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How much sound mitigation can you buy for $40,000?

That a question the Austin City Council is poised to consider this week, as they consider a resolution that would enact a sound mitigation case study at a music venue downtown. It’s a signal of the importance of music to the city’s economic and cultural health, but also a symptom of the growing pains downtown is entering as more people move into the city’s urban core – and how the two can often be at odds.

The resolution before council this Thursday, Item 14, calls to change the name of the Downtown Venue Relocation Program to the Music Venue Assistance Program, and “initiate, fund, and oversee a sound mitigation case study of a relevant music venue in an amount up to $40,000 from the Downtown Development Fund.”

“What we really want to do is keep as many venues downtown as we can, because you want a concentration of music venues in a relatively small place so it’s walkable,” says council member Bill Spelman, sponsor of Item 14.  

Photo courtesy www.flickr.com/kk

The signs are everywhere that South by Southwest is nigh. But here’s one that doesn’t involve the rejiggering of sound permits: Finalists for the SXSW Interactive Awards have been announced.

The awards are divided into 15 categories: Activism, Amusement, Art, Business, Classic, Community, Educational Resource, Experimental, Film/TV, Motion Graphics, Music, Personal, Social Media, Student, and Technical Achievement.

Meant to recognize up-and-coming websites, applications and digital projects, the closest thing to a widespread name in the categories is Storify, which lets users combine social media updates into newsworthy narratives.

And in another sign of the burgeoning importance of the festival’s tech component, Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell is leading a delegation of Austin start-ups to the UK this week.

Photo by Lord_Henry http://www.flickr.com/photos/10567940@N05/

Organizers of Austin's South By Southwest Music Conference and Festival announced the keynote speaker for 2012. It's the biggest catch yet for the 26 year-old event.

It was a well-kept secret but SXSW organizers revealed Bruce Springsteen will be the music conference's keynote speaker in March.

"After the death of Clarence Clemons, it marks a new chapter. So doing something like this which you know, it's an event where he can kind of assess his career; makes tons of sense," said Ann Powers, NPR Music critic and correspondent.

Photo by John Tonne http://www.flickr.com/photos/juantonne/

Which bands are coming to South by? Five months before the annual music and technology conference even starts, we already have an idea. South by Southwest released this list today of bands it has programmed for the 2012 event. 

Logo courtesy of SXSWeco

We all know about the South by Southwest music, film and interactive festivals but SXSW is delving into more civic engagement events.

It was just this past March when SXSW organizers launched their first ever SXSWedu for teachers, education researchers and state leaders. That education conference came at time when Texas lawmakers were laying out big cuts to public education.

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People downstream of the Colorado River are asked to stay away from the water following the release of possibly untreated wastewater into the River, near the airport.

South Austin Wastewater Treatment Plant Back Online

The Austin Water Utility said the plant was back in service at ten last night. The plant had been shut down earlier Tuesday because of a chlorine leak. The utility said about 300,000 gallons of what was believed to be untreated wastewater entered the Colorado River.

Photo by KUT News

The SXSW Panel Picker is back and voting and commenting starts at 2 p.m. today for 2012. The Panel Picker allows users to vote on panel and presentation topics for the SXSW Festival.

People can respond to different ideas and decide what topics will be represented at the event. Voters have until September 2 to cast their idea.

You can sign up at the Panel Picker website to submit your idea.

What is SXSW Eco?

Jun 28, 2011

South by Southwest is adding another conference to its roster of music, film, interactive, and education forums.

It will be called SXSW Eco. The focus will be on finding ways to make humanity more ecologically sustainable. Unlike other SXSW forums, this conference will run from October 4-6. Early tickets are $800.

We called SXSW managing director Roland Swenson to find out more.

KUT News: What is this South by Southwest Eco conference?

Maybe you couldn't make it out to South by Southwest, or maybe you developed warm, nostalgic feelings for the party in the 10 days since it ended. At any rate, here's an amazing look at official and unofficial events during SXSW Music through the eyes of KUT videographer Paulo Martins.

Photo by Nathan Bernier for KUT News

Construction gates have been removed on a project to renovate the parking lot under Interstate 35 in downtown Austin, allowing people to walk freely on the expanded sidewalks. For the past several months, pedestrians walking under I-35 were restricted to a narrow pathway next to fast moving traffic. That could have created a dangerous situation for the thousands of people descending on the city for SXSW.

SXSW 2010 Geeks band
Photo courtesy JTImages http://www.flickr.com/photos/jmtimages/

South by Southwest's 2010 conference injected $113 million dollars into the city's economy, mainly from people who traveled to Austin to attend. That's according to a new economic report from GreyHill Advisors, whom SXSW commissioned to conduct the study.

You can read a five page executive summary of the report on GreyHill's website. Here are some highlights:

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