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30+ Austin Venues Unite In Response To Texas' End-of-Mask Mandate, and Create New Safety Program SAFE IN SOUND


The goal of Safe in Sound is to allow businesses the ability to operate responsibly and safely while protecting the health of patrons, staff, and performers.

30+ Austin Venues Unite In Response To Texas' End-of-Mask Mandate, and Create New Safety Program SAFE IN SOUND

In response to the State of Texas' recent policy change surrounding the end-of-mask mandate, the Red River Cultural District and like-minded businesses across the city of Austin have come together to establish Safe In Sound, a public health code-of-conduct and safety program to be implemented and made effective immediately.

The goal of Safe in Sound is to allow businesses the ability to operate responsibly and safely while protecting the health of patrons, staff, and performers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Some of the most iconic music venues, cultural institutions, performance spaces, and business leaders found within the Live Music Capital of the World have all collectively signed on as co-authors to support this new initiative [see below].

As members of the Safe In Sound program, the businesses listed above have all pledged to comply with the standards and practices outlined below, until otherwise publicly announced:

  • Restructuring operations to accommodate for six feet physical distancing between individuals, where possible

  • Requiring employees and customers to wear facial coverings and appropriate PPE

  • Ensuring hand sanitizer and other appropriate disinfectant materials are readily available for employees and customers to use

  • Conducting proper training for employees to maintain proper safety, per industry guidelines (e.g., Handwashing, PPE utilization, etc.)

  • Requiring that all employees exhibiting recognizable symptoms of COVID-19 as well as those with temperatures at or above 100.0 degrees Fahrenheit stay home, while also encouraging the same level of restraint from all patrons

  • Committing to daily sanitation of business facilities and high-touch areas

In support of this announcement, Red River Cultural District's Executive Director Cody Cowan has issued the following statement:

"I'm proud to be a founding member of Safe in Sound because safety remains to be the leading factor in all conversations surrounding reopening businesses within our district. This program as a whole ultimately signifies a major shift within the local music and arts community where we as local business leaders are coming together as a unified front to stand up for what we believe in.

On a more personal level, after hearing from countless workers about the new level of fear that this new mandate has instilled upon those who work and perform within the district, I refuse to stand by and not stand up for what I, and many others like me, believe to be right. We hope that these collective actions send a strong message to the public that although we want to reopen, we will only do so in a manner that provides a safe environment for all.

I strongly urge other local businesses to join this program as we look to better protect the safety of our patrons, performers, and employees."

Additionally, Managing Partner of Heard Presents including Empire Control Room and Garage, The Parish as well as Founding Board Member of NIVA Stephen Sternschein has provided the following:

"The safety of our staff, performers, and patrons is of the utmost importance to our business at all times. With that said, our city has made great strides in combating COVID-19 and we are closer than ever to being able to fully reopen safely; however, that day has not yet arrived. The limiting factor is vaccinations - once shots are widely available to everyone in our community, we should be able to fully reopen, but not before.

I'm proud to stand with like-minded small business owners in pledging to continue to operate at a reduced capacity and to continue to require masks until the CDC provides clear guidance that this is no longer necessary. As a patron myself, my worst fear is unwittingly walking into an establishment that has chosen to remove the mask and social distancing requirements that are demonstrably effective in reducing the risk of infection. As consumers, we have the power to choose where we spend our time and money, and I urge everyone who feels the same way we do to join us and support the businesses that are committed to keeping us all SAFE IN SOUND.

I also want to thank Tom DeGeorge (Crowbar, Ybor City Florida and NIVA Precinct Captain) for his inspiration and advice in developing this initiative."

Safe in Sound is looking for other local businesses to join the program. Those interested in learning more about Safe In Sound are strongly encouraged to email

WHO: 3TEN Austin City Limits Live

ACL Live at The Moody Theater


Better Days

Cheer Up Charlies


Empire Control Room & Garage

German-Texan Heritage Society

Heard Presents

Holiday Inn Express

Hotel Indigo

Hotel Vegas

Hyatt House Austin/Downtown

Kinda Tropical

Long Center


Moontower Comedy Festival

Mosaic Sound Collective

Paramount Theatre


Radio Coffee & Beer


Shawarma Point

Stateside Theatre

Stubb's Bar-B-Q

The Far Out Lounge & Stage

The Green Jay

The Museum of Human Achievement

The Side Bar

The White Horse

ZACH Theatre

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