Red River Cultural District (Austin, Texas)
The Red River Cultural District is an entertainment district in Downtown Austin, Texas, United States. The district runs along the 600–900 blocks of Red River Street. The Austin City Council approved a resolution creating the district on October 17, 2013. The resolution also directs the City Manager to address parking and loading and unloading issues in the area and to investigate the state process used to designate an area as a cultural district with the Texas Commission for the Arts.
The nightclubs Stubb's, Beerland Mohawk, Red Eyed Fly, Elysium, Barbarella, Metal and Lace, Swan Dive and Plush and a handful of other clubs on nearby side streets are included in the district. The designation lets owners in the district market their venues together as a unique cultural asset of Austin. Stakeholders are also hoping the designation will curb rising land prices and redevelopment in the area.
2014 SXSW crash
The venues in the District participate heavily in the South by Southwest Music Festival. Red River Street is barricaded by Austin Police so that festival goers can safely get from club to club, and the crowds fill the street. On March 13, 2014 about 12:30 a.m., a suspected drunk driver, Rashad Owens, trying to evade police drove through the barricades at 9th Street and Red River and plowed into the crowd enjoying the festival. Four people were killed and 23 were injured. Owens ran into a van and was captured by police. Owens was found guilty of capital murder and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Red River Cultural District Merchants Association
The Red River Cultural District Merchants Association formed in February 2016 with the purpose of engaging stakeholders and government officials to focus on improving the district’s conditions to create a more pedestrian friendly experience that attracts patrons. The associations boundaries run from the 600 block to the 1200 block of Red River. Businesses and organizations participating in the development and activities of the Red River Merchants Association include Mohawk Austin, Cheer Up Charlies, the German Texan Heritage Society, The Beverly, Stubb’s, Empire, Barracuda, Hoboken Pie, Beerland, Elysium, Koriente, Waller Creek Pub, The Sidewinder, Swan Dive, Twin Liquors and others.
- "Austin City Council Minutes". City of Austin. Retrieved 25 January 2014.
- Swiatecki, Chad (17 October 2013). "Council OKs cultural district status for Red River area". Austin Business Journal. Retrieved 25 January 2014.
- Rueters. "Driver Rashad Owens Gets Life for Fatal Crash at SXSW Music Festival". nbcnews.com. nbcnews.com. Retrieved 21 April 2017.
- "Red River District". austintexas.gov. City of Austin. Retrieved 22 April 2017.
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