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SIGN THIS NOW: Petition to Reverse Houston Sound Ordinance

Submitted by Commandrea on March 11, 2024 – 10:15 pm42 Comments

CLICK HERE TO SIGN the Petition to Reverse Houston’s Sound Ordinance. We cannot stress how direly important it is that you support Houston’s local music scene by signing the petition to reverse our city’s new sound ordinance. It currently grants officers the authority to ticket, arrest, and shut down businesses for ‘being too loud’ without having measurable proof of the decibel levels- in other words an officer only has to ‘feel’ the bass outside of the venue. One venue owner has already been arrested and several others have been issued the maximum fine of $1000 with no verifiable evidence of violation.

In essence, city council has found a way to legally extort money from local venues that are the city’s main source of revenue well after other businesses have closed for the day. Houston is not one big ol’ 9-5 sprawling suburb; it’s our country’s 4th largest metropolis, and in order to generate revenue for our budget and provide enough jobs for our population, our night venue operators and entertainers need to be allowed to serve their customers without fear of losing that day’s returns because of a noise complaint, or worse, being cuffed in view of their patrons and carted off to jail.

Our fellow citizens and elected officials who approved the ordinance ought to be downright embarrassed by the damage it has already done to Houston’s public image. They are hindering our city’s reputation as a hub of progress and creativity, and in the end, our economy. Here’s a 2024 study of the direct economic impact of the local art scene on 156 cities around the country. Our own local art scene generates more revenue for the city than all of the sports stadiums combined. Houston can thank our local art communities for providing nearly 10,000 jobs and $40,000,000 in local and state revenues that taxpayers would have otherwise had to bear…such as those stadiums which we are still paying off. For a council member to have approved an ordinance that would hamper this economically vital sector of our revenue clearly demonstrates selfish pandering to potential voters and a lack of interest in our city’s fiscal security.

As for large scale music festivals like FPSF, which are also a boon to any city’s economy, while it’s great to see famous touring acts in a setting like Eleanor Tinsley Park, it is the local bands and their fan base that comprise the majority of the attendees. You can’t bring 60,000+ people together overnight. It’s a year-round task that starts with the relationship between the city and the venues that provide a platform for bands to grow their audience. The results of everyones’ efforts are a beautiful thing to behold- a crowd of amazing proportions sitting on a hillside at sunset, all there because they see the festival as something they can call their own. And they are right. It is for them, and for you.

So if you have ever rocked out, dropped that ass, kicked up your boots, or chacha’d the night away, you’ve depended on musicians to provide the tunes that moved you and the venues that provided a place for those musicians to perform. Now they are depending on you to sign this petition in order to keep our nights alive.

We must reverse this ordinance and we’re well on our way to doing so with your help. Please sign and share right away! It’s definitely something worth getting loud about.

The petition only needs 10K digital signatures, but we say let’s turn it up to eleven.


  • Lilit Gevorkyan says:

    reverse houston’s sound ordinance!

  • Ted Wick says:

    Leave to the city of Houston to find a way to kill the local arts and music scene

  • Mark Salvie says:


  • Tara Pourmahram says:


  • Mark Hoffman says:

    Reverse our city’s new sound ordinance.

  • Jeremy says:

    Reverse this ordinance!

  • Scott Osment says:

    This is far too excessive. Music over a certain, measured decibel level, after a certain time might be some sort of offense. But to just arrest a venue owner because you can feel it is ridiculous.

  • Tracy Shrieve says:

    petition to reverse our city’s new sound ordinance

  • alec acevedo says:

    Don’t mess with us

  • alex rangel says:

    Why would you hamper creativity?

  • Fitzgerald's: Live Since 1977 says:

    [...] To read more about the ordinance, CLICK HERE. [...]

  • Zach Kimmel says:

    1. This sound ordinance is garbage.
    2. The way it is being enforced is unconscionable.
    3. Hampering Houston’s already-struggling music scene is unacceptable.

  • Ada tam says:

    Reverse ordinance

  • Phaedra Cook says:

    “Too loud” should never be left up to one person’s judgement call. Just ask my children.

  • Level says:

    This is evident of the root cause of Houston’s lack of zoning nor a competent master plan. City council is not capable to move the city in the proper direction. We need some innovative and creative leaders that can finally initiate a real growth plan for the city, while finding a way to mitigate the rampant destructive nature of unrestricted development. It would likely shock them to find how much revenue is lost and wasted due to the lack of oversight. Please contact your city council representative and ask for intelligent development codes with well-defined ordinances for all manner of establishments.

  • Lauren Difede says:

    This is no bueno and quite ridiculous, lets make it stop!

  • Lynette Lopez says:


  • Larry Mertz says:

    end sound ordinance

  • Baker Elias says:

    Reverse the sound ordinance!!

  • Elijah Kelley says:

    why dont we ticket cops for using loud sounds on there cute little cars.

  • Susan Aune says:

    Reverse the new sound ordinance!!!!!

  • ArchieLeach says:

    It’s not right. It’s not ok.

  • Lissette Zavala says:

    Let the music be heard!

  • Nancy Lauritsen says:

    No to the sound ordinance~

  • CMF says:

    Reverse it!

  • Jacob Breier says:

    I like listening to sounds at night so this needs to be changed so I can listen to sounds more safely thanks.

  • rob says:

    They have always given out tickets without a decibel meter. The ordinance as it stood made mention of a decibel level from a certain distance but I guarantee you if you looked at court cases you’d see nobody ever wins those cases. I got “busted” for my car stereo being too loud during the day while driving along. The ordinance they cited was talking about music coming from buildings and had the same provisions (this was in NJ in this case). After reading the ordinance to the judge, and asking the cop where his decibel meter was, and motioning to dismiss because the law I was charged with violating clearly didn’t even APPLY to me in a motor vehicle, the judge said “too bad.” When I asked what about all the other people with loud car stereos, are they going to have their rights violated by being charged with offenses that legally dont even apply? He said “that is exactly the element we’re trying to get rid of.”

    Now, not to hate on the law in general. They are here to “keep the peace”. If my neighbors were being loud and I was trying to get some sleep or I disliked their taste in music, I would ask them to turn it down first, unless they’re a bunch of gangbangers that I better not. If they won’t comply with reasonable requests to not disturb those around them, it’s nice there is some recourse. Nightclubs and music venues generally aren’t next door to residences, and there are noise permits etc, that can be granted. I don’t see any particular reason this new ordinance should impact any legitimate operation. What were the circumstances surrounding the event mentioned above?

    On the note of poor urban planning, I agree. But what do you think could be done in a state that HATES any kind of regulation or ordinances or anything imposed by government (this thread included)? There are plenty of ways clubs can soundproof if for whatever reason they find it necessary to play music so loud past whatever time it’s not allowed. I’ve worked in recording studios where you couldn’t hear a thing on the other side of a (thick) door, with music blasting on the other side…

    Anyway, food for thought.

  • Mary Jerez says:

    Please reverse Houston Sound Ordinance Petition & find something better to do!

  • Anna Fisher says:

    There is no way that a sound ordinance that doesn’t have a db and OBJECTIVE way of measuring loudness should be allowed. subjective measures are a sign of a constitutional breach.

  • debb barrr says:

    repeal houston’s sound ordnance now unless you intend to apply i
    t equally to all loved sources such as diesel trucks airplanes construction equipment motorcycles cars with love stereos weed eaters lawn blowers all 2 stroke engines et cetera

  • janice tirapelli says:

    reverse the sound ordinance. don’t rent or buy property near venues that might shake/rattle/annoy you. the inner city is alive - isn’t that why you moved here? suburbs anyone?

  • Bill Johnstone says:

    “There is no way that a sound ordinance that doesn’t have a db and OBJECTIVE way of measuring loudness should be allowed. subjective measures are a sign of a constitutional breach.”


  • Jon says:

    this must be reversed!

  • Max Sprigg says:

    Reverse the ordinance.

  • Margaret Rivera says:

    Anything for Joe Barelas

  • Starla says:

    I suggest you go to the city’s website and actually read the ordinance and not just rely on someone else’s interpretation. There are decible limits defined. This is the same ordinance with some minor changes that has been in efect for many years. There are just more club owners now who don’t want to comply with it. Many bars and clubs ARE in or next to residential neighborhoods. Loudest doesn’t always mean best.

  • Marcel Rivera says:

    turn it around man!!

  • Ramiro Alonso says:

    We NEED our music.

  • TheFlipSide says:

    I’d love to sign this petition to support local artists and venues, especially downtown and in commercial areas. Unfortunately, I have WAY too many mobile boomboxes creeping through my neighborhood late at night/early in the morning when I need to sleep. Because this city does not have a better defined and more reasonable ordinance, I see no reason to sign this petition. Perhaps those signing the petition would have more of an impact if they were able to propose, support, and organize around a better ordinance. Punish the hoodlums, not the businesses.

  • the numbers get more depressing says:

    the numbers get more depressing…

    Free Press Houston » SIGN THIS NOW: Petition to Reverse Houston Sound Ordinance…

  • fight the fight says:

    Keep it loud and proud!

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