Renovation Targets Austin Music Hall Acoustics
It’s only been five years since major renovations to Austin Music Hall, but with a foreclosure and a change in ownership, the venue is set for more improvements.
Houston-based OmniBank bought the building at a foreclosure auction in May. The group that had been running the venue, Direct Events, has been riddled with lawsuits and financial trouble over the past few years. Jason Hicks is the venue’s new general manager. He says despite hosting a fundraising event for President Obama last week, the 43,000-square-foot space is grossly underused.
“We’re not going to take our focus away from attracting major concerts — that will always be there,” Hicks said. “But with the amount of touring bands and the amount of inventory on venues that this town has, it’s not realistic to think that we can keep this room around on 12 to 36 concerts a year.”
Hicks says the number one complaint he’s heard from concert goers deals with the acoustics of the building.
“It was kind of a staggering oversight,” said Margaret Moser, who writes for the Austin Chronicle.
Moser also produces the Austin Music Awards during South by Southwest. They’ve been held at the Austin Music Hall since 1997.
“It’s always been sort of an irony that a place called the Austin Music Hall was so laden with such sound problems because that name suggests such acoustic integrity,” Moser said.
Jason Hicks says his group will be installing more than 60 panels throughout the building in the next month in order to dampen the concrete room. He says they hope to have sound issues under control in early September.