Study: Luckenbach is world leader in live music (and Austin is OK, too)

Dec 13, 2017
Ralph Barrera/Austin American-Statesman
This 2004 photo from Luckenbach shows bartender Danny Terry entertaining guests in the bar. There's no shortage of official shows in Luckenbach — whether under the trees behind the bar or in the historic dancehall.

The data has come in. It has been analyzed. And the results show the live music capital of the world is … Luckenbach.

That is, if you’re looking at “number of gigs per 1,000 people.” There were 25 gigs in Luckenbach last year, and if you’re buying Luckenbach’s long-claimed “Population 3,” that works out to 8,333 gigs per 1,000 people — far outpacing Austin’s 3.92 gigs per 1,000 people.

OK, OK. It’s not really top-notch science. What do you expect from a study hosted by the United Kingdom’s Expedia website?

But the study is interesting. As they say: “We’ve analysed Songkick data from almost 370,000 concerts across the globe to uncover the most popular places on Earth for live music lovers.”

Austin acquits itself well at 3,716 gigs — coming in 9th in the world behind such population centers as London, NYC, Los Angeles and Paris (and easily besting them on a gigs-per-1K basis). 

Austin is just ahead of the combined might of Dallas and Fort Worth, beating them out by just over a month’s worth of Redd Volkaert shows at the Continental Club. Thanks, Redd.

Luckenbach’s inclusion on the list is more gimmicky. The former town is now a business and the population of the area is certainly higher than 3. But … we’re going to guess that the runner-up in gigs-per-1K — Brainans, a “petit village” in eastern France — isn’t complaining.

Setting itself apart from most website-driving studies, the presentation of this one is comprehensive. For example, you can see that Talinn is the Live Music Capital of Estonia, at 94 gigs. Or you can see that the US crushed its nearest competition in number of gigs per million. Or that Texas is No. 3 in the US, behind California and New York.

Or you can look at the map, to see which countries reported no data at all: The “axis of evil” is also a pretty dead group when it comes to live music. So is Greenland, Mongolia and Madagascar. 

Explore the entire study here …