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Music Venue Summit offers up some future plans

Tuesday, January 26, 2016 by Elizabeth Pagano

Those hoping for drama at the first-ever Austin Music Venue Summit left disappointed yesterday, but the discussion did offer up a few interesting tidbits in terms of things on the horizon in the Live Music Capital of the World. Don Pitts, music program manager for the city’s Music and Entertainment Division, told the packed house that, while it wasn’t quite ready yet, a streamlined “entertainment license” process was on the way. He said that he “understood there is forthcoming (City) Council legislation in early March to, essentially, have the city manager bring forth a plan.” At that point, said Pitts, the city would sit down once again with venue owners to discuss what that new administrative process might look like. He made it clear that there were no plans to change the regulations that guide the permitting of venues, just the currently convoluted process. Austin Police Department Officer Cory Ehrler had similar news on the Noise Ordinance enforcement front. Ehrler said that APD’s meters read “c-weighted” sound levels but that the department isn’t quite ready to measure nuisance sound that way. “It’s going to take us some time to get enough data to make a c-weighted restriction defensible,” said Ehrler. “We’re going to get with the venues on this, as well. We’re going to have some discussion, some data transfer and all that, and figure out what a reasonable number might be to where the venue can still play the music and get the revenue they need (through) that music, but where residences 30 blocks away aren’t hearing the bass. There is something happening, and we are gathering the data, but it takes a while.”

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