Music Money Matters
The resolution is the first of several proposals generated by the Music Task Force -- a Wynn brainchild that includes city staff, venue owners, musicians, and other stakeholders -- to boost the local music economy. Wynn proposed the task force after last fall's release of "The Role of Music in the Austin Economy," a study reporting that the Austin music biz alone generates more than $616 million for the local economy. The study also pointed to burdens faced by the music community that, if not addressed, would hinder its growth -- including rising financial pressures on live music venue operators, and the excess "supply" of musicians versus current "demand." The task force finished up six months of meetings in April, and has stepped up to offer some possible solutions to problems highlighted in the economic study.
Wendy Morgan, director of music marketing for the Austin Convention and Visitors Bureau and city liaison on the task force, calls the energy audit resolution "a first step and a nice step." Tourism is a $3.3 billion industry in Austin, she adds, "and music is how we promote this city. It is a major role-player in our local economy." Among other task force ideas for the council to consider in the future: a proposal to direct the master developers of the old Robert Mueller airport to include the music industry as part of its site development plans (likely in the form of a sound studio as part of film production facilities), and another addressing affordable housing and health services for musicians.