The Top 5 Live-Music Venues in San Marcos, Texas

Updated on March 29, 2019
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Billy is a hiking and outdoors enthusiast. He is also the Owner of Ravenshire Creations and host of the YouTube channel Gecko's Trails.

The Real Live-Music Capitol of Texas

I know that when people think of live music in Texas, they immediately think of the TV show Austin City Limits, but San Marcos is where it's really at! Many musical artists got their start in San Marcos or played at these venues at some point in their careers, going as far back as the jazz musician and electric guitar pioneer, Eddie Durham.

Here are the top five live-music venues in San Marcos.

Colorful wall mural in downtown San Marcos, Texas.
Colorful wall mural in downtown San Marcos, Texas. | Source

5. The Tantra Coffee House

The eclectic Tantra Coffee House (a.k.a. hipster heaven) originally opened in 2007 and boasts an open-air stage, an art gallery featuring local artists, and an ample selection specialty coffees, teas, beers, and wines. They also serve healthy food items, snacks, and sandwiches.

The bands that play at The Tantra range from bluegrass, rock and roll, swing, and hip-hop. This is a favorite hang-out spot for many University students attending Texas State University. There is also great wi-fi!

Location: 217 W. Hopkins St., San Marcos, Texas, 78666.

Hours of Operation: 8am-11pm everyday.

For more information, call (512) 558-2233.

The Tantra Coffee House, San Marcos, Texas
The Tantra Coffee House, San Marcos, Texas | Source

4. Kiva Lounge and Bar

The Kiva Lounge and Bar features live music seven nights a week and karaoke four nights a week. They also have pool tables, darts, and some comedy nights. They feature local, regional, and national acts such as Zed's Dead, The Floozies, Nappy Roots, Ghastly, Quiet Company, and many more.

Their daily specials include:

  • Sun: $3 U Call Its
  • Mon: $3 U Call Its
  • Tue: $1 Landshark, $2 tacos, $2 Dos XX
  • Wed: $6 Lonestar Pitcher, $.50 wings
  • Thur: $2 Fireball
  • Fri: $4 Rotating Bomb Shots
  • Sat: $4 Rotating Bomb Shots

Location: 202 N. LBJ Dr., San Marcos, Texas, 78666.

Hours of Operation: Monday-Saturday 5pm–2am and Sunday 11am–2am.

For more information, call (512)392-3031.

Kiva Lounge, San Marcos, Texas
Kiva Lounge, San Marcos, Texas | Source

3. Cheatham Street Warehouse

This one is an oldie, but a goodie. The Cheatham Street Warehouse is a classic example of your traditional honkie tonk bar and features live acts playing old and contemporary country and western music.

Originally owned by Kent Finley and Jim Cunningham, Cheatham Street Warehouse first opened its doors in 1974 with the opening act of the Austin hippie band Freda and the Fire Dogs. After the death of Kent, the bar was bought in 2006 by Gregg Andrews and his wife, Vikki Bynum, who were Texas State University professors but then sold it to the Cheatham Street Music Foundation in 2010. In 2016, Randy Rogers bought it from the Foundation and still keeps the music flowing!

Over the years, many famous singers and bands have graced the stage at Cheatham Street Warehouse including George Strait and Ace's first gig, Townes Van Zandt, Willie Nelson, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Randy Rogers Band, Jerry Jeff Walker, Terri Hendrix, Hal Ketchum, and many, many more. This place is a true Texas treasure!

Location: 119 Cheatham St., San Marcos, Texas, 78666.

Hour of Operation: Monday-Saturday 3pm–2am.

For more information, call (512)353-3777.

Cheatham Street Warehouse, San Marcos, Texas
Cheatham Street Warehouse, San Marcos, Texas | Source

2. The Marc

The Marc, formerly the Texas Music Theater, is the largest nightclub in San Marcos, boasting three full bars and a state-of-the-art performance stage system. The club is located in the old historic Texas Music Theater on the square in downtown San Marcos.

Local, regional, and national country and western, hip hop, and techno/house bands and acts play here on a regular basis, such as:

  • Blue October
  • G Easy
  • Zed's Dead
  • Randy Rogers Band
  • Young Thug
  • Dada Life
  • Carnage
  • Marshmello
  • Cody Johnson Band
  • and many, many more....

Location: 120 E. San Antonio St., San Marcos, Texas, 78666.

Hours of Operation: Tuesday–Saturday 10pm–2am.

For more information, call 512-757-5443.

The Marc, San Marcos, Texas (formerly The Texas Music Theater)
The Marc, San Marcos, Texas (formerly The Texas Music Theater) | Source

1. The Patti Strickel Harrison Theater

The Performing Arts Center at Texas State University houses many musical performing areas and stages, including the Patti Strickel Harrison Theater. This center hosts classical soloist and ensembles, operatic productions, as well as full musical productions and plays.

As of 9/4/2018, some of the upcoming productions are:

  • Cabaret
  • The Crucible
  • Shakespeare's The Tempest
  • Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Ernest
  • The Hunchback of Notre Dame

Tickets and season packages can be purchased here. The Edward Gary Parking Garage is located just next-door for their patrons' convenience.

Location: 405 Moon St., San Marcos, Texas, 78666.

The Performing Arts Center at Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas
The Performing Arts Center at Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas | Source

San Marcos, Texas: Not Just River-Rat Country Anymore!

There is so much to see, do, and experience here in San Marcos. As a resident, I never want to leave! There is not only the live music, but also museums, art galleries, eclectic boutiques and shops, hiking trails, natural areas, crystal clear rivers, and so much more. I am proud to be a San Martian!


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