The Music & Entertainment Division is an economic development accelerator and centralized resource center for Austin’s music industry, and an active community partner for Austin’s citizens, community groups, and neighborhoods.
ATX MUSICIAN ENGAGEMENT
ATX Musician Compensation Initiative
The ATX Music Office has instituted the following programs and pilots to immediately compensate local musicians for performances and song use:
ATX Busking Program Pilot
The ATX Music Office is launching the ATX Busking Program Pilot through private developer funds earmarked for Block 23 music inclusion. The one time fund of $150,000 will pay guarantees to ATX musicians to busk at certain points surrounding the Block 23 development, drawing downtown visitors to newly opened public spaces and buildings in the area. The Pilot aims to establish best practices for expanding the program to additional key areas in the city.
ATX Music Licensing Initiative
Any music utilized by the City of Austin will be paid for in accordance with industry standards and regular license agreements. Licenses will pay for music included in Music on Hold, ATXN, AIBA, libraries, etc. The Division is currently creating a Standard Operating Procedure hand book for both booking live music and licensing music for all City departments to reference year-round.
Music on Hold
Music on Hold is one of the City government’s fun and unique ways of showcasing Austin’s great music—usually in sixty seconds or less. Anytime someone calls into the City telephone system, if they are placed on hold, they will be listening to a well-curated playlist of Austin music. Music on Hold showcases Austin’s fantastic and diverse music, and it gives our citizens a little something to listen to while waiting.
ATX Tour Aid
A collaboration with ATX music nonprofits for raising touring funds and support for mid-level Austin bands embarking on already booked national and international tours. Included bands will kick off their tours at a local venue and will receive ongoing support throughout their tours. The purpose of ATX Tour Aid is to create additional funding sources and non-financial support to sustain and grow Austin’s emerging and mid-career musicians, while promoting the overall Austin music scene outside of Texas. ATX Tour Aid artists are given the resources and tools to best represent and promote their records—as well as the Austin music scene—to music lovers across the Americas and oversees.
Daybird Local Live Music Series
The Daybird Local Live Music Series aims to promote and create live music experiences during earlier hours for visitors and locals alike. Catch some of the best sounds the city has to offer at great music venues between 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. every Saturday in June. All ages are welcome.
SXSW Official ATX Music Showcase
SXSW offers an incredible opportunity for bands to gain recognition from a variety of platforms. Every year, the Music & Entertainment Division produces and promotes an official SXSW music showcase that exclusively exhibits Austin musicians.
ATX Music Office Internship Program
ATX Music Office Interns work along with staff on all Division projects to ensure goals are met while learning about the music industry as a whole, as well as Austin’s unique live music scene.
ATX Music Office Online
Online distribution outlets for content created by the Division, as well as a curated stream of music from local artists streamed via ATXN.
ATX Live! Youth Program: Details coming soon.
ATXMusic Talks: Facebook Live panel discussions on topics surrounding the Austin music industry.
Notes in Time: Notes In Time is an on camera Austin musician interview and intimate performance series. The program episodes showcase established, and up and coming Austin artists across genres and generations. The purpose of this unique series is to promote Austin musicians and the Austin music brand worldwide, provide additional revenue streams to our musicians and to preserve our rich and diverse cultural history for future generations. This effort is a collaboration between the city of Austin’s Music & Entertainment Division and ATXN Channel 6.
The City of Austin is incredibly proud of our local music culture, and every Austin City Council meeting includes live music to kick off the Council session. These selected performers are also bestowed the honor of a “Proclamation Day” with an accompanying certificate, and their band name permanently included in the City calendar. These musicians will have their own City of Austin “day” for the rest of their lives, and many have annual celebrations of their day with fans and supporters.
The ATX Music Office provides updates on Austin’s live music scene and City events via its website, printed collateral disseminated throughout the city, a monthly electronic newsletter, and social networks including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Love ATX Music Month and Membership Campaign
This marketing campaign is in collaboration with local media outlets and venues targeted to Austin locals to promote local shows and venues. A small annual membership fee will provide such benefits as free tickets to shows, discounted artist merch, and festival giveaways.
Music Commission Liaison
The ATX Music Offices serves as a liaison to the Austin Music Commission, which advises City Council on music development. Responsibilities include studying the development of the music industry, assisting in the implementation of programs to meet the needs created by the development of the industry, and reviews matters that may affect the music industry in Austin.
Scoremore Panel Series
A panel series organized in collaboration with ScoreMore Shows. These events focus on helping aspiring music industry professionals to network, develop professional development skills, and balance goals. Past panelists have represented Margin Walker Presents, I Heart Media, Front Gate Tickets, Orb Recording Studio and more.
ENTERTAINMENT SERVICES GROUP
The Entertainment Services Group supports, manages and enhances live music and nightlife in Austin. The group works on policy development and planning for nightlife and entertainment to support both the long-term viability and sustainability of our entertainment venues and districts, and residential quality of life. We serve as an advocate and resource for music venues and nightlife establishments, administer and monitor sound permits, and act as a liaison between the nightlife industry, City staff, and residents.
ATX Nightlife Initiative
Entertainment Services within the ATX Music Office works on policies, tools and partnerships that promote unique, vibrant, safe and well planned live music and nightlife in Austin. This is a multi-faceted approach that includes land use planning and compatibility standards, piloting innovative sound monitoring and mitigation technologies, and building partnerships with business coalitions, neighborhood organizations and City Departments to manage and enhance entertainment districts and nightlife in Austin.
Red River Pilot Program: The Red River Cultural District is an entertainment district in Downtown Austin, Texas, United States. The district runs along the 600–900 blocks of Red River Street. The Austin City Council approved a resolution creating the district on October 17, 2013. In January 2017, City Council approved the Red River Pilot Program to extend the number of hours the Red River Cultural District outdoor music venues can play amplified music.
Sound Monitoring and Management Solutions: We continuously research, pilot and work to implement innovative technologies and solutions for sound monitoring and sound management to enhance sound quality and promote compatibility between nightlife and residential.
Venue Preservation and Sustainability
Creative Space & Nightlife Development Guides: Details coming soon.
Ombudsman: Serves as a single point of contact and resource for nightlife establishments and music venues regarding City operating, permitting and code enforcement requirements and acts as a liaison between venues and City Departments.
Musician Loading/Unloading: The ATX Music Office has collaborated with the Austin Transportation Department to provide access to loading and unloading zones specifically for musicians who perform at venues in Downtown Austin. These 30-minute active loading and unloading zones make the task of handling musical gear both easier and safer for performers while also restoring mobility and freeing up parking for other downtown traffic. If you are a venue owner and interested in obtaining a Musician Loading/Unloading Zone, please contact the ATX Music Office for next steps and to connect with the Austin Transportation Department.
Music Venue Loan Program: Supports music and nightlife by reducing sound impacts for nearby residents and helping to preserve live music venues. This program offers low-interest micro-loans to entertainment establishments for the purpose of sound mitigation, and to live music venues for capital improvements that are revenue generating or help expand programming.
Venue Summits: Summits are held twice a year to maintain communication between Austin’s entertainment and live music venues and the City. These events are a forum to discuss City permitting and operating requirements, policy development, planning and emerging issues for live music and nightlife in Austin.
Outdoor Music Venue Permits
The Entertainment Services Group administers, manages and monitors outdoor music permits for venues and special events to promote compatibility between entertainment venues and residents. We provide consultation and best practices to entertainment venues and events to help them enhance sound quality, reduce sound impacts to neighbors and comply with their permits.
Sound Impact Plans: After receiving a sound permit application, the Entertainment Services Group conducts a Sound Impact Evaluation of the site, including on-site inspections and sound measurements, discussions with nearby residents and business owners, and any additional research to assess potential impacts. Based on this evaluation, the Group then creates a Sound Impact Plan recommending approval (with possible restrictions) or denial of the application, as well as any appropriate restrictions for stage construction and orientation; size, location and orientation of speakers; appropriate sound buffering; and on-site decibel meters. If a Sound Impact Evaluation is required for any City parks, the Music & Entertainment Division will coordinate its review with the Parks and Recreation Department.
Night and Weekend Staff: Serves as a resource in the field for venues, monitors compliance with outdoor music permits, acts as a liaison between venues and residents to investigate and solve problems, observes entertainment areas during nighttime hours and raises awareness of emerging issues.
MUSIC INDUSTRY DEVELOPMENT
ATX Live! Youth Program
Details coming soon.
Music Industry Sector Summits
To promote resource awareness and industry-wide collaboration, the Music & Entertainment Division hosts Music Summits. Held four times per year, the summits help to maintain better communication between the City and various industry stakeholders. These events work as a platform for musicians, music industry professionals, and venue owners to voice their concerns, learn about new City program updates, as well as, network.
Music Industry Continuing Education
The ATX Music Office is coordinating with Austin music education nonprofits on establishing curriculum and classes covering all aspects for competing and finding financial success in an ever-changing industry. In addition to classes, mentors, and project-based initiatives, an interactive online resource facilitating the program will be created in association with Austin’s tech community.
Music Industry Directory
The Office of the Governor’s Texas Music Office created the Music Industry Directory, capturing music businesses of all kinds, from commercial music to education to tour services. In collaboration with the Texas Music Office, the Music & Entertainment Division provides the maintenance and promotion of Austin’s portion of the directory. The listing serves as a very much needed industry asset, connecting members of the community together to cultivate a stronger Austin music community.
MUSIC INDUSTRY DEVELOPMENT - CITY ALLIANCES
Music City & Sister City Creative Trade Alliance Initiative
The Music City & Sister City Creative Trade Alliance Initiative seeks to accelerate the music industry market sector in Austin and partner cities to create more jobs, revenue, and business expansion. These collaborative trade alliances are public-private partnerships between Austin’s City Council, City staff, music nonprofits, & private industry leaders and another city in the United States and/or abroad. These Alliances encourage new collaborative artistic output, joint programming and exhibitions, meaningful trade partnerships for music products and services, and enable the growth of new commercial music business ventures by acting as a gateway for emerging entrepreneurs as well as established professionals.
Current Alliances include the Austin–Toronto Music City Alliance, the Austin–London Borough of Hackney Sister City Alliance, and the Austin–Angers Sister City Alliance.
Current City of Austin Sister Cities include: Adelaide, Australia; Angers, France; Antalya, Turkey; Gwangmyeong, Korea; Koblenz, Germany; London Borough of Hackney, United Kingdom; Lima, Peru; Maseru, Lesotho; Oita, Japan; Old Orlu, Nigeria; Saltillo, Mexico; Taichung, Taiwan; and, Xishuangbanna, China.
North American Music Cities Best Practice Summit
Austin’s Music & Entertainment Division annually hosts this event during SXSW. The event includes a series of roundtable discussions between representatives from cities with music, entertainment, and special events divisions. Cities involved include: San Francisco, Nashville, Denver, Seattle, Chicago, and Toronto. This unique opportunity to meet together allows representatives from each participating city to share best practices, gather insight on the issues facing cities with strong entertainment economies, and to discuss common goals.