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Love the Band, Deal with the Venue: Southside Music Hall

southside1by Jon Daniel


The Southside Music Hall is part of the Gilly’s entertainment complex on Lamar Street just southeast of downtown Dallas. It’s a 15 minute walk (about a ½ mile) from the Omni Hotel, and 23 miles from DFW Airport. Despite what the Gilley’s website says, it is not “three blocks” from the Omni. The venue also includes The Loft which is a smaller venue. I’ll review The Loft at a later date.  

Transportation options

The DART Cedars stop is located two blocks away and is served by the DART Rail Red and Blue lines, with connections to bus route 26. In addition, The DART free D-Link line also goes to the venue, but only on Friday and Saturday.


There is a driveway in front of the venue with “VIP” parking for $20-$30. Avoid the front of the venue unless you plan to park in VIP.  There is a large dirt parking lot just south of the venue which normally charges $10. This lot will fill for larger shows. The best way to approach the lot is from the east on Austin Street off of Belleview Street. After the show, head east on Austin, north on Belleview over the DART tracks, and then West on Akard back to downtown or I-30. In addition, there is a surface lot across Lamar from the venue, which can charge anywhere from $5 to $15 depending on the event.

Food and drink nearby

In the area surrounding The Southside Ballroom there is a small but interesting selection of places to eat and drink:

Seeing the show

The Southside Music Hall hold up to 1500 standing and tends to host shows that are too big for the Granada Theater and too small for Gexa Energy Amphitheater in Fair Park or Verizon Theater in Grand Prairie. Because of the lack of competing venues The Southside Music Hall books very interesting shows. But there are serious problems with this venue that hinder enjoying a show.

How best to enjoy the show

It is disappointing The Southside Music Hall’s concert experience doesn’t match the quality of the bands they book. The issues with the sound and sight lines are well known and have never been addressed in the years the venue has been opened. This tells me that the concert viewing experience is not the main concern of the venue owners.

Yet, I continue to go to The Southside Music Hall because the bands they book are compelling enough for me to deal with the frustratingly bad venue experience. I’ll continue to go to see and support the bands I really like. But if I’m on the fence about spending the $30-$50 for a ticket, I will probably not go. I’m hoping the newly remodeled Bomb Factory in Deep Ellum will offer a better experience for both the bands and the audience when it opens next year.


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