If you are interested in preserving the legacy of live music in Austin, please consider signing this petition and sharing it with other live music lovers.
After a weekend on the road, I came home to learn that one of Austin’s cherished venues, Shady Grove’s live musical entertainment was shut down last night due to a violation of the sound ordinance.
Last night Sahara Smith was on stage and Jimmy LaFave was preparing to perform. We’re not talking thrash metal (quality thrash rarely works at 75db). We’re talking sweet melodies and tender voices.
This ordinance was created many years ago and is recently being enforced across Austin. We are hoping to work with the City of Austin to create a reasonable solution that keeps music alive and residents happy.
The DB level that is currently being enforced is 75 db. To get an idea of what 75 db sounds like, go out and stand next to a moderately busy street. That’s about it. Five people in an excited conversation can exceed this DB easily. ONE motorcycle/chopper revving can be louder than 100 db.
Music venues on S. Congress & S. 1st have discontinued their live music due to this DB enforcement. The Red River area is under scrutiny and now Barton Springs Road. What I’m suspecting is a big factor in this enforcement is that these areas that were once primarily commercial are now being swarmed with condos and other residential development. People who are moving into these long-standing “live music” areas like downtown and SoCo are complaining. It then becomes a battle between taxpaying residents and musicians and venues. No Fun.
Currently, there is also a moratorium on issuing live music permits. We are not sure when this is to be lifted, but potential venues in non-residential areas are unable to have live music outdoors at their establishments as of yet.
The music community in the “Live Music Capitol of the World” who have invested their lives in this amazing legacy, are concerned, uneasy and unsure of what to do. Some musicians who were at Shady Grove last night have assembled a petition to present to City Council.
Thank you for supporting music, the medicine of the soul.
The poets did well to conjoin music and medicine, because the office of medicine is but to tune the curious harp of man’s body. – Francis Bacon
You are the music while the music lasts. ~T.S. Eliot
All deep things are song. It seems somehow the very central essence of us, song; as if all the rest were but wrappages and hulls! ~Thomas Carlyle
Music is the universal language of mankind. ~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Outre-Mer
Music’s the medicine of the mind. ~John A. Logan
If the King loves music, it is well with the land. ~Mencius
Without music life would be a mistake. ~Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
Take a music bath once or twice a week for a few seasons. You will find it is to the soul what a water bath is to the body. ~Oliver Wendell Holmes
He who sings scares away his woes. ~Cervantes
Music was my refuge. I could crawl into the space between the notes and curl my back to loneliness. ~Maya Angelou, Gather Together in My Name
Were it not for music, we might in these days say, the Beautiful is dead. ~Benjamin Disraeli