2012 SXSW Under Harsher Sound Ordinances


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In Austin, TX, a new city policy passed in January would enforce for more stringent sound ordinances for venues hosting the South By Southwest Music and Media Conference. According to Austin's Impact News, venues must submit for sound permits 21 days prior, if they request a 24-hour pass, and a month in advance for multi-day tickets. This has changed from previous years, which required no deadline for day passes, and 2 weeks notice for multiday.

Austin's music commission deemed the changes necessary after general disorganization surrounding the 2011 event. Music Program manger Don Pitts stated on the matter, “it was kind of a mess last year - A significant number of applications came in with days and, in some cases, hours before the last possible minute. There was absolutely no way that we could effectively evaluate these events.” A primary function of the changes is to better align venues and city emergency departments. Pitts went on to explain that "we obviously want to keep the maverick feel of the city during SXSW, and our approach acknowledges that... The focus was planning, and then plan some more, and be prepared for anything to happen.”

Anyone in Austin for the festival can dial 311 to complain of sound issues, the city's service request line.

The first South by Southwest Music Conference and Festival (SXSW) was held in 1987 in Austin, Texas, according to the official site. This year, the roster includes 500 bands from all over the world.