Austin City Council Approves Pilot Program with Extended Hours
If you’re down in the Red River entertainment district on a Thursday-Sunday night this summer, you might notice something nostalgic: live music playing past midnight. That’s right, the Austin City Council agreed 9-1 last Thursday to move forward with a six-month pilot program allowing later hours for amplified music. During the program, venues in the Red River District can keep the outdoor party going until midnight on Thursdays and 1 a.m. on the weekends. The one hour extension is a compromise reached between the Council and the Austin Police Department, the latter of which advocated for a 1 a.m. end time rather than 1:30 a.m. to allow APD to respond to crowds on Red River and get to Sixth Street by the time the bars close at 2 a.m. The pilot program will run for six months and gauge whether the extension is a legitimate aid to struggling bars and venues or just a money pit of noise complaints by lodgers and residents in the surrounding hotels and apartments. The pilot program will run from May to November.
Photo: Nash Cook
Black Sabbath Keyboardist Geoff Nicholls Dies of Lung Cancer
Longtime Black Sabbath keyboardist Geoff Nicholls passed away after battling lung cancer on Saturday at the age of 68. Nicholls career took off as a founding member of the British heavy metal band Quartz, whose 1977 debut album was produced by Tony Iommi and featured Queen guitarist Brian May and Ozzy Osbourne on backing vocals on the song “Circles.” Nicholls was recruited to join Black Sabbath in 1979 along with Ronnie James Dio when Ozzy was fired from the group. Nicholls originally joined as the second guitarist, then becoming the band’s bassist during Geezer Butler’s brief hiatus. When Butler returned, Nicholls took over the keys, a position he held for 25 years and nine studio albums, including 1980’s Heaven and Hell, featuring the classic title track with the iconic bassline written by Nicholls himself. After being replaced by Ozzy’s touring keyboardist Adam Wakeman in 2004, Nicholls spent the rest of his professional career playing keys with former Sabbath singer Tony Martin.