This article is part of Wide Open Country's ongoing series Back to Country, which celebrates country music venues across the U.S.
Though Austin, Texas is notable for being the capital of the Lone Star State, it's also gained a reputation for being one of the premier cities in the country for live music. While there are no shortage of iconic music venues like the historic Broken Spoke or Austin City Limits, Nutty Brown Amphitheatre has gained a reputation for bringing in countless iconic artists to its outdoor stage nestled in the Texas Hill Country.
Located between South Austin and Dripping Springs, Nutty Brown has definitely become one of the most popular places to listen to live music in town.
Read More: 11 Hidden Gems of the Texas Hill Country
A History in the Hill Country
The property dates back to the 1950s where it was originally a candy store and confectionary known as Nutty Brown Mills. Current owner Mike Farr explained to Austin's Community Impact that it was owned and operated by a family that lived right on the property.
"The owners lived in this building," he said. "The family made candy in the morning, sold it during the day, and then put the kids to bed upstairs at night."
When Bob Rotter bought the 24-acre property in the '80s, his original intent was to turn the land into a zoo. Plans fell through and over the next 20 years, the land was used for everything from a barbershop to a clothing store and car dealership. Finally, when Mike Farr stepped up in 2000, his vision to turn the land into a cafe and music venue would really pay off.
Now known as the "Hill Country headquarters for outstanding Live Music and great times," Nutty Brown Cafe & Amphitheatre has welcomed countless iconic musicians to their stage, drawing in fans from all over the surrounding Austin area on a regular basis. The stage and seating area is located on the massive property behind the Nutty Brown Cafe, shaded by numerous massive live oak trees.
Some notable names you have performed at the beloved outdoor music venue include Blake Shelton, LeAnn Rimes, Dierks Bentley, Randy Houser and Ashley McBryde. Coming up this year they have Hank Williams Jr, Joan Jett, Gary Allan, and Dwight Yoakam on their lineup. The Nutty Brown Cafe is the place to go if you really want a classic live music experience in Texas's beautiful Hill Country.
Is the venue moving?
In 2014, Mike Farr claimed that he would be moving his beloved venue up to Round Rock, an area just North of Austin proper. Apparently, the move was postponed twice, most recently due to the coronavirus pandemic. Brad Wiseman, Round Rock's director of planning and development services, told Culture Map Austin in March of 2021 that they were planning a new $10 million outdoor music venue that could start breaking down as early as this fall. According to Culture Map, the grocery store chain, HEB, will start construction for a new location on the original Nutty Brown property in early 2022.
Mike Farr "is working on a scaled-down version of the project due to the impacts of COVID-19, with the plan of growing it over time as things get back to normal," Wiseman explained.
The venue is currently selling tickets for live shows through this October so if you're local to Texas and want a chance to visit Nutty Brown before the move, now is the time!
Visit Nutty Brown
?12225 US-290, Austin, TX 78737
For a current list of upcoming performances at Nutty Brown and the chance to purchase tickets, check here.