1701 Red River Street
Austin, TX 78701
Hours: Show Times Vary
Written by: Monica U. Garcia
Photos courtesy of Frank Erwin Center
The Frank Erwin Center holds the distinction of being the largest indoor arena in the greater Austin area. Owned by the University of Texas at Austin, the Drum, so nicknamed for its architecture, has drawn audiences to first class entertainment spectacles for 35 years.
The Frank Erwin Center is home to the mens and womens basketball teams of the University of Texas, in addition to serving as a centrally-located, mega-concert venue for entertainment’s biggest superstars. The arena’s largest-ever crowd of 17,829, heard John Denver perform “Rocky Mountain High” at the height of his popularity on May 6, 1978. Prince took the stage for the Erwin Center’s first two-night run in January 1985. Drawing a crowd of 31,007, that performance still holds the highest two-night attendance record.
The fastest concert sell-out took place in 1992, when Garth Brooks sold out 17,141 tickets in a blazing 47 minutes. More recent concert sellouts include: Taylor Swift, Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, and George Strait with Reba McEntire, which is also the Drum’s highest grossing event to date.
The Frank Erwin Center also produces events of great popular and cultural importance. Those events have ranged from American Idol auditions, to a talk by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, to a benefit concert to help the victims of the largest fire catastrophe in Texas history, in 2011.