Credit Austin’s music community with this: We’re exceptional at outrage.
Hackles shot up last week when news broke that the Westin had filed a $1 million lawsuit against nearby Sixth Street bar the Nook over loud music. Typically, the nightlife demographic channeled its ire digitally, bombarding the hotel’s Facebook page with one-star reviews. One clever hacker changed the hotel’s Google business listing to “crusher of local music venues.”
Meanwhile, down at City Hall, District 9 Council Member Kathie Tovo received zero calls and exactly three emails about it.
As usual, internet outrage proves more therapeutic than constructive. Like a tree falling in the forest, if 1,000 voices melt down online, does it make a sound at the civic level? What Austin needs now more than ever is policy protecting existing music venues from being threatened by new developments.
In fact, one such policy recommended in Mayor Steve Adler‘s Omnibus Resolution, the Agent of Change Principle, resolves neighborly dynamics based on who was there first. For example, a new condo built next to a club must soundproof accordingly – and vice versa.