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New noise curfew good news for Red River

Friday, March 9, 2018 by Chad Swiatecki

A study of live music venues within the Red River Cultural District has found that an extension of weekend noise curfew hours is generating more money for those businesses, their employees and Austin musicians. In a March 7 memo to City Council members, Interim Economic Development Director Rebecca Giello reported that the five clubs with outdoor stages saw modest single-digit increases in ticket revenue, staff earnings, number of Central Texas acts booked and payments to bands during the pilot program compared to the same May-to-October time period in 2016. The data also show a small decrease in the number of tickets sold. The department tracked alcohol sales – the main revenue driver for most music venues – from May to December, which showed monthly fluctuations amounting to an 8 percent increase overall, or roughly $325,000 total. The study also found no quantitative sound impact on nearby neighborhoods, with no difference in day and night decibel levels taken at nearby residences. An increase in crime in the area was attributed to Austin Police Department’s efforts to address drug-related incidents at the nearby Austin Resource Center for the Homeless, with the memo stating the “data does not suggest a link between the pilot and crime.” The analysis was completed ahead of presentations in April to the Music Commission and Council, which could lead to the later noise curfews becoming permanent.

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