I would never have gone to Austin in July..at least not on purpose. I’ve been to Texas in late July before and it was not a lot of fun. In a word, it was HOT. We were fishing on Lake Fork near Sulphur Springs and it was so hot my sneakers were melting and sticking to the deck of the boat. Only time in my life I was too hot to fish.
But there I was, flying into Austin the third week of July on a business trip. I got a gig as a backup Meeting Liaison for my company to help out during busy season. It involves traveling around the country talking to 401k participants. I was hoping for Seattle or San Francisco, maybe even Portland for my training trip. When I got the memo that I was going to Austin it was bittersweet. Excitement to be going on the road tempered by knowing how miserable Texas is in July. But hey, they tell me where to go and I go.
The first thing I noticed was how hot it was in the Jetway when we got off the plane. No surprise there. Then I saw how small the Austin airport is…only 30 gates. My flight from DIA boarded at gate B96. Then the main surprise: a sign saying “WELCOME TO AUSTIN: THE LIVE MUSIC CAPITAL OF THE WORLD.” Now that’s a surprise! Not Nashville or LA, Austin. Right away I figured it might be more interesting than I thought but I was skeptical..it must be just some marketing boast. We’ll see about that.
Being a research junkie I’d been reading up on Austin for a few days and found out our hotel was only a block away from the Entertainment district on East 6th Street so after supper I took a stroll down the hill and walked a couple of the blocks on 6th. Amazing…every other doorway was a restaurant or bar and every single one of them had a live band of some sort playing. Maybe there is something to this….
But it was confirmed the next day after the presentations had been made. I was scheduled to fly out at 7:30pm and we got to the airport around 4pm, dropped off the rental car, changed out of work clothes into shorts and sneakers, and started looking for a meal. To my surprise there were no less than 5 restaurants/bars on the airport concourse with live bands playing…at 4:30pm on Thursday! I’m a convert…I believe Austin truly IS the live music capital of the world.