The City of Austin Music & Entertainment Division—part of the Economic Development Department—manages programming, services, and funding to diversify and accelerate the growth of Austin's commercial and nonprofit music and entertainment industries. We serve as a central liaison and resource for all music industry stakeholders in order to promote increased jobs, compensation, sector development, nightlife compatibility, and talent export in Austin.

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Artist Programming

Artist Programming provides professional development and compensation opportunities to increase earnings and capacity for musicians. Contact Program Coordinator Stephanie Bergara for details:

  • Creative Ambassadors Program
    Open to creative professionals across disciplines, the Creative Ambassadors Program provides official City designations and small stipends to Austin artists traveling outside of Texas in promotion of their creative projects.

  • Music on Hold Program
    Anytime someone calls into the City telephone system and placed on hold, they will be listening to a well-curated playlist of Austin music.

  • Street Performance Program
    Presents live music performances by Austin musicians downtown (500 W. 2nd Street) every Saturday during the fall and spring months. Each musician is compensated for their performance through funding by the Trammell Crow Company.

  • Tip the Band Program
    Addresses affordability concerns by creating a new and convenient revenue stream for musicians through the use of technology that instantly collects digital tips from fans using debit and/or credit cards.

Services

The Entertainment Services Group manages policies, tools, and partnerships to ensure vibrant and well-planned live music and nightlife experiences, while promoting venue preservation & sustainability and compatibility with neighbors. Contact Program Manager Brian Block for details:

  • Outdoor Music Venue Permits & Sound Impact Plans
    Administers, manages, and monitors annual and special event Outdoor Music Venue Permits for venues, music promoters, and meeting planners.

  • Amplified Sound Monitoring and Management Solutions
    Implements innovative technologies and solutions for amplified sound monitoring and management through research, pilot projects, and promoting best practices.

  • Entertainment & Amplified Sound Compatibility Community Engagement
    Convenes experts, community & industry stakeholders, and City staff to formulate recommendations for improving entertainment and amplified sound compatibility between live music & entertainment venues and residents.

  • Night & Weekend Staff
    Monitors compliance with outdoor music permits, acts as a liaison between venues and residents to investigate and solve compatibility problems, observes entertainment areas during nighttime hours, and raises awareness of emerging issues.

  • Ombudsman for Creatives
    Serves as a single point of contact and resource for creative businesses regarding City operating, permitting, and code enforcement requirements, and acts as a liaison for these businesses to City Departments.

Funding

Provides funding opportunities for creative businesses to survive and thrive. Please contact Economic & Business Liaison Kimberly McCarson for details:

  • $12M Bond for Creative Space
    City of Austin voters approved a bond proposition in 2018 that would provide funding for acquisitions and improvements of local creative spaces.

  • Creative Space Assistance Program
    Provides direct support to qualifying creative organizations facing temporary or permanent displacement, or to those previously displaced.

  • Live Music Fund
    Established by City Ordinance in 2019, Staff is coordinating community engagement efforts with the Live Music Fund Working Group to inform the Fund's inaugural year.