I'd like to prose and ask for feedback on $subject idea.
The main objective is to have a place and period of time to fix bugs before a release happens.
This would give interested parties space and time to work on fixes, and it would be more transparent and evident that a release is around the corner.

How would this work?
Around two weeks before the release date, a branch is created for the next version and only fixes can be merged to this branch.
When release date comes, release happens from the branch. And then it is merged back into master, so that fixes are there too.

Watson Sato
Security Technologies | Red Hat, Inc