Austin City Limits Goes One Louder
Council considers doubling ACL, plus C3 eyes Auditorium Shores
By Richard Whittaker,
6:12PM, Wed. Aug. 1, 2012
Should the Austin City Limits Music Festival become a two weekend affair? Council will be musing that at this week's regular session, and may instruct City Manager Marc Ott to start the ball rolling with C3 Presents.
In a measure proposed by Mayor Lee Leffingwell and backed by Council Members Mike Martinez and Chris Riley, council will discuss starting negotiations for "an additional weekend event for the Austin City Limits Music Festival including use, maintenance, and improvements to Zilker Park and Auditorium Shores." Ott would be instructed to add up to five days to C3's rental at Zilker Park.
Update: Leffingwell's staff mentioned there was a possibility of this (and most of the rest of the overcrowded agenda) getting shoved back. Lo and behold, the measure now comes back on Aug. 16.
Two weekends is nothing new in festivals. The New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival (aka Jazz Fest) has stretched across two weekends since 1976, and Coachella made the switch this year. However, the NoLa institution has different performers each weekend, while AEG promotion's California gathering simply replicates the line-up each time.
We asked C3 for a statement on the plans, and they told us:
We are in discussions with the Austin Parks & Recreation Department to see if it is possible to host two weekends of the ACL Festival at Zilker Park. There are still many details to work through. We hope we will reach a final agreement, and as soon as we have more information to share, we will make an official announcement.
There's an interesting addendum. C3 told us that they are also discussing the renovation of Austin's prime lakeside venue Auditorium Shores. Austin's Parks and Recreation Department has plans to renovate the trail head area around the South First Bridge. The firm is in discussions with the city about funding those improvements to the space and "once a cost for renovations been determined, C3 will make a commitment to fund these improvements." The promoters told us that "the improvements to the park are vital to the longevity of future events, those produced by C3 as well as other entities."
Auditorium Shores currently hosts three big annual musical events: The free SXSW concert series, Austin Reggae Festival, and Fun Fun Fun Fest. None of these are handled by C3: SXSW runs the free concerts, Reggae Fest is its own affair, and FFF is a Transmission Entertainment joint. The only major C3 event on the lake is the Austin Food and Wine Festival, which held its inaugural event there this year.