AUSTIN (KXAN) - City of Austin parks officials confirm they are in discussions to expand the Austin City Limits Music Festival to two weekends beginning in 2013.
C3 Presents, the Austin-based producer of the festival, approached the Austin Parks and Recreation Department about adding another weekend, according to Sara Hensley, APRD director.
The proposed dates are Oct. 4 - Oct. 6, which would be added to the already scheduled dates of Oct. 11 - Oct. 13. The event is staged in Zilker Park.
C3 Presents has also pledged to support the parks department. The company is planning a hefty donation, reportedly in the millions, to help renovate Auditorium Shores.
"They wanted, for over a year now, to do something for Auditorium Shores," Hensley said, "And they're going to help us do things for auditorium shores. To do the work that needs to be done at Auditorium Shores, we're talking about anywhere from $3 to 5 million. We have not negotiated that they would pay us that. That's to come here after this goes through and there is a resolution passed by council."
In 2008 C3 Presents donated more than $2 million to the Austin Parks Department for improvements to Zilker Park.
City Council is sure to examine the benefits of adding a second weekend because of the extensive damage caused to Zilker Park grounds after thousands of people sit, trample and dance on the acres of grass during the festival. Each year it takes city workers time and effort to restore the decimated lawn, not to mention picking up tons of leftover trash.
Another issue at play will be traffic concerns, which is always a factor when big crowds come to Austin and add to the daily congestion on city streets and state highways.
However, business owners may only see dollar signs and not drawbacks, as music festival attendees dump millions of dollars into the economy, boosting sales and revenues. Hotels benefit, restaurants feed thousands and the liquor flows each night -- the latter surely a concern for law enforcement teams.
According to a study conducted in 2011 by Angelou Economics, Austin City Limits Music Festival generates more than $73 million in visitor spending and total economic impact for Austin.
Still, residents are inconvenienced by street closures and the higher risk of crime that comes with thousands more in town, most of them in a partying mood, wild and free, not sedate and sleeping.
"[It will bring] a lot of traffic," said Kevin Franch, who lives behind the park. "[Police] do put up barricades that say 'No event parking in neighborhood,' and they put up the blockades, but people park here anyway."
But French says part of living in that area, is planning for those changes.
"You can hear the music and everything, but you know where you live," French said.
And while Capital Metro provided free shuttle service for concert-goers until 3 a.m. on Friday and Saturday in 2011, transportation officials will have to consider if adding a second festival weekend fits into the company's budget and staff scheduling.
According to the online calendar of the Austin Convention and Visitors Bureau , there is no major event posted for the requested weekend of Oct. 4 - Oct. 6, 2013, as of this writing.
- Red Hot Chili Peppers
- Neil Young and Crazy Horse
- The Black Keys
- Jack White
- Florence and The Machine
- The Avett Brothers
- Iggy and The Stooges
- The Roots
View a complete list of 2012 scheduled artists. Information about 2013 performers is not yet available.
Tuesday night the Austin Parks Department board will vote on a new design for Auditorium Shores that expands a proposed off leash dog park area by one acre. Improvements also include new turf, a sprinkler system, and a regraded main lawn.
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