On March 10th, the state of Texas ended its mask mandate and allowed most businesses to reopen at 100% capacity. But many experts think it’s too early to do so, and in response, over 30 Austin venues and businesses have banded together to announce the new initiative Safe in Sound, committing to following CDC guidelines and protecting patrons from COVID-19.
The participating institutions vow to restructure operations to accommodate six feet of physical distancing, require employees and customers to wear appropriate PPE, provide hand sanitizer, train employees to maintain safety standards, and commit to daily sanitation of business facilities. Stubb’s, ACL Live, Antone’s, Mohawk, Paramount Theatre, Empire Control Room, and Zach Theatre are among the pledged venues.
“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,” Red River Cultural District’s Executive Director Cody Cowan said in a statement. “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.”
Stephen Sternschein, a Managing Partner of Heard Presents and Founding Board Member of NIVA, 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.” He added, “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.” Scroll onwards to see a full list of participating Austin businesses.
Around the country states are lifting COVID-19 restrictions, but many venues are trusting CDC guidelines over their governors. America’s top infectious disease expert Dr. Fauci says concerts can safely return “some time in the fall,” after 70% of the population has been vaccinated.
Safe in Sound Participating Businesses:
3TEN Austin City Limits Live
ACL Live at The Moody Theater
Cheer Up Charlies
Empire Control Room & Garage
German-Texan Heritage Society
Holiday Inn Express
Hyatt House Austin/Downtown
Moontower Comedy Festival
Mosaic Sound Collective
Radio Coffee & Beer
The Far Out Lounge & Stage
The Green Jay
The Museum of Human Achievement
The Side Bar
The White Horse