Cactus Cafe

The entrance to the Cactus Cafe.

The Cactus Café is a live music venue and bar on the campus of The University of Texas at Austin.[1] Located in Austin, Texas, a city frequently referred to as "the live music capital of the world," a number of well-known artists have played in the Cactus, and Billboard Magazine named it as one of fifteen "solidly respected, savvy clubs" in the United States, "from which careers can be cut, that work with proven names and new faces."[2]



The Cactus Café, which opened in 1979, is located in the Union Building (University of Texas at Austin), a Great Depression-era building constructed using New Deal funds. The Café is a fairly intimate venue, known for its acoustics.

In 2010, the University announced that the Cactus Café would be closing. The decision was met with widespread shock and opposition in the Austin community, from musicians, and among students.[3]


A wide array of well-known artists played at the Cactus Café, many earlier in their careers. Lyle Lovett told the Austin Chronicle, "For a long time, the Cactus Café was the only place I played in Austin."[4]

Notable Texans that have played at the Cafe include:

Notable National and International artists that have played at the Cafe include:

Threatened Closing and ControversyEdit

In a press release on 30 January 2009, the University announced that the Cactus Café would be closing, and cited student leaders on the Texas Union Board as the decision-makers.

Members of the Austin community formed a non-profit, Friends of the Cactus Café, to attempt to save the venue. An arrangement was eventually made to keep the venue open under the auspices and management of the University of Texas operated public radio station KUT.


  1. ^ Official UT web page
  2. ^ "About the Cactus Cafe". Archived from the original on 26 February 2010. Retrieved 20 February 2010.
  3. ^ Plohetski, T.; Corcoran, M. 30 January 2010. "UT to close Cactus Cafe, end informal classes." Austin American-Statesman
  4. ^ Caligiuri, J. 6 February 2009. Blood on the Tracks: The ballad of Griff Luneburg and the Cactus Café. Austin Chronicle

External linksEdit