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“The ongoing advocacy work of Rebecca Reynolds and the Music Venue Alliance-Austin is a vital part of our state-wide music industry. The health of the music industry ecosystem depends upon the success of the live music industry economy. Without the economic stability of live music venues, the industry will lose its incubators that allow current and future talent to develop their craft. The Music Venue Alliance-Austin uniquely serves an integral role, providing a unified voice for music venues, which in turn helps advocate for scalable economic opportunities for venues throughout the state of Texas.”
- Texas Music Office, Office of the Governor
With the challenging variables that music venues are facing in an ever-growing city, it is important for venues to collaborate, preserving what makes Austin so unique. Music Venue Alliance Austin is the vehicle that facilitates that critical collaboration. The music venues that call Austin home need the MVAA more than ever.
- Ryan Garrett, General Manager, Stubb's
As a member of MVAA I couldn't be more pleased to finally see Austin music venue owners working together. We all face similar problems such as rising rents and property taxes, increasing of permits and fees, parking situations, etc. This new organization will certainly help to make the Austin music scene a better experience for patrons and musicians.
-Joe Ables, Saxon Pub
The formation of Music Venue Alliance Austin has been a critical step in securing the future success of our city’s live music ecosystem. For the first time in Austin's history, music venue operators and other key stakeholders have a cohesive voice to support the collective vision for, and ideals of, our local music community. Through MVAA, many of our long talked about ideas and initiatives finally have the resources and organizational infrastructure to be brought to fruition.
-Will Bridges, Antone's
The Music Venue Alliance Austin is an invaluable resource for all Austin venues. This community resource provides a vital structure to participate in the development of the Austin music industry, leading to sustainable, equitable, and profitable outcomes for Austin’s venues.
-Erica Shamaly, Division Manager│Music & Entertainment│City of Austin
A "music venue" has never been expressly defined in Austin's land use code, instead getting lumped into "bar/nightclub" designations – much to the chagrin of music advocates.
"Clarifying that is important because we don't need to protect bars and nightclubs," says Rebecca Reynolds of Music Venue Alliance Austin (MVAA). "It's profitable to run a bar; it's not profitable to run a music venue. Both have the same revenue streams, but music venues give up a big chunk of that to pay for talent, lighting, sound, and booking, and they have a different cultural value."more
Longer live music hours on Red River Street will stay for good, after a yearlong test that drew widespread praise and support.
Austin City Council members agreed unanimously Thursday to permanently allow venues in the Red River Cultural District, between Sixth and 12th streets, to play amplified music until midnight on Thursdays and 1 a.m. on weekends — an hour later than previously allowed. Interests as disparate as neighborhood groups and the bars they often complain about called the pilot program that began in May 2017 a resounding success.more
After it lay dormant since July, city leaders and music industry professionals are restarting the process that – it is hoped – will protect live music venues and nearby residential buildings from clashing over noise and general quality-of-life issues.
Known as “agent of change,” the concept would place the responsibility on the new business or development moving into an area to mitigate or lessen the impact of sound on guests and residents in a given area.
That means, in theory, that new hotels and condominiums constructed near entertainment districts would need to acknowledge the presence of nightlife nearby and take steps such as soundproofing rooms and homes to ensure guests and residents aren’t unreasonably disturbed. The opposite would hold true as well, with entertainment businesses moving into residential areas, thanks to increasing downtown rents, needing to make sure loud music or other activity doesn’t disturb longtime residents.
Sixteen months ago – long after announcement of the ambitious Omnibus fix-all, and long before the subsequent fumbling of venue-friendly policy – Mayor Steve Adler's office announced a scheme to preserve live music spaces threatened by vaulting rent and boundless development: a mini-bond program crowdsourcing funds to acquire a venue's land, which would then be rented back to the club at an affordable rate.
Its billing as "a creative solution for the creative class" wasn't hubris. "Playback" imagined that low-risk $500 bonds could be an attractive investment for creatively conscious citizens and perhaps even become a popular gift item: "Happy birthday, Aunt Dana, here's two shares of the Broken Spoke property." More importantly, the mini-bonds would be low hanging fruit for wealthy tech companies who need to back up their live music capital lip service with some actual capital.
The group wasted no time in shoring up the local venue community.
The U.K.'s Music Venue Trust, which advocates for small venues around London, has announced its first international chapter planned for another hub of live music: Austin, Texas. Music Venues Alliance Austin, headed by attorney Rebecca Reynolds, aims to protect and improve the city's music culture. MVAA says more than 30 venues around town have already joined the network.
"Although we have our own unique drivers for what threatens the future of Austin music venues, the core challenges are the same; gentrification, rising rents, a lack of cultural acknowledgement and respect for the work they are doing, and a music industry that needs to start backing these spaces if they are to continue to develop new and emerging talent," Reynolds says.