queer club Cheer Up Charlies is where DIY thrives and is the most "Austin" of the bunch with its kombucha on tap and string lights. The latter three satisfy the EDM crowd only having an indoor stage, except for Empire, adding balance to a town that makes the most space for strings.