Gruene Hall, was built in 1878 by 1st generation German immigrant Henry (Heinrich) D. Gruene and is located in the historical German farming community of Gruene, Texas (now a part of New Braunfels), and bills itself as "The oldest continually run dance hall in the State of Texas."
By design, not much has physically changed since the Hall was first built. The 6,000 square foot dance hall with a high pitched tin roof still has the original layout with side flaps for open air dancing, a bar in the front, a small lighted stage in the back and a huge outdoor garden. Aged images of old pioneering Western Swing bands and early advertisement signs from the 1930s and 1940s still hang in the old hall and around the stage.
Under the current ownership, Gruene Hall has become internationally recognized as a destination tourist attraction and major music venue for up-and-coming as well as established artists. Gruene Hall has hosted such acts as Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Jerry Jeff Walker, Merle Haggard, George Strait, Lyle Lovett, Hal Ketchum, Greg Allman, Hoyle & Jody Nix, Ray Benson, Jason Roberts, Billy Mata, Jake & Tommy Hooker and many more. It was also used as a set for Michael, starring John Travolta. Booking agent of 30 years, Tracie Ferguson is credited with starting the original music approach that has made Gruene Hall an iconic music venue, helping to jump start the careers of the Buster Coward & his Tune Wranglers, Adolph Hofner & his San Antonio Texans, Jimmy Revard, Jerry Jeff Walker, Lyle Lovett, Townes Van Zandt, Hal Ketchum, Pat Green, Charlie & Bruce Robison, Nanci Griffith, Ryan Bingham, Jimmy Dale Gilmore, Robert Earl Keen, Lucinda Williams and many others.
The hall has been featured in several books including Dr. Jean Boyd's Jazz Of the Southwest - the History of Western Swing, Pat Green's Dancehalls & Dreamers, Gail Folkins' Texas Dance Halls: A Two Step Circuit, Vokac's The Great Towns of America and Schultz's 1000 Places to See Before You Die.