Batfest Flies to South First Street

Fest schedule resolved; reservations about Downtown closures continue

Won't somebody think of the winged rodents?
Won't somebody think of the winged rodents?

It ain't the hugest news, but the most interesting wrinkle to arise at last week's City Council meeting has been ironed out: Batfest, the outdoor Labor Day festival scheduled at Ann Richards Bridge, will be moving one bridge west, to the South First Street bridge.

The case came before council since fest organizer French Smith couldn't procure the signatures required from nearby businesses. Gege Cordeiro, proprietor of Your Living Room, had withheld hers, as the event drastically cut into her Labor Day sales, traditionally a big weekend for furniture stores. At council last week, many members appeared sympathetic, with Will Wynn questioning the broader wisdom of closing parts of massive thoroughfares like Congress Avenue for events like Bat Fest. "The process by which, administratively, folks just filling out some paperwork can shut down major arterials in our Downtown … I think frankly, we have outgrown that luxury as a community," Hizzoner said. Check out the whole blow by blow in tomorrow's print edition of City Hall Hustle.

Press release on Batfest's move below the fold.

THE BAT STOPS HERE

4th ANNUAL BATFEST MOVES TO THE FIRST STREET BRIDGE

Roadway Productions, producers of the Austin Batfest, have reached a compromise with Ms. Gege Cordeiro, manager of local furniture store, Your Living Room (YLR) regarding the location of the 4th Annual Batfest on the Ann Richards Congress Avenue Bridge. YLR is located at 220 South Congress on the southwest corner of the Ann Richards Congress Avenue Bridge, at the tip of the Batfest.

Recently, Ms. Cordeiro has publicly stated her opposition to all Ann Richards Congress Avenue bridge closures, including the Batfest closure. Ms. Cordeiro’s concern is that the Batfest prevents her customers from reaching YLR during Labor Day weekend – her biggest weekend for furniture sales.

To conciliate Ms. Cordeiro, Roadway Productions, the Austin City Council Staff, Austin City Manager’s Office, Austin’s Right of Way Management Office, and Austin Parks and Recreation Department have worked out a plan to move Batfest to the First Street Bridge for this year. The hours, vendors, entertainment line-up, bands, and attractions remain the same. The location is the only thing changing and it’s just moving a quarter mile west.

As part of the discussion agreement, Gege Cordeiro stated that she would not oppose the Ann Richards Congress Avenue Bridge closure for Batfest 2009 as long as it is only a one day event and happens on the Saturday before the Labor Day Weekend or any other weekend but Labor Day weekend.

WHAT ABOUT THE BATS?????

It’s true that the bats live under the Ann Richards Congress Avenue Bridge, however, the South First Street Bridge presents a new perspective for bat-viewing! You can see under the Ann Richards Congress Avenue Bridge from the First Street Bridge and watch the bats emerge and fly out into the Texas night. Roadway Productions is providing special bat lighting under the Congress Bridge for better bat viewing on the First Street Bridge!

For those folks who want to attend the Batfest and still see their bats up close and personal, Roadway is allowing in-and-out-BATFEST privileges so people can take a short walk to the Ann Richards Congress Avenue Bridge when the bats fly. All paid admissions will include a wristband that allows the wearer unlimited FREE in-and-out access. See you at BATFEST on the FIRST STREET BRIDGE!

WHAT: 4th Annual Austin Batfest

WHERE: FIRST STREET BRIDGE

100 South First Street, Austin, TX 78704

WHEN: Saturday and Sunday, August 30-31, 2008

Saturday hours: 2pm – 12 midnight

Sunday hours 2pm – 10:30 pm

TICKETS: $5 at the gate only. Kids 10 and under are FREE with an adult.

WHO: Batfest features 150 local artists and vendors and 30 live bands including Edgar Winter, BoDeans, Flobots, Ludo, Mahogany Rush, Paula Nelson, Carolyn Wonderland, and Supersuckers. Visit our website at www.roadwayevents.com for a complete entertainment schedule.

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS POST

City Council, Downtown, Will Wynn, Batfest, Raod Closures

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