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Flashback to October, 1991. . . I paid the landlord $300 bucks to rent the space between two buildings on Sixth Street to set up my food trailer.  It was called “Flamingo Cantina”.  On Halloween night, friends and family helped sell tacos from my food trailer I called “Flamingo Cantina”.. .my pals in Wajumbe, an Austin original Afro-caribe jamband hand drummed riddems under the stars.  Back then there was no roof, no PA nor bar.   I never planned to open a live music venue. . .

The past 29 years have been so fun.  The thousands of talented folks who have graced Flamingo’s stage include quite a few Grammy Award winners and nominees.  Huge artists that fill stadiums in other countries have packed the place, many remarking that they like the small, intimate setting, and the feel for the people and energy that can’t be replicated in a big arena.   From Hugh Masekela to Burning Spear, from Toots and the Maytals to Celso Pina, from Wu-Tang Clan to locals like the Mau Mau Chaplains . . .we’ve been blessed to host the most amazing people.  The Flamingo has been a place where we come together to dance and enjoy music and community.   I have the best staff ever, and am blessed to have made so many friends over the years that call Flamingo home. 

Fast forward to fall 2020. After living through the most bizarre past six months, with over 200k lives lost including friends, family, talented artists . . . many people out of work; out of luck; out of money. . . the crimes leading up to the #BLM movement have forever changed our lives.  The fallout?   The fabric of our culture and communities will be forever changed.  Venues are closing at a rapid rate.  People are leaving town . . .musicians and venue workers are all struggling.  It will be some time before any type of normalcy will return.

While I am hopeful for our future, re-opening venues will depend upon our ability to navigate the financial consequences of being closed by the Governor and mayor with no financial support from the City/State.   The City Council is considering funding venues; you can write them in support here: https://www.austintexas.gov/email/all-council-members

The Flamingo Cantina is improvising; we’ve added our weekly Dreadneck Wednesdays live stream event, and are looking forward to our virtual Halloween celebration the weekend of 10/30-31, featuring the Skatalites on 10/31, plus regional acts, including Hail Marley, Mau MauChaplains, Lion Heights, Rat King Cole, Micah Shalom, Los Kurados and the Contrabandits. In the meantime, we give thanks for everyone’s donations and support of our beloved venue as we look forward to another 29 years.  Be well.

One love! – Angela