June is Pride Month, and there is no shortage of ways to celebrate in downtown Austin! Check out our insider guide for Austin Pride in 2021 for the destinations, events, and businesses supporting the LGBTQIA+ community and their allies. Gather the girls, guys, gays, and theys to celebrate our community, support queer-owned businesses, and learn more about how the work of activists has changed the world.
Places to Go Downtown
Looking for a place to go during Pride Month, or anytime during the year? Here are some of downtown’s hottest spots, many of which have special events during the month of June.
Rain on 4th
In the heart of the Warehouse District is Rain, a dance club that has served Austin’s queer community since 2004. Whether it’s Sunday Funday, karaoke, the Boys of ATX, or happy hour, you are sure to have a blast at Rain.
Right next door is Oilcan’s, another popular hangout that has welcomed Austin’s gay community for more than 30 years. Oilcan’s has three bar areas and an open air patio with a constant rotation of shows, themed events, and more to keep your heart happy all year long. Bonus points: this venue is gay-owned and operated.
Cheer Up Charlie’s
Cheer Up Charlie’s bills itself as an “everybody space” in the Red River Cultural District which has dance parties, kombucha on tap, fresh juice cocktails, and vegan food trailer Arlo’s in the parking lot. The extensive open air patio allows you to be front row and center for bands of DJs or sit down with friends in a quieter area to catch up. Whether it’s happy hour, late night, or somewhere in between, Cheer Up’s is always the place to be.
The Iron Bear
As you might guess by the name, The Iron Bear on West 6th is a bar for Bears and owned by Bears, although its doors are open to everyone. The kitchen features apps, wings, burgers, sandwiches, and even salads and brunch. This friendly neighborhood bar is laid back and hosts drag events, pub trivia, karaoke, bingo, and more.
Events to Attend Downtown
Wondering when and where to head when you are looking for a fun time? Don’t worry, we have you covered!
- Sing Out! at Oilcan Harry’s – Tuesdays starting at 9pm
- Planet Fabulous Bearoake at The Iron Bear – Wednesdays starting at 9pm
- Kream! at Oilcan Harry’s – Thursdays from 8-10pm
- Vegas! at Backyard Bonanza – Thursdays from 9-11pm
- Crave at Oilcan Harry’s – Fridays starting at 10:30pm
- Drag Brunch at Halcyon – Saturdays from 2-4pm
- Spotlight with Ritzy Biz at Oilcan Harry’s – Saturdays from 9-11pm
- Drawing A Blank Brunch at The Iron Bear – Sundays from 1:30-3:30pm
- Sunday Funday Tricks and Tea at Rain on 4th – Sundays from 5-7pm
- Serve It Up at Oilcan Harry’s – Sundays from 7-9pm
- Showtime: Hosted By Vegas Van Cartier at Oilcan Harry’s – Sundays at 10pm
One Night and One Night Only
Mark your calendars, because you won’t want to miss these special events happening during 2021 Pride Month in Austin:
- Capital City Ball: Coming to Austin Kiki Ball at the Highland Lounge – June 11th from 9pm-4am
- Downtown Pride Power Yoga at YTX – June 12th at 2pm
- Drip Drop V111 at Elysium – June 12th from 9pm-2am
- Trap Paint and Sip at Rain on 4th – June 12th from 7pm-9:30pm
- Thirst Trap + #IssaRooftopKickback at the Coconut Club – June 13th from 2pm-12am
- Drag Brunch Boat Party at Capital Cruises – June 13th from 11am-1pm
- The Boiz of Austin Review Show at Oilcan Harry’s – June 16th from 9-11pm
- Spellbound: An Open Drag Night at the Grandstand – June 23rd at 10pm
- Drag Brunch Boat Party at Capital Cruises – June 23rd from 11am-1pm
- Loteria with Tatiana Cholula at Oilcan Harry’s – June 26th from 4-6pm
Queer-Owned Businesses to Support
The Austin LGBT Chamber is a great resource for allied businesses and organizations. Here are a few companies with a downtown presence that we encourage you to patronize.
If you are like the majority of Austinites, you probably start your day out with a cup of coffee. During Pride Month, we encourage you to patronize Jo’s Coffee, founded by serial entrepreneur Liz Lambert. While the 2nd Street location is currently closed for renovations, you can snap a pic in front of the “I love you so much” mural at the original location on South Congress or check out the drive-through at the Hyde Park location on Red River until the downtown location opens back up, which is anticipated to be sometime in June.
Red Cactus Media
Red Cactus Media is an LGBTQIA-owned creative marketing agency on Congress Avenue. The team of highly skilled marketing experts make it their goal for you to feel good about marketing with them.
Swan Dive, a bar in the Red River Cultural District, is all white inside and hosts dance parties, bands, burlesque shows, and even “hipster karaoke”. With a huge back patio shared with neighboring bar Barbarella, vintage cocktails on the menu, and booths, you’ll want to stay a while.
With weekly events, including Tuesgayz, that seamlessly blends dance, electro, and indie music, Barbarella is a video bar and unlike any other place in Austin. Other fun events include Grits ‘n Gravy on Thursdays, 80s night on Fridays, and New Noise on Saturdays.
The Iron Bear
When you are looking for a place to chill, head to The Iron Bear for a beer or a burger. With friendly staff, great music, and a fun vibe, what more can you ask for?
Cheer Up Charlie’s
Cheer Up Charlie’s posts regularly on Instagram, where you can find details on upcoming shows and events. Check out the new neon artwork, “Friendly Spirit”, which spells out the venue’s initials.
While Pride Month is in June, you can celebrate Austin Pride and support your favorite downtown queer-owned businesses all year long. Don’t forget to mark your calendars for the return of the Pride Parade, which will take place August 14, 2021 in Festival Beach.