City Council to consider Red River curfew extension program; music office director on leave

Lewis Del Mar performs in concert at Stubb's Bar-B-Q on June 7, 2016. Suzanne Cordeiro for American Statesman

Lewis Del Mar performs in concert at Stubb’s Bar-B-Q on June 7, 2016. Suzanne Cordeiro for American Statesman

Red River curfew extension program up for vote

In December, we reported on a new pilot program proposed by the City of Austin music and economic development offices to test extended curfews for outdoor music venues in the Red River Cultural District. The program goes to City Council for a vote as item 19 on the agenda for Thursday’s meeting.

RELATED: Venue owners say Red River curfew extension could bring big benefits to Austin music

Currently, outdoor music in the district, which includes the popular venues Stubb’s BBQ, the Mohawk and Empire Garage, must end at 10:30 p.m. Sunday-Wednesday, 11 p.m. Thursday and midnight on Friday. The outdoor live music curfew is set at 2 a.m. nightly in the adjacent Sixth Street and Warehouse Districts downtown.

The proposal would not automatically extend the curfew on Red River. Instead it would authorize city offices and venue owners to experiment with later release times over 12-month period. During that time they would gather data on the community impact to study the feasibility of a permanent curfew extension.

Music office director on leave

Don Pitts, director of the City of Austin Music and Entertainment Office has been placed on administrative leave pending the completion of a City Auditor’s investigation, a city spokesman confirmed on Wednesday. City officials did not comment on how long the leave would last or what allegations Pitts faces. Pitts has been a prominent figure in the city’s efforts to bolster and protect the city’s music scene and was a key player in devising the Red River curfew extension pilot program.