Austin Fights to Keep Its Moniker

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

The moniker for Austin, Texas is the “Live Music Capital of the World,” and one task force is hoping to keep it that way. Live music currently provides the city with $1 billion in economic activity from its 8,000 working musicians, music festivals such as South by Southwest (SXSW) and Austin City Limits, and clubs like Antone’s and Armadillo World Headquarters.

The moniker for Austin, Texas is the “Live Music Capital of the World,” and one task force is hoping to keep it that way. Live music currently provides the city with $1 billion in economic activity from its 8,000 working musicians, music festivals such as South by Southwest (SXSW) and Austin City Limits, and clubs like Antone’s and Armadillo World Headquarters. Due to rapid expansion in the area, the pursuant rise in real estate prices, and rising healthcare costs, it is becoming more difficult for an Austin musician to survive in the industry.

Noting the changing scene, Austin club owner, Paul Oveisi formed the Live Music Task Force to generate recommendations for the city. In discussing the need for a task force, Oveisi said, “We’re kind of at this pinnacle moment, where we can either continue the status quo and watch a dilution of the music scene, or we can value it and recognize that it’s part of the fabric of who we are as a city.”

The task force report recently sent to Austin Mayor Will Wynn recommends the creation of a city music department and more music venues. In addition, the report calls for the use of incentives to bring music publishers, managers, record labels, and digital distributors to the city.

While not commenting on the recommendations directly, Mayor Wynn welcomed the plan saying, “Live music is a defining characteristic of Austin. Many people consider it to be the heart and soul of what makes Austin such a desirable city in which to live, work and play.”


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