AUSTIN (KXAN) - The new management team at the Austin Music Hall is trying to change the troubled venue's reputation.
Five years after the facility underwent an $8 million renovation, it has received a lot of unfavorable reviews for sound and their staff.
Earlier this year, the facility went into foreclosure only to be reclaimed but the bank – still its future was in question.
Now local production house The Electric Company is managing the property and making some big changes to some of its biggest problems – like sound quality.
"That's definitely the number one complaint that we have here," said Jason Hicks, the music hall's general manager.
Hicks, who is also the owner of The Electric Company, was a big fan of the venue but also had a vision for making it better.
"Austin can't lose another venue. La Zona Rosa is on the chopping block as we speak," said Hicks. "I really felt if we dove in and if they were willing to invest some of the capital to get this place up and running I could turn it around."
The "they" he refers to is the bank who now owns the lease to the building.
With a quarter-million-dollar investment underway, 64 sound-baffling panels are being installed on every hard surface, concrete wall, and eventually the ceiling, which has tin panels.
"Just as you walk towards it you can hear your voice dissipate and disappear as you get closer," said Hicks.
The walls inside have also been painted a more neutral color to match the modern industrial look of the building.
Artists will be welcomed by funky dressing rooms, and the plumbing issues inside the building have been fixed.
And to keep this venue profitable music will encompass only 25 percent of the business. Instead, there will be special functions, such as the July 17 visit of President Obama at the venue for a fundraising event, comedy tours and private events.
"A lot of galas, private parties and corporate events will probably fill up the majority of the calendar," said Hicks.
The goal is to change the public's perception, making it a premiere spot.
"We're working hard to make sure people have a good experience all the way around," said Hicks.
The first phase of the renovations, which include the sound panels, are expected to be installed within the next two to three weeks -- in time for Matisyahu on Sept. 4.
The next phase of the work will change the seating to improve the risers making for a better view of the band.
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