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Council to consider extended music hours on Red River

Thursday, January 26, 2017 by Jack Craver

City Council will consider approving a pilot program Thursday that will allow music venues on Red River Street to play live music at up to 85 decibels until midnight on Thursdays and until 1:30 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. The pilot is in response to a recommendation from the Music Commission aimed at promoting and protecting the city’s live music scene, which many in both the arts community and city government have said is imperiled by Austin’s rising cost of living, among other things. Mayor Pro Tem Kathie Tovo expressed concerns about the pilot, saying that allowing extended hours of loud music from venues on Red River Street seemed to conflict with the “agent of change” principle that the city is championing in defense of music venues. That principle says that it is the responsibility of the newcomer to adapt to the setting established by its neighbors, meaning that residences or businesses that locate next door to a nightclub should be prepared to deal with loud music. But in the case of Red River, said Tovo, “If you’re talking about who was there first, it is the residences who were in that area that is along Waller Creek to the north” and may be disturbed by extended hours of live music.

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