Blues on the Green, a summer tradition in Austin, takes place at Zilker Park and is exactly what it sounds like – live music in a wide open field. Although it’s called Blues on the Green, this event features different types of artists – country, folk, alternative and more. It’s essentially a *free* concert series (this year marks 28 years!) that takes place on four different Wednesdays throughout the summer, features local Austin artists and is enjoyed by all ages.
While Blues on the Green is a great family outing – perfect for children since they can run around, adults can consider it a “night out” – it can also serve as happy hour for the girls or date night.
To really do Blues on the Green right, you should know how to prepare. Of course you’ll want to bring the necessities – blanket to sit on, water to keep you hydrated – but to get the most out of this experience you should be ultra prepared with the following:
- Cooler filled with all the goods. By goods I mean wine. Or beer, obvi. Be sure to put your wine in an insulated water bottle (no glass allowed) or beer can in a koozie. Technically alcohol is not permitted, but it’s a known BYOB event. Pack your cooler at your own risk!
- Add some snacks to that cooler. Bring your fave picnic snacks for when you get hungry. We love bringing salami, cheese & crackers and fresh fruit. Anything that’s easy to transport and you can eat while sitting in the grass will do!
- Bring your dog. Just like most things in Austin, Blues on the Green is a dog-friendly event! If your dog is well-behaved, definitely bring him/her – but they must stay leashed. Just remember to bring water for your pup, as it’ll be in the typical 90s or 100s since it’s summer in Austin, after all.
- If you really want to hear the music, show up early. This event has gotten super popular, so thousands of people will attend each evening of Blues on the Green. While this is great in some aspects, it makes it more difficult to actually get a good enough seat to hear the music loud and clear. You’ll still be able to hear the music if you’re sitting far back on the lawn, it’ll just be faint and more like background music than the main entertainment. We’ve shown up an hour early and gotten great seats.
- Lawn chair if you prefer not to sit on the ground. While this can be a hassle, some people hate sitting on the ground for a long period of time, or have to avoid it due to specific health conditions. Lawn chairs are permitted at Blues on the Green, so feel free to bring ’em!
- Avoid driving if possible. Luckily we live close enough to Zilker to easily walk or bike over. We’ve biked to Blues on the Green in the past, but it was harder getting home in the dark with hundreds of pedestrians on the trail (but definitely doable). We opted to walk last night which was also easy but definitely seemed like a much longer trek. Parking can apparently be a nightmare, so if you can walk, bike, take the bus or even uber to Blues on the Green rather than drive, I’d recommend it.
While I definitely encourage bringing a cooler with your own snacks to Blues on the Green, there are also several vendors to purchase food and non-alcoholic beverages from. Vendors like Shake Shack, Amy’s Ice Cream and Black’s Barbecue have had tents in the past – you’ll just have to wait in a long line before being served. Not sure if they all accept credit cards or not, so bring cash to be safe!
For a complete list of Blues on the Green FAQ’s, visit here.
Blues on the Green officially begins at 8:00 p.m. but definitely show up early to get a seat on the lawn. As always, the earlier you show up, the better spot you’ll get.