Mary Lou Lord Done with SXSW

For the past decade, Mary Lou Lord has busked (played live in the street) near 6th Street at SXSW. She’s become a virtual fixture of the festival, entertaining passersby with her music. But last week while she was playing in front of the Driskill Hotel, Austin police forced her to stop, telling her she had violated Austin’s noise ordinance. According to the Statesman, Lord announced yesterday that she was through with the festival after having repeated encounters with Austin’s finest. We have no idea how this ordinance will affect the bass playing of the “King of Sixth Street” Gerry Van King (see below).

APD has been known for a policy of overenforcement in high profile situations during SXSW. It made a stink in 2004 when it busted the band Ozomatli after they wandered outside following a SXSW performance. This year, they also stopped a 12:30 a.m. performance at Eternal by former Libertines’ member Carl Barat’s new project the Dirty Pretty Things, threatening to arrest the band if they kept playing.

Update: A commenter adds some things I missed. This ordinance is not a new one–in 2003, Gerry Van King was arrested in front of Jazz for playing without a permit. He also says that Jazz built a nook for Van King to play in so that he wouldn’t in violation of the ordinance.

2 Comments so far

  1. Eddie C. (unregistered) on March 21st, 2006 @ 8:28 am

    It’s not a new ordinance, and it did affect The King of 6th Street. Apparently, though, when Jazz remodeled a few years ago, they made sure to have a nook for Van King to play outside so he wasn’t on the actual sidewalk and in violation of the ordinance.

  2. Eddie C. (unregistered) on March 21st, 2006 @ 8:29 am

    There was supposed to be a link to a Chronicle story there:

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