This entry is the first of many that we will post in a new category called “Austin Gems” (see the side bar on the right). We’ve all been to Barton Springs Pool and Mt. Bonnell…here we will provide information about some of the lesser known opportunities that make Austin a unique and very cool place to live.
Have you ever seen Austin City Limits on PBS? This is the show where some of the world’s most famous musicians play a set in a very intimate setting in front of a backdrop of the Austin skyline at night. It’s been around for many, many years. It is so well-regarded, in fact, that it is recognized as the longest running music series in television history and the show has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (notice the icon at the top of the Historical Marker, pictured above, which is posted just outside the studio doors).
Now, the best part. You can attend these tapings – it’s free and they even give away free beer (to those of legal drinking age). Most of the audience at any given show is made up of people connected in some way to the sponsors of the show. Another large group includes personal donors, called ‘Friends of Austin City Limits’. However, when there aren’t enough people signed up to come to any given show, the producers give away free spots to ensure that the crowd is full. To make this a truly Austin experience, the spots are awarded in a very short window of time prior to the taping to ensure that local residents have the best opportunity to fill up the studio.
Here’s how it works:
Visit the Austin City Limits blog regularly at http://austincitylimits.org/blog to learn about upcoming giveaways. They don’t Facebook and they don’t Tweet…you must visit the blog to find out what’s coming up.
When a new ticket giveaway is announced, submit your entry by providing your email in the link provided.
About two days before the taping, they will draw enough emails to fill the space they predict will be available. Each entry drawn is awarded two tickets, but that does not guarantee a space in the studio.
On the day of the taping, winners of the drawing must appear at the studio at the designated time to receive their tickets and a number, based on the order in which they arrived. Once the tickets and numbers have been distributed, you may leave and come back when the doors open.
When you come back to the studio prior to the doors opening, you’ll notice a long line of people snaking around the courtyard. These are the VIPs who have the first opportunity to enter the studio. “Space available” ticket holders line up according to their numbers and are allowed in after all VIPs, until the venue is full. You are not guaranteed a space. When the venue is full, they stop letting people in.
Once inside you will be guided to the studio. Find a spot and take a moment to look around at the cameras, lights, sound equipment, and that very famous backdrop painting. When the music starts be ready – the cameras just might find you!
If you’d love to see a famous artist perform in an intimate setting, if you are the type of person who enjoys seeing how a television show is filmed, or if you are someone who just wants to makes sure they’ve done every cool thing there is to do in Austin, then bookmark the blog and check back regularly.
Mission Mortgage’s Marketing Coordinator, Michael Ikeya, recently attended a taping featuring reggae legend Jimmy Cliff and special guest Michael Franti and has attended a previous taping of the Avett Brothers. He would be happy to answer any questions you have about the giveaways. Email firstname.lastname@example.org with your questions and he’ll get back to you with an answer.