Code enforcement checking venues for violations during SXSW

Code Compliance team using decibel meter during SXSW.

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Four days into the SXSW festival and the City of Austin has been busy making sure venues and events are playing by the rules. From Friday through Monday afternoon, the city has shut down two events and given out a dozen citations.

A few years ago, the City of Austin formed a Public Assembly Code Enforcement (PACE) Team focused on enforcing safety rules when it comes to large events.

KXAN News followed the PACE team on Monday afternoon when they checked on bars in the Red River Music District. With a decibel meter in hand, the bars they visited all passed with flying colors.

“We’ve got a lot of our preliminary inspections done, as far as stage building and the venues that have been permitted,” says Robert Moore with City of Austin’s Code Compliance. “As it picks up later in the week, we’ll be looking at some of the places that put up stuff at the last minute.”

Due to the number of people lining up for some of the events, Moore says these visits by PACE are necessary to make sure occupancy limits are being followed.

“That fire in the nightclub 10 to 15 years ago when people died, it shows how dangerous it can get if it’s not adhered to,” says Moore.

In the first weekend, PACE shut down the Samsung Galaxy at the corner of Fourth Street and Congress Avenue as well as the Empire Control Room late Sunday night due to an issue with blocking the right of way (the issue was resolved).

Along with the dozen citations, the City also issued six verbal warnings and nine written warnings, most of which were resolved in a timely manner. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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