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Flamingo Cantina, Austin's 30-year home for reggae on Sixth Street, returns Wednesday

Flamingo Cantina will reopen with "Dreadneck Wednesday," a long-running residency from the Mau Mau Chaplains, seen here in 2011.

Gather round boys and girls and let me tell you a tale of old Sixth Street.

Once upon a time, Austin's avenue of debauchery and bad decisions hosted more than just shot bars. You could stagger down the street on any given night and stumble into a motley assortment of watering holes dedicated to live music. Alongside venues booking cowpunk, rock and our city's signature blues, Flamingo Cantina opened in 1991 as Austin's home for reggae music. These days, it's one of the few remaining venues committed to programming original live music on Austin's central tourist strip. 

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After closing when the pandemic began 14 months ago, the club will reopen for its long-running midweek residency, "Dreadneck Wednesday," on May 19. Lake party reggae outfit Mau Mau Chaplains will serve irie vibes with a side of Austin weird while Winton's Kitchen dishes up Jamaican food in the back. There will be a $5 cover at the door.   

Through the years, the reefer-scented venue has hosted countless Austin Reggae Fest afterparties and provided a landing spot for touring dancehall and reggae legends like Yellowman and Lee "Scratch" Perry. The Cantina also has consistently booked a diverse mix of hip-hop, Latin and worldbeat sounds.  

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Upcoming shows at Flamingo Cantina include a May 21 set from Denver-based reggae-rock band Project 432, an indie rap show with R.A. the Rugged Man and A-F-R-O on May 28, and a May 29 show featuring ATX soul band Uncommon People. More information. 

(This story has been updated to correct the date of the Wednesday reopening.)