Hey Freshman: IG Follows to Fast-Track Your Immersion in Austin Music

Under-21 and underground rave resources on Instagram


The summer after my freshman year at UT-Austin, I obtained a fake ID realistic enough to only once get shut down by a discerning door guy at the Liberty. After turning 21, I passed it along to a younger roommate, who promptly lost it at Barracuda (R.I.P.). A friendly bartender messaged my boyfriend: "Found this on the ground. I didn't know Rachel was from Connecticut!"

For those uninterested in illegality, all ages are regularly welcome at the Ballroom, Far Out Lounge, and the Mohawk. Empire Control Room and Parish also upped majority any-age offerings under new booking by Resound Presents. Breweries and eateries are also reliable picks for catching under-21 shows, including the ABGB, Kick Butt Coffee, Meanwhile Brewing, Radio Coffee & Beer, Independence Brewing, and food-truck-surrounded Kenny Dorham's Backyard. If you're solely looking to dance, 18+ nights run at Mala Vida (Thursdays) and Rain on 4th (some weeknights).

Naturally, the biggest touring venues like ACL Live, Emo's, the Long Center, and Stubb's are also all-ages to host thousands for, say, Harry Styles at the new on-UT-campus Moody Center. All of the above are certainly worth a follow, but if you're seeking curation of the indie-leaning, locally sourced, or undergraduate-oriented kind, scroll the following Instagram accounts.

To Follow if You’re Looking for Substantive Live Music Under 21 ...

Formerly known as the Spider House Ballroom, the Ballroom offers the closest just-next-to-UT room and disco ball, booking all-ages and often via Texas' Spune Productions (@spune).


The student radio frequency, 91.7FM, regularly picks Austin acts collegiate and beyond for 18+ shows at venues around town, alongside their on-air programming.

Austin's biggest independent concert promoter consistently invites all ages across incoming rising stars and legacy alt-standards from Stereolab to Girlpool.

This dependably interesting collection of Austin punk gigs prioritizes no age limits, including for Acaustix, Algara, Damak, and more at Mohawk on Aug. 30.

Not always all-ages, Texas Emo Club launches a new 18+ Tear Drop emo/rap night this evening, August 18, with emotive sounds like Lil Peep, SZA, and $uicideboy$ at Parish. Unfortunately, their crown jewel, Jimmy Eat Wednesday, is 21+.

Headliners – UT's student-run planning committee – throws free-with-student-ID concerts like 24th Street Festival and springtime centerpiece Forty Acres Fest, featuring Coin earlier this year.


UT University Unions' page is the best place to find announcements for on-campus listening room the Cactus Cafe, legendary stage for stars like Lucinda Williams, with open mics every Tuesday.

Always $5 and all-ages, the 11-years-running Exploded Drawing party gathers electronica, beatmaking, hip-hop, and more in an artsy warehouse space, sans elevated stage. See Crucial Concerts for Friday's lineup.

More U-21 Mentions: West Campus co-ops historically present shows, especially during South by Southwest, but you'll probably find posters outside official accounts (which are @pearlstreetcoop, @frenchhousecoop, and @21ststreetcoop). For free and family-friendly music, try Austin's wealth of culturally celebratory centers like the Asian American Resource Center (@aarcatx), Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center (@esbmacc), and George Washington Carver Museum (@carvermuseumatx).

@Suite650 (Photo by Blake Nelson @blakenelson__)

To Follow if You’re an Aspiring Raver of the Artsy Underground Variety ...

Every viral TikTok I see of an Austin tunnel party attracts the same comments: "Where do you find this stuff?" While mainstream rock booking still utilizes Facebook events, Austin's mercurial rave scene materializes on Instagram. Beyond much-loved Downtown standards like Cheer Up Charlies and Coco­nut Club for original dance and electronic music, find informal options below – potentially only briefly accurate until the landlord notices. These gatherings are generally 21+.

Pronounced "twelve twenty-two," roving 1222.Productions' texted-out location logistics could lead anywhere from a laundromat to a Long John Silver's.

"Hedonistic therapy party" is an ideal bio for this fetish-attire-encouraged recurring bacchanal, further self-copy-written as a "bizarre techno rave" off East Cesar Chavez.

BYOB into late hours, this new concept sets up in the former Forever Eternal Moments room within the Coconut Club complex, opened last weekend with Chicago heavy-hitter Ariel Zetina of Discwoman.

@FREQSystem (Photo by JJ Barrett @__jabj)

The combined efforts of a few DIY sustainers, Death of Affect Booking focuses on dance and experimental music following a notable aftershow collaboration with Oblivion Access Festival in May.

Founded around a massive frequency-supplying sound system, these rogue outdoor rave-throwers tote heavy hardware through tunnels, fields, and bridges – also recently debuting the first Freq System record for Mort.Domed.

Coming off of a NY debut at Brooklyn's buzzy Public Records, this Texas tape outlet catalogs electronic minds like Saliyah, Kept, Kinder, and Corduroi – often in live presentations.

Residents at this internationally minded online station contribute monthly mixes (on SoundCloud and sharedfrequencies.live), also bringing house and techno offline to stacked events.

Creative studio space by day, open-ended Suite 650 made a splash with a masquerade-attire-required ball last month, mixing latex-y performances with a chamber orchestra.

More Ravey Mentions: To add to the jumble of collaborators listed above, @vileconstruct and @directressvisions teamed up for Inferno earlier this month, both flexing a flair for great graphics. @cowgirlevents' last party involved surprise-location mud wrestling, while cleverly named @bitchesplaymusic (aka B.P.M) opted for the theme "Sexy, Sweaty, Slippery." Also, @studio69atx offers the current identity of a long-ish-running North Austin DIY area.

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