The Backyard
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The Backyard is located in the heart of the Texas Hill Country in a natural, open-air setting enveloped in the shade of 400 year old live oaks. This one of a kind amphitheater hosts music of a varied and eclectic mix of musicians.
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.

4.0
27 reviews
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auntcrit
9 contributions
Couples
Recently went to the Backyard to see the Willie 80th Birthday show. We knew going into the concert, that there would be horrible traffic considering there is only one road that leads you to the Backyard, so backed up traffic is always a given. So we started out about an hour before doors opened, to get into the slow moving traffic line. Folks losing the true spirit of the day & trying to cut in line during the traffic only made the wait more miserable than it had to be. Once we got into the gates, we were quickly directed into a bumpy, rock covered, unlandscaped parking area, that was quite treacherous to drive through. The line to the front door was wrapped into the parking area, and was well over 30minutes wait from end to end. There were only 2 restrooms (port-o-potties) outside of the venue doors, which both had lines around 20 people deep. Those facilities were very dirty, and had no tissue, there was urine & feces on the seating area. After waiting in line for half an hour, we were told we could not bring our camera in, because it had a removeable lense. We refused to get out of line to return it to the car, so they offered to let us check our camera at the main concession area. We were of course upset about that, because we had read before hand that we could bring cameras, there was no specifics on-line in regards to removable lense cameras being prohibited. We were allowed through the doors, but ended up not checking the camera, once we got through the gates, it was a free for all..lol. This venue is often a first come first served seating option, in both its lawn and seated areas of viewing. Do not expect people to sit down in front of you, this is a concert, if they are standing- you should stand also. Expect people to be mingling, and migrating towards the stage, like I said, it is a concert. The beer is cold, and they usually have plenty of concession areas to meet the demands of the concert goers. The restrooms are mediocre, but what you would expect from this primitive of a venue. Even after all of these seemingly negative experiences, I am giving this venue 5stars...because when you go to a venue like the Backyard- you have to leave your pretentiousness at the house. This is a tennis shoes & backpack kind of place. & there is nothing more magical than openminded people coming together to listen to beautiful music under the gorgeous Hill Country twilight!!
Written May 23, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Exlongh0rn
Spring, TX53 contributions
Tends to fill up fast. Bring things (cushions, etc.,) to make your visit comfortable. Sounds system is good, parking is decent...a great way to spend an evening.
Written June 8, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Arizonapopi1
Florence, Italy760 contributions
Couples
When it's good, it's good. Can be a typical central Texas beautiful evening as it was when we went. Willie was great. But there are some things you can do to make the experience better.
Let's talk about seating. We chose seated general admission meaning you get a chair but it's fist come first served. At this event the seating area was divided into three sections, one in the middle, one on each side. The better place to sit is more toward the middle in the middle section. While it's seemingly nice to sit on the end of a row, not so much. During the show, there are people constantly standing or walking in the rows, right next to those sitting on the ends of theses rows.
This may not be the best place to wear your best western duds as this is more like slightly upscale camping rather than attending the theater. When I go again it will be jeans and running shoes. As most people have a cell phone, you can use it for a flash light as when the sun goes down, the lighting isn't so great. Food, drink and facilities available.
Go early, maybe as soon as the place opens regardless of the level of ticket you bought. See other reviews about parking and VIP tickets.
All this said, a definite go-back.
Written May 14, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Russell H
1 contribution
Couples
First time attending concert at facility. Went to facility website to get a feel on how to prepare for event. Website indicated facility was newly renovated. Only thing accurate about description of Backyard environment is that is located in the hill country, that's it. I must admit parking was appropriate, how can you go wrong there. Once inside, we were disappointed. We purchase reserve seats, which were aluminum card chairs. That was placed on top of limestone rocks which made chairs sit uneven. Seated in a reserve area, you would think a person could were a decent pair of shoes, don't do it. The appropriate attire for enviroment would be work shoes or cowboy boots. You're basically navigating through rocks and dust all day. Although the reserve section was bad seating, I'm glad we did not seat on lawn. The lawn area was a mixture of terribly cared for grass, composed primarily of large limestone rocks. Try sitting on that all day and half the night. There were four concession stand there, all were closed. The one area to purchase food, and I mean one was a local restaurant. They carted in their trailer and sold over priced food. Your choice from their menu was only two selections. Been to concerts throughout US, I'm sorry to say this one is bad. Based on the location this property's located you would expect more. The upside to the experience was the musicians who performed. Overall, the venue need considerable improvements. I'm sure the possums can't wait till lights go out. Austin, you guy's got to do better.
Written June 3, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Justin K
Milan, Italy197 contributions
Business
It was spread out with rough terrain and multiple venue options. I don't see this place as becoming a place for future events until improvements are made.
Written November 3, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Denise G
Bandera, TX65 contributions
Friends
This place is really nice. Its setting is so easy to enjoy. Stage was wonderful and the concert was perfectly regulated with the sound. Not too loud and we were on the 3rd row. We could still talk and enjoy the company.

The only downer I have is that we bought beers while standing line outside from THEIR Beer window.
When we got to the front of the line to go in, we were told that we couldn't bring it in. Kind of stupid cuz we just bought it from them!!!! And at those prices, its not really very fair.

If that was the rule, the beer window people should have warned us ahead of time. "You may have to guzzle your beer or throw it away"
Written May 6, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

HennyBoo
Austin, TX34 contributions
A great place to listen to great music. Outdoors on a lovely evening with a coldl beer
Written February 3, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

TracieV
Austin, TX21 contributions
Friends
We visited this venue to see Arcade Fire in May 2011. Immediately upon entering, you encounter the two cons of the venue. The first on we experienced was a lack of any signs indicating that we should have turned right at an intersection instead of loop around looking for an entrance. While not a big flaw, it did put us a few minutes behind everyone else already lined up. Second con, a big one for most of us, is that the parking is on the side of a very rocky slope. Unless you plan on driving a truck or other raised vehicle out there, prepare to scratch the bottom of your car a few times and cringe at the thought of the fresh car wash you just had being taken away. People with breathing issues, be warned, the parking process and exiting process will stir up a LOT of dirt!

This type of venue (open air, outdoor, minimal shade) is great for shows that do not hit in the dead middle of summer. One can get very burned out there and overheated waiting for a show. Take caution to apply sunscreen, stay well hydrated, you know the drill. Luckily for us, it was very mild and only a bit of sweat came out. The food stands are all lined up immediately to the right upon entrance so getting water and then scoping our spot was not difficult. I believe we paid $9 for a BBQ sandwich and chips deal. Water was around $3. Bathrooms were just slightly passed the food row but we did not use these so I can't comment on the cleanliness. They were NOT Porto-Potties though, so you can relax and breathe a bit. The merchandise booth for all acts is immediately to the left of the entrance and can get very crowded if you wait to buy at the end of the show.

Ticket prices vary by group but we found it to be average cost for a venue in Austin.
The sound at the venue is clean, crisp and loud. I think too much bass was in use BUT I was in front of the speaker/amp set up the entire time so my experience might be a bit warped. If you are short, you will definitely want to fight for a spot up front or linger back on the small ridge a few feet back from the gate. Additionally if you want to record any audio of the performance, your best bet would be from the middle of the front or back on the ridge for full effect. The viewing area for this venue is quite large and depending on your type of concert viewing preference, you can either be up front and semi crowded or back on the lawn and relaxing ala picnic style. The employees were all very helpful in pointing us in the right direction for anything we needed.

The only other issue we had besides parking was that leaving the venue to get to your car will take a while. As far as we could see, there is only one entrance/exit open during shows. This caused a major bottle neck and left us standing in line to get out for about 20 minutes or more. I recommend exercising patience and hanging out away from the bottle neck for a few.

So to sum it up: ticket price is average, great sound, great views of the band from almost any angle unless you are short, easy to reach food/RR/Merch, can get hot, can get sunburned, make sure to check that you still have your bumper on the way out!
Written November 27, 2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

musictraveler40
Austin, TX497 contributions
Business
So I've seen it from both sides. Opened for Willie a couple of times. Saw quite a few shows at the old and new venues. I decided today it needs more than just 26 reviews. It's a great venue. Great acoustics, great atmosphere in my opinion. If my 80-year old mother can get around in there, it's working pretty well. Things aren't the same out there on old 71, but it's still pretty cool. Go check it out.
Written June 30, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

1972TexasGal
Austin, TX93 contributions
Family
The Backyard & Willie Nelson are a true Texas tradition and not to be missed! Get to the Backyard early, bring something else to do as you have to listen to at least 2 groups perform before Willie comes on stage but it will be well worth the wait! I LOVE Willie! (Side note...I hate that Trip Advisor limits dates & forces someone to say when they visited. The heard Willie at The Backyard in Aug 2012 but in order to post this the closest choice I had was Aug 2014).
Written January 8, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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