Decibel level limitations don't sound like something that might effect a whole city, or it's economy, but in a city like Austin, these limits put on the levels of live music make a HUGE deal.
So a couple of rich people recently decided to buy condo space around the cities core venues, including Emo's, Momo's, Stubbs, and various other venues around red river, 6th, and Lamar. The richies decided that the loud music pouring from downtown was just too much for their precious crystal ears, and decided to take it to the city.
The city took a look at the situation and decided that live music isn't too important to Austin, so they proposed a change of decibel level current set by the city, from 85 decibels to 75 decibels. The ordinance would set this legal level of 75, and any club exceeding this level would be fined severe cash, we're talking 1500 bucks plus.
As a sound enthusiast I can tell you that ten points is a huge deal to clubs, their owners, and fans all over. Ten points is a 50% decrease in sound levels. This means shows will be harder to hear, venues will have to shut down if a drummer has a loudly amplified set or if a particular brand of amplifier pumps out more volume than club standards. Bands don't want to play venues where you're own equipment can't be used because of exceeding amplification.
The problem here is that the city is ignoring this and focusing on losing condo inhabitants who CHOSE to live in this particular area. Most of the new inhabitants also happen to be legislators that are purchasing space to stay when they VISIT Austin for their sessions. This creates alot of unfair political pull, not to mention the fact that these particular legislators won't even be living in the condos, but merely staying for three or four months!
Look, let's be honest...we've all been to shows and concerts, and sometimes it does get a little loud, but there's something shady in purchasing realty where music lovers gather for the purpose of enjoying the ear-blaster bands we all love, and telling them to turn it down.
It's as if the city were super conservative parents with loud metal head kids they can't seem to control. The problem is, the kids' music is successful, and brings in tons of dough...so I say, let them play as loud as they want....and if you don't like it...move to the arboretum.