Stubb’s, the intimate outdoor music venue in Austin that has been one of the principal locations for South by Southwest for the last quarter-century, has been purchased by Austin-based C3 Presents and its parent company Live Nation, the companies announced Tuesday.
Although the acquisition was completed at the end of 2021, it was not revealed until this week.
The entire Austin city block on which Stubb’s sits was part of the sale, according to Austin news reports. Stubb’s is unique among venues in offering a club-like experience that is outdoors, with a 2,500-capacity open performance space adjacent to an indoor BBQ restaurant, situated on the eastern end of Austin’s club district, not only creekside but practically adjacent to the I-35 freeway.
C3 has done the booking for Stubb’s Waller Creek Amphitheatre — as the outdoor portion is formally known — for 26 years and indicated few changes are in store for the Red River Cultural District landmark, although it indicated that unspecified improvements to the location will follow.
“Stubb’s is truly one of the most special music venues, not only in Austin, but in the country,” said Amy Corbin, a promoter with C3 Presents. “The C3 team has handled booking for the past 26 years, and most of the dedicated staff have been working there for most of their careers. It’s part of our DNA as Austinites, and we intend to carry on the outstanding legacy and experience fans have come to know and love over the years.” Corbin also said the companies will be “upgrading the current space to enhance the overall experience for both artists and fans.”
With a size that fits squarely in the middle of local capacities, he venue plays host to chart-toppers as well as regional artists, up-and-comers and cult favorites. Gigs booked in the upcoming weeks include shows by Bleachers (whose Jack Antonoff is pictured above at the venue), the Kid Laroi, Yola, Manchester Orchestra, Elle King, the Dropkick Murphies, 311, the Brian Jonestown Orchestra, Orville Peck, LP and Hot Chip.
Artists that have played Stubb’s during SXSW have included Lady Gaga and Foo Fighters.
C3 also owns and operates the Austin City Limits Music Festival and has investments in two new Austin venues, the University of Texas’ Moody Center — set to open this spring with superstar acts like the Eagles and Jimmy Buffett — and the Moody Amphitheatre in Waterloo Park.
The venue has enjoyed some continuity in ownership that continues to this day; Charles Attal, who was one of the founders of Stubb’s when it started up in 1996, co-owns C3 Presents. Live Nation acquired a majority stake in C3 in 2014. The Austin American-Statesman reported that the venue was purchased from Stubb’s Austin Restaurant Company — a partnership between Attal, Edward Patterson, John M. Scott, Scott Jensen and Jeff Waughtal — late last year.