Music clubs on Red River Street will be able to play amplified music later into the night—at least on some nights, and at least for a little while—due to a six-month pilot program approved by the Austin City Council, the Austin American-Statesman reported Thursday.
The council made the decision to allow amplified music in the Red River district until midnight on Thursdays and 1 a.m. on weekends by a 9-1 vote with one abstention, the daily reported. In both cases, that’s one hour later than is currently allowed.
The original proposal would have extended weekend hours to 1:30 a.m., according to the daily, but was changed at the request of Interim Police Chief Brian Manley, so police could wrap up business on Red River in time to get to clubs closing at 2 a.m. on East Sixth Street.
The change in hours will last from May through November, when the council will evaluate it and decide whether or not to continue the program.
Sound from downtown clubs has become an increasingly contentious issue as the number of hotels in the area has increased, with many hotels fielding and making more noise complaints.
Many club owners, including some quoted in the Statesman story, maintain that longer hours will allow them to increase their revenue, and therefore their local work force. Some stated that the pilot program would allow more and better data on the matter to be gathered. The Statesman added that language requiring measurement of the direct benefit to musicians, venue employees, and auxiliary personnel was added at the request of Council Member Allison Alter.