Music capital

Austin’s Vancerts brings mobile shows to the evolving live music capital


  • Rotating pitches
  • Cost: Usually free

AUSTIN (KXAN) — In December 2020, lifelong Austinite and musician David Castro looked around at all the music venues closed due to COVID-19 and wanted to create a haven for other artists seeking gigs.

Then came Vancerts, a mobile music venue that helped redefine how Austinites can hear local artists in the live music capital of the world.

“It’s just given a multitude of opportunities,” Castro said.

Vancerts is exactly what its namesake suggests: mobile gigs, courtesy of a refurbished van. Artists can set up shop in breweries, neighborhoods and other spaces that might not have the infrastructure to support live music otherwise.

For local musicians, the rising cost of living in Austin, coupled with COVID-induced closures in recent years, has put increasing pressure on their livelihoods. With Vancerts, Castro said he wanted to remove any “middleman” from booking concerts so artists could take home as much profit as possible.

“Most of our events are free, and so what that’s also allowed us to do is give artists more compensation, because we’re not looking for a return. [or a cut]”, Castro said. “We get the money up front, or we get people involved in what we do, and they give us funds to pay the artists.”

Going forward, Castro said Vancerts hopes to expand its fleet, adding more vans so artists can perform across Austin and beyond. Castro said they would like to take this concept overseas to the UK and help expand the reach of Vancerts.

But for now, Castro said Austin’s reception was welcoming. And for local artists who have endured a difficult few years of closed venues, escalating costs and COVID issues, it’s a way to say “thank you” to listeners who keep musicians’ passions alive and kicking.

“It’s a symbiotic relationship: without one, we don’t have the other,” Castro said of the bond between artists and their audiences. “The artist doesn’t really survive in this town if we don’t have people supporting him.”

To book a show or learn more about Vancerts, connect with them online on their Instagram, Facebook page, website, or by calling 512-743-8534.

This story is part of a KXAN series highlighting Central Texas activities – you can see our full list on our “Central Texas Things to Do” page. Do you have an idea of ​​something we should profile? Email us at [email protected]

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