Aug 22, 2023 - Things to Do

A candlelit date night at The Mansion

Sinatra — singing here in Las Vegas in 1954 — was there in spirit. Photo: Bettmann via Getty Images

👋 Nicole here. In search of a date night in the air conditioning, I recently headed to a candlelight concert at The Mansion in UT's West Campus.

The big picture: You may have seen the viral concerts across your social media feeds, with hundreds of candles lighting up classical performances.

  • The events from Madrid-based live entertainment company Fever have gained steam across Austin and cities across the globe.
  • Fever hosts the concerts at venues across the city, including St. David's Episcopal Church, AFS Cinema and The Mansion.
  • Plus, Fever and Warner Bros. launched an international concert series in 100 cities worldwide, including Austin, earlier this year. The concerts, which feature music from classics like "The Wizard of Oz" and "Selena," continue through December.

Between the lines: In a competitive concert market, these shows from outside event companies give music fans more options and local artists another platform for exposure, Axios' Troy Smith writes.

  • Sofar Sounds, a U.K.-based music events company that launched in 2009, also broke into the Austin market, hosting regional or local artists which aren't revealed to ticket holders until the day of the show.
  • The concerts can take place anywhere from a motorcycle garage or barbershop to someone's house. Attendance is usually capped at 50 to 75 guests.

What they're saying: Chyna Brackeen, Sofar's director of central North America, tells Smith that she's found that many fans desire "more personal" ways to experience music.

  • "If you think about the typical concertgoing experience, you're often way back in the nosebleed seats or in a packed, sweaty club," Brackeen says. "With our events, artists and fans can connect, up close and personal."

What's next: Fever's September lineup includes "The Best of the Beatles," "A Tribute to Pink Floyd" and "A Tribute to Rihanna."

  • Sofar Sounds has dates planned throughout September and releases the address to the show 36 hours beforehand.

💭 Nicole's thought bubble: On my date, we watched a jazz ensemble perform Frank Sinatra's hits in The Mansion ballroom.

  • It was a fun change of pace, and I loved watching others tap their feet — or doze off — in the candlelight.

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