Monday, December 22, 2014

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Antone’s leaves downtown with farewell concert

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TWC News: Antone’s leaves downtown with farewell concert
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Monday night marks the end of an Austin tradition and the start of a new chapter—Antone’s nightclub is closing its downtown doors.

The final show at the historic club’s Fifth Street location was a big one. Bob Schneider, Marcia Ball, and Jimmie Vaughan were just a few of the names taking the stage.

Many at the event Monday night said the Blues won't die. Antone’s first opened its doors on Sixth Street in 1975. The club left its Guadalupe home -- it's third and perhaps most famous location -- for downtown in 1997, and now in early 2013 there's another move.

Antone's announced last month it would be moving to East Riverside on April 1, when it will take over the location currently occupied by Beauty Ballroom.

A spokesperson for the club cited poor attendance and complaints from patrons about parking as issues behind the decision to move.

"Everytime they moved locations, they said, 'It's not going to be the same, it's not going to be any good, it's over,'" Vaughan said. "And it always came back."

He and other musicians agree the heart and vibe of the club is more than just the brick and mortar.

Meanwhile, Joah Spearman, of the Austin Music Commission, said the city has to do more to protect Austin's legendary music scene.

He said downtown venues are battling high rent and a constant fight to keep residential neighbors happy as more housing moves in.

"If tourists come here and they are looking for Antone's and are looking for where Stevie Ray played, where Ray Charles played, and they can't find it -- that is a problem not only for Antones but for the city," Spearman said.

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