This week Houston City Council will vote on whether or not to spend $3 million out of the Houston Airport System fund to pay for bands to play in Houston airports.

The item is for a five-year deal costing $600,000 annually.

The request is to hire 18 bands, guaranteeing them at least 26 performances each, which comes out to about $6,500 per performance for each individual act. One of the requirements is for musicians to have a college degree, preferably in music, or eight years of experience and two letters of recommendation.

Mayor Sylvester Turner claims that bands playing in the airports will let travelers know Houston is “a little country and a little chic” and help brand the city. He also attempted to justify the expenditure by highlighting that the funding is coming from the airport’s enterprise fund rather than the general fund. “If it was coming from the general fund, I would be saying ‘no.’”

“We’re in competition with other cities for the dollars, and we have two great airports,” said Council Member Dave Martin, but in the same breath he called Bush Intercontinental Airport a “piece of junk airport” and a “dump.”

Council is set to vote on the contract at Wednesday’s meeting.

Who knew people could be so passionate about spending $3 million on airport bands. But good job Houston City Council Member Mike Knox, At-Large 1, Michael Kubosh, and Greg Travis!**They’re voting on this next week.

Posted by Charles Blain on Thursday, November 29, 2018

Charles Blain

Charles Blain is the president of Urban Reform and Urban Reform Institute. A native of New Jersey, he is based in Houston and writes on municipal finance and other urban issues.


This Memorial Day

Never forget that we remain the home of the free because of their bravery and sacrifice.