South Congress Expands ‘First Thursday’ Event Series with ‘Summer on SoCo’
Live music, art and giveaways take over the Austin thoroughfare through September 2nd
By David Clough
Photographs courtesy of Red Riding Hood Productions
First Thursday, a free monthly event that takes place in the South Congress shopping district, is back for the summer—and it’s expanding with Summer on SoCo, a concept that includes weekly live music performances, live mural art and a shopping raffle that runs through September 2nd.
An Austin tradition that takes place on the first Thursday of every month, First Thursday spans South Congress Avenue from Nellie Street to Annie Street. The event brings together local arts and crafts vendors who set up shop under tents, and area stores and restaurants stay open past their regular hours to accommodate nighttime shoppers.
This year, as part of Summer on SoCo, Austinites can expect to see pop-up music performances on the South Congress sidewalks, with weekly live music shows at Güero’s Taco Bar’s Oak Garden Stage. Muralists will also be creating new wall artwork for local businesses—visitors will be able to watch the artists create their work in real time.
Shoppers can also pick up a Summer on SoCo Punch Card at participating South Congress stores and restaurants. A purchase of any value from the businesses listed on the card earns the shopper a punch. Completed punch cards can be used to enter the Summer on SoCo Raffle for a chance to win prizes from local businesses, including curated gift baskets, merchandise and gift cards. The grand prize is a one-night staycation at the South Congress Hotel.
Punch cards can be filled-out anytime through September 2nd (not just on First Thursdays), and shoppers can complete multiple punch cards to be entered to win the raffle prizes. Participating South Congress businesses include Letterpress Play, Manready Mercantile, Esby, Noah Marion, Home Slice Pizza, Güero’s Taco Bar, Aviator Nation, Maya Star and more.
The next First Thursday installment takes place on August 5. The Summer on SoCo live music performances, live mural art and shopping raffle are ongoing throughout the summer, and run until September 2nd.