[Editor Charlie sez: Austin is the Live Music Capitol for another six months! Let’s hope that the new rules result in more paid shows for local bands. For context, the Austin Music Census is a must-read.]
Over the objections of a number of neighbors and nearby hotels, City Council approved a six-month pilot program Thursday that will allow a handful of bars on Red River Street to play outdoor live music one hour later into the night on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.
The measure, which was approved 9-1-1, with Council Member Ora Houston voting no and Council Member Delia Garza abstaining, was framed as part of an ongoing initiative at City Hall to protect Austin’s independent music scene. Indeed, part of the ordinance directs city staff to try to assess the financial impact that the extended hours will have on musicians and other employees tied to the music industry.
The ordinance affects five music venues that are currently allowed to play outdoor live music until midnight on the weekends: Stubb’s BBQ, Mohawk, Empire Control Room & Garage, Beerland and Cheer Up Charlies. Under the pilot, they will be allowed to play music until 1 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and 12:30 a.m. on Thursdays.
The program will run from May to November. Council will decide whether to renew the pilot for an additional six months in October.