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Austin, Texas: City Showcase

Sound Advice from the Live Music Capital of the World 

Tuesday, September 25 --- Recorded Archive Available for Network Members

A myriad of policies and citywide collaboration help ensure the economic vitality of live music remains at the forefront of Austin’s appeal as a destination. Music and related industries had a $1 billion yearly economic impact to Austin in 2006.

Yet music cities are challenged with sound mitigation, venue regulation, entertainment district redevelopment and livable wages for musicians. Downtown growth also increases concerns about sound ordinances and the impact of live music on residential neighborhoods.

Learn how Austin maintains its reputation as the “Live Music Capital of the World” with 200 music and entertainment businesses in the downtown commercial business district.

Discussion Topics

  • Live Music Task Force: Comprised of musicians, venue owners, promoters and residents, this city council appointed group addresses music-related issues, including building requirements and code enforcement.

  •  Economic Impact Assessments: How this study determined the value of music and creative industries.

  • Sound Enforcement in a Music City: Austin’s approach to balancing residents’ needs with music vitality.

  • Collaboration between Developers and Venue Owners: Learn how two new residential developments worked closely with their neighboring music venues to address issues of soundproofing.

  • How to mobilize and motivate members of the music community to partner on initiatives.

  • Incorporating music into the larger context of downtown planning and revitalization.  

  • Outdoor Music Venues: Find out how Austin addresses sound-related complaints that occur with outdoor venues via stricter requirements and regulations.

  • Busking: Managing an activity that contributes to street vitality yet is perceived to take away from venues’ live music selections.


Don Pitts

Music Program Manager

City of Austin, Music Division



David Murray

Sound Engineering Consultant

City of Austin, Music Division



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