‘Free Week’ kicking off with free Lyft rides for musicians


AUSTIN (KXAN) —  Now is your chance to see some of Austin’s hottest bands for free. “Free Week” runs the nights of Jan. 1-7 at a number of live music venues.

Ridesharing company Lyft is taking the savings a step further by offering musicians a ride to and from their gigs at no charge.

Seasoned singer-songwriter Brian Broussard, who plays in the band Mayeux & Broussard, will be the first to tell you being a musician is not always a glamorous gig. Just hauling around the gear takes some planning and patience.

“It’s kind of a painstaking task,” said Broussard. “It really all depends on the venue.”

For Monday night’s 10:30 p.m. show at Stubb’s, the band members showed up at 5 p.m. to get set up and do a sound check. They scored free parking since it was New Year’s Day, but that’s really rare.

“Parking with a 15-passenger van can kind of be a pain in the butt, and then finding space to load and unload,” Broussard said.

He says Sixth Street and Rainey Street can be the worst for loading and unloading gear, but he loves playing there because they offer some of the best crowds. That’s why Lyft’s new program is music to his ears.

“We all kind of bust our butts doing this and just to have any kind of perk like that — a safe ride to the gig — I think that’s huge,” Broussard said. “It’s another step in taking care of Austin’s music scene.”

Stubbs, Antone’s and Empire Control Room are some of the venues partnering with Lyft for the musician rideshare program. The company hopes more venues will join.

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