By Dedrion Weweh
Blog Content Contributor
When I moved from Austin to San Marcos two years ago, I was very apprehensive about transitioning from a city that holds the title of “Live Music Capital of the World”, to somewhere I knew almost nothing about. Being someone who is completely music-oriented and would die for the arts, I could not help but wonder what the local music scene in San Marcos had to offer.
Little did I know, San Marcos would far exceed my expectations of music being embedded within the community. With famous artists such as George Strait and Grupo Fantasma serving as alumni from Texas State University, there appears to be an enthralling notion of support for musicians within the city.
My first encounter with live music in San Marcos was at Tantra Coffeehouse on their select folk-nights during the fall semester of 2015. I was definitely pleased with the ambiance of the outdoor setup, as it induced a euphoric-like mood with scattered bulb lights, patrons with pints, and of course, twangy notes emitting from the stage. Upon Tantra concluding their music event, my roommates and I embraced a short walk over to The Square and stumbled upon a dive bar named Valentino’s.
It happened to be a scheduled performance by an array of different sounding artists. My second encounter with Valentino’s live music was their open mic night, where any local performer of any music background may showcase their skills and ideas to a crowd that always varies. Overall, the arrangement at both the previously mentioned venues blatantly and collectively display the musical motif presented throughout San Marcos.
From local events downtown, such as Swing on the Square to larger commercial events hosted on the river like Float Fest, the San Marcos music scene thrives with out-of-towners. The downtown area is generally where most of the live music in San Marcos happens.
Despite being discontinued as of 2017, San Marcos once was the home of the former annual music festival MR Fest for 10 years, hosted by the university’s radio station, KTSW 89.9. Garnering large annual San Marcos crowds, MR Fest was a great way for students and fans to immerse in local and professionally recognized musicians and live music.
KTSW also hosts live music events at the university throughout each semester, which is nice if you can’t attend events off-campus. KTSW also serves as a helpful hub for discovering local artists via on-campus promotions, performances, blogs, radio features, and more.
San Marcos has so many wonderful local talents to offer. There is never a shortage of live music events happening. No matter where you may come from, the city has more than enough to compete with others in accordance to music and live entertainment.
Featured image by Asia Daggs.