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Spring is coming

Monday, January 15, 2018 by Chad Swiatecki

With the South by Southwest festival now less than two months away, it’s time to start minding the calendar for the deadlines related to applying for the various permits required to hold special events around the city during the festival, which runs March 9-18. The Austin Center for Events is encouraging event organizers to submit their applications as soon as possible, with the following lead times:

  • multiday (max of four) amplified sound permits must be submitted 30 days prior
  • single-day amplified sound permits must be submitted 21 days prior
  • temporary change of use permits also must be submitted 21 days prior
  • temporary use permits need 10 days’ advance submission

Applications and the finer details of the various permits are available at and questions can be directed to

There is some question as to whether the city’s long-brewing Special Events Ordinance will be approved prior to what is referred to as “spring festival season” around City Hall. That ordinance was given its second reading and appeared headed toward approval in 2014 and has been in a sort of limbo ever since. City staff are now gathering public feedback on the current draft ordinance, and City Council members have shown frustration over the delay in implementing new rules for how the city manages and oversees large gatherings around the city.

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