Some Austin music lovers took street naming into their own hands to honor David Bowie after he died this week, and the Austin Transportation Department is letting them be heroes—but for more than just one day.
The Austin American-Statesman reported that signage on Bowie Street near Fifth Street in Austin was replaced by an unknown person or group to say “David Bowie St.” Instead of taking the sign down right away, the transportation department for city known for being a music mecca decided to let the sign honoring the legendary singer stay up until Jan. 19.
As austin360 reports, Bowie Street was likely originally named for James Bowie “the 19th Century Kentucky-born pioneer who played a prominent role in the Texas Revolution and died at the Battle of the Alamo.”
“We appreciate Austin’s reputation as the Live Music Capital of the World and recognize David Bowie for all he did for the music industry and more. To this end, we will leave the sign up until Tuesday, January 19, so our community can enjoy the makeshift memorial a few days longer,” the Austin Transportation Department said in statement.
However, the vandal might still face punishment. An Austin police officer told the American-Statesman that whoever changed the sign could face charges of theft and criminal mischief. The punishment would depend on the how difficult and expensive it is to switch the sign back.
The headquarters of the South By Southwest music and film festival happened to be across the street from where the new David Bowie Street sign went up, but SXSW founder Roland Swenson said that was just a coincidence. But that didn’t stop the festival’s official Twitter account from tweeting out support for a change.org petition to officially change the street name to honor the modern Bowie.