How to Make the Most out of 11 Off-Site Event Spaces in Austin

A Sponsored Message From Visit Austin

low building with campy like roof surrounded by greenery then cityscape

The Palmer Event Center (right) sits within downtown Austin’s Butler Park. (Courtesy of Austin Convention Center Department)

It’s no secret that Austin has some of the best food, beer, and live music in the country. For event organizers, the most authentic way to infuse those signature tastes and sounds into their programs is by tapping one (or more) of the city’s unique off-site venues, which range from iconic live music halls to modern museums to historic theaters.

But collaborating with multiple off-site venues can come with its own set of challenges. Kaitlyn Dineen, president and owner of Austin-based Fifth Street DMC, has some advice, starting with pinning down the right visualization strategy from the start. “We help clients see the potential of raw spaces, discover what hasn’t been done before… and feel confident in moving forward with a local pro on their team,” she said.

Next, Dineen emphasizes spelling out specific needs and defining a timeline. “More time is almost always better than less,” Dineen said. “But post-COVID, we can make miracles happen on a dime. What I view as more important than time is being direct on needs and expectations from the start. The more you can share on goals, budget, and must-haves, the quicker the team can meet your needs.”

To stay true to Austin’s quirky essence, it also pays to keep an open mind. Dineen said her clients often choose more non-traditional spaces — like parking lots, parks, film sets, and breweries — in lieu of a typical ballroom. Below, we’ve highlighted 11 only-in-Austin venues perfect for off-site functions of all shapes and sizes.

Best Downtown Austin Views

  • Palmer Event Center — From symphonies to retro gamer festivals, this venue captures them all with its skyline views, canopied outdoor space, and in-house IT.
  • Brazos Hall — A turn-of-the-century, two-story warehouse that comes with a 3,500-square-foot rooftop deck and sprawling downtown views.
meeting place with high tables, wood framing on ceilings

Opened in 2022, the Oak View Group-managed Moody Center is a multipurpose live entertainment venue specially designed for concerts, basketball, and live events. (Ryan Gobuty photo)

Great for Music and Performing Arts

  • ACL Live at the Moody Theater — The home of the acclaimed “Austin City Limits” series can also accommodate more intimate events in the adjacent 350-person venue, 3TEN.
  • Moody Center — For larger gatherings, this 530,000-square-foot arena can seat up to 15,000 and offers 44 suites, three premium clubs, one super VIP club, and 57 loge boxes (suite-level private couches).
  • Topfer Theatre at ZACH — Events with up to 420 guests are welcome in this theater that comes equipped with a grand lobby and bar, skyline lounge, and breakout spaces with terraces.

Historic Highlights

  • Paramount Theatre — Built in 1915, this live performance space and movie theater features fully equipped bars, stunning lobby and mezzanine spaces, and a lounge for groups of up to 350.
  • Long Center for the Performing Arts — An array of spaces along with views of Lady Bird Lake come standard — but this venue is anything but. The outdoor concert lawn features the world’s first 3D-printed performance pavilion.
  • The Riley — A versatile, multi-floor venue in downtown that manages to merge modern design and historic heritage.
IMAX theater big screen movie seats

Featuring the biggest screen in Texas, the Bullock IMAX Theater at the Bullock Museum can seat up to 329 guests for private events. (Courtesy of the Bullock Texas State History Museum)

Versatile Venues

  • Bullock Museum — The museum frequently welcomes galas, holiday parties, and corporate events — plus the IMAX 3D Theater is spectacular for film screenings.
  • Sunset Room —This flexible, gallery-style venue in the Austin Convention Center district features original wooden rafters, outdoor event space, and easy access to lively Sixth Street.
  • 800 Congress — For an urban, industrial vibe, look to this venue on historic Congress Avenue, which comes with a covered terrace and a high-end AV system.



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