Delaware North’s travel division today celebrated yet another milestone at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (ABIA) with a grand-opening celebration of a new live-music venue. The program included a ribbon-cutting ceremony with division president Kevin Kelly and airport officials with performances by Ray Benson, Heybale Band, and Love & Chaos. Also in attendance was legendary football player Earl Campbell, an NFL Hall of Famer who played with the Houston Oilers and New Orleans Saints.
The program celebrated the opening of the Heart of Austin area that includes the Saxon Pub – Asleep at the Wheel Stage, the Saxon Pub Bar, Jo’s Coffee, and the Earl Campbell Food Truck. The new area joins the more than 15 food, beverage and retail outlets that Delaware North has opened or remodeled at the airport since 2017.
Located near Gate 19, the 4,456-square-foot Heart of Austin has a 9-foot neon lighted guitar spinning above the area and seating for 190 patrons. The live music performance stage is 317 square feet with state-of-the-art sound system and equipment for musical and acoustic shows. The area includes bar and stadium seating, creating a comfortable backyard porch and patio vibe, along with the 876-square-foot Saxon Pub bar.
“The new Saxon Pub at ABIA is absolutely beautiful and quite a treat for travelers in and out of Austin,” said Saxon Pub owner Joe Ables. “Sharing this incredible space with Ray Benson’s Asleep at the Wheel stage and the Earl Campbell branded taco truck is quite an honor. Delaware North should be commended for their amazing commitment to supporting live music in Austin.”
The music program at the Austin airport has hosted over 12,270 live music performances since 1999, when Delaware North also began operations at the airport. Delaware North has been a consistent supporter of the program as well as local non-profit group, the Health Alliance for Austin Musicians (HAAM). HAAM provides access to affordable health care for Austin’s low-income working musicians, with a focus on prevention and wellness.
The Asleep at the Wheel stage is the largest of the five live music performance areas in the airport. Construction in the nine-gate terminal expansion will add another three live music performance spaces in the Barbara Jordan Terminal, which currently averages 25 live musical shows per week at the airport.
“From the beginning, it was extremely important to me to have music in our airport,” said Ray Benson, renowned songwriter, musical performer and voice actor. “We have continued to grow and make the music experience for all travelers, from all over the world and for us Austinites to have a top-notch experience. I think everyone will be thrilled with the new layout!”