Help Save Austin Live Music

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Subject: Austin Music Needs Help!

Maybe some of you know – maybe some of you were there. For those who don’t know, Unplugged at the Grove was shut down around 7:20 on the evening for June 11th because of one single complaint pertaining to the noise level. Backed by APD and the city council, one man’s complaint send hundreds of music lovers back home to a quiet evening in front of the TV, and that is unacceptable. Unplugged is one of Austin’s signature summer concert series, and the city’s efforts to resist are deeply disturbing. If you care, I encourage anyone to copy & paste this letter to word pad, print, stamp, sign, and mail this letter to the city council. Let them know that we fully intend to stand up for the industry that built this city.


Austin City Council Members
City Hall
301 W. 2nd Street

Dear Council Members,

On the evening of Thursday, June 11th, Unplugged at the Shady Grove was shut down after a single complaint was filed pertaining to the sound level. What is worse, that single complaint was fully backed by the Austin Police Department and the city council, effectively enabling the whim of one man to send hundreds of Austenites out of the venue and terminate the show before artist Jimmy LaFave took the stage.

This event represents a significant jump in the local government’s disregard for the preservation of the local culture that the people of Austin have cultivated over the past seven decades. When our city council sits idly by to watch the
state-supported deconstruction of such a unique and integral part of our culture, the community is facing a disturbing prospect.
Because, indeed, we are now in a position where local culture – that which makes this city different from any other, that which gives those abroad any reason at all to visit our city – is engaged in a stand-off with local government.

No doubt Austin music is nowhere near as prolific as it once was – in the days of the Armadillo, before the existence of city noise ordinances, yet we still boast the largest number of venues per capita and, quite possibly, still the largest music scene in the country. The recently accelerating deterioration of this culture, from Freddie’s, forced to terminate it’s patio music just shortly after being required to end all music by 9 p.m., to now the Shady Grove, a pinnacle of Austin culture, an event that has lasted hundreds of shows throughout 16 years amidst bad weather and power failures, which has finally been overcome, signifies a turn for the worst.

Hence, we declare that we will not sit complacently as our own city makes stark and blatant efforts to resist the growth and propagation of our own culture. We will support the industry upon which the town has thrived and the industry which is so readily flaunted at our airport and visitor center. For decades now, local music has brought the youngest and the oldest together on the lawns and patios to be happy together, and that’s not something we are willing to see destroyed.


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