Best Places to Live

Fort Worth , TX

Population: 796,614
Brian McCord

Both new and established bands can find success in Fort Worth, TX, according to Texas-based artist Bart Crow, who leads Bart Crow Band. He says the city allows for a “growth process” – giving bands the ability to get their start in small clubs, eventually gracing the stages of larger, more frequented venues.

Spots such as Lola's Saloon and the Thirsty Armadillo host up-and-coming artists, while the beautiful 2,056-seat Bass Performance Hall near Sundance Square features well-known acts from all over the United States. And then there's Billy Bob's – the largest honky tonk in the world.

“Great musicians and bands have played Billy Bob's,” Crow says. “It's a very nostalgic place, and once you get to play there it's a feeling of pride and accomplishment.”

While country music is certainly prevalent, Fort Worth's music scene thrives on variety. The Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra and the Fort Worth Opera regularly perform in the area, and The Aardvark is known for attracting indie bands.


“The city promotes music,” Crow says. “Having a good radio station in downtown makes a great opportunity for the fans and residents of the area to be involved and help support and promote live music.”

Fort Worth is also located near Denton, TX, which was awarded “Best Music Scene” by Paste Magazine in 2008. The city is home to 35 Denton, a music festival spanning four days and featuring more than 150 bands, as well as several venues including the Boiler Room, Dan's Silver Leaf and Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studio.

Music aside, Crow says he's a fan of Fort Worth in general, citing its easy-to-access and welcoming downtown area.

“I'm not huge on 'downtown' environments really, but Fort Worth is a beautiful city with a really cool downtown that's clean and small enough to walk around easily,” he says.

Artists with Fort Worth, TX ties: Meat Loaf, Neon Indian, The Toadies, Jay Boy Adams, Kelly Clarkson, Kirk Franklin, Pat Green

Noted venues: Billy Bob's, Bass Performance Hall, The Aardvark, Thirsty Armadillo, Scat Jazz Lounge, Lola's Saloon, White Elephant Saloon

Cool record store: Doc's Records and Vintage

Fun fact: Fort Worth hosts the Fort Worth Music Festival each fall, which is open to individuals of all ages and consists of two days of non-stop music from 20 acts on two stages.

Read more on Fort Worth and its thriving arts scene, booming business climate and great restaurants.