June is PRIDE Month, and there is no shortage of ways to celebrate in downtown Austin! This is our insider guide for Austin’s 2023 PRIDE scene with 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. Happy PRIDE!
Queer-Owned Businesses to Support
While Pride Month is in June, you can celebrate Austin Pride and support your favorite downtown queer-owned businesses year-round. 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 we missed any queer-owned businesses downtown, let us know, and we’ll add to this ever-growing list! We recommend shopping local for Pride gear this month and know there is always a lot to be found at Austin Rocks.
If you are like the majority of Austinites, you probably start your day out with a cup of coffee or tea. During Pride Month, we encourage you to patronize Jo’s Coffee, founded by serial entrepreneur Liz Lambert. Better still, take advantage of the outdoor patio for lunch to try one of their legendary burgers or meet up with a friend for an Iced Turbo or breakfast.
Swan Dive, a Red River Cultural District bar, hosts dance parties, bands, burlesque shows, karaoke, vogue nights and more. You’ll want to stay a while at the huge back patio shared with neighboring bar Barbarella featuring vintage cocktails on the menu and booths for your gang to rest up in.
Hosting weekly events, including their legendary Tuesgayz, that seamlessly blend dance, electro, and indie music, Barbarella is a video bar that’s 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 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 their new neon artwork, “Friendly Spirit,” which spells out the venue’s initials.
Firehouse is an eclectic collection of cocktails, people and decor. Their cocktail menu is robust but not overwhelming, and we have yet to try a drink there that we didn’t like. Make sure you check out their dad wall on the way out.
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! We update this list frequently in June as we find more events supporting PRIDE and the LGBTQ+ community.
Whipped at Oilcan Harry’s – Thursdays at 8pm
Glitter Witch Beach Dayz at the Hideout Theater – Fridays at 8:30pm
West African Dance Class at the Long Center – Saturdays at 11am
Coco CXNTS Drag Brunch at Coconut Club – Saturdays at 1pm
Big Gay Drag Brunch at The Courtyard ATX – Sundays at 12pm
Noche Latino at Oilcan Harry’s – Sundays at 10pm
Sundown Sirens at Neon Grotto – Sundays at 10pm
Libations at Cuatro Gato – Sundays at 8pm
One Time and One Time Only
MGM (Might be Magic) with JEN DM (Hi Fashion) + Brett Johnson (CMC – MBM) at Native Hostel – June 1 at 9pm
Now It’s Dark with Throat Piss, Queen Jane, Imminent End at The 13th Floor – June 1 at 7pm
The Austin D¥Ke March at Cheer Up Charlie’s – June 4 at 3pm
Strength and Solidarity Flow at Waterloo – June 5 at 6pm
Workout! With Erica Nix and Rocky Time at Waterloo – June 6 at 6pm
OUT Dancing with GoDance at Waterloo – June 7 at 6pm
Tales on the Trail: Intersectionality of LGBT & Black Identities at Waterloo – June 8 at 6pm
Pride is for Families at Waterloo – June 10 at 10am
Rainbow on the Creek – June 10 at 6pm
Body X Mind at Waterloo – June 11 at 9am
Austin Pride Presents: Dirty Dynasty Bingo at Fourth & Co – June 13 at 7pm
Drag Bingo W/ Louisiana Purchase | Benefiting The Transgender Education Network Of Texas at Irene’s – June 13 at 7pm
EDEN With BabiBoi, LilDotRu, JotoMagico, Brandix, LOUD^_^SMILE, Gelestica, Amara La Luna, Victor Suarez, GABA4U X Hollaway, Stev at Cheer Up Charlie’s – June 15 at 9pm
Pride Bar Crawl at The Pub and Fourth & Co – June 17
Side Show at Oilcan Harry’s – June 21 at 10pm
The Majestic Ball with Natalie Lepore, Diamond Dior Davenport and Fat Bottom Cabaret at The Paramount Theatre – June 24 at 8pm
Paws on 4th: Pup Night at Oilcan Harry’s – June 24 at 9:30pm
Hedwig and the Angry Inch in the Paramount Summer Classic Film Series – June 25 at 7:30pm
While Pride Month is in June, you can celebrate Austin Pride and support your favorite downtown queer-owned businesses year-round. Don’t forget to mark your calendars for the return of Austin’s annual Pride Parade, which takes place in August.
Places Downtown That Celebrate PRIDE All-Year
Looking for a place to celebrate PRIDE anytime during the year? Here are some of downtown’s hottest LGBTQ+ spots.
Cheer Up Charlie’s
Cheer Up Charlie’s is a space for everybody in the Red River Cultural District, complete with dance parties, kombucha on tap, fresh cocktails, and Arlo’s vegan food truck in the parking lot. The extensive open-air patio allows you to be front and center for bands, DJs and drag shows. If being the life of the party isn’t your style, you can hang out in a quieter area to catch up with your favorites. Whether it’s happy hour, late night, or somewhere in between, Cheer Up’s is the place to be.
Coconut Club and Neon Grotto
Coconut Club and Neon Grotto are two peas in a pod. Featuring many drinks, photo ops and dance floors, you can flow between the two venues seamlessly. There is a different DJ in every room, a rooftop that always pops off and is always a good time.
Coffee, cocktails and drag? Say less. We’re there! Not only does Halcyon offer an array of aromatic coffees and refreshing cocktails, but they also have a full menu of tasty foods. The best part? They even host weekly drag brunches.
Hen party at the Hen House! Shake it out on the dance floor, grab a signature cocktail named after the ladies and enjoy the surrounding flowers and neon.
Highland Lounge is celebrating eight years of serving the LGBTQ community in Austin. They have six bars between three floors and have claimed their title as the largest gay club in the city. Here you’ll enjoy drag shows, themed nights, go go boys and more.
Next door to Rain is Oilcan’s, another popular hangout home to Austin’s gay community for over 30 years. Oilcan Harry’s has three bar areas and an open-air patio with a constant rotation of shows, themed events, and more to keep your soul happy. Bonus points: this venue is gay-owned and operated.
Rain on 4th
Rain is a dance club in the heart of the Warehouse District that’s served Austin’s queer community since 2004. Whether it’s Sunday Funday, karaoke, the Boys of ATX, happy hour or just a regular night out on the town, you will surely have a blast at Rain.
The Courtyard is a beautiful stage and venue in the warehouse district that recently reopened its doors and is home to a weekly drag brunch, Austin Pride’s Big Gay Drag Brunch, on Sundays at noon.
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, salads and brunch. This friendly neighborhood bar is laid back and hosts drag events, pub trivia, karaoke, bingo and more.