ACL Fest generated $264.6M for Austin economy last year

The Austin City Limits Music Festival, according to a breakdown from Angelou Economics, generated more than $75,000 music fans per day last year while it was in town for 6 days across two weekends.  

"A percentage of every ticket sold, we put it back into parks all over Austin," said Colin Wallis, CEO of Austin Parks Foundation.

On Monday morning, Austin Mayor Steve Adler along with several council members, the Parks Foundation and production company C3 held a press conference announcing the 2018 ACL Music Fest "Economic Impact Report." It shows a $264.6 million contribution to Austin's economy last year alone. "And that's a huge thing.  That's an increase of over $10 million from what this event did for our community just a year earlier in 2017," Adler said.

In other words...

"It's the equivalent of about 3,000 jobs, over time probably about 21,000 jobs," Adler said.

The report says since 2006, ACL Fest has generated nearly $2 billion for the Austin economy.  

Last year's ACL Fest featuring acts like Paul McCartney and Metallica also brought in $5.1 million for park improvements across Austin thanks to ACL's partnership with Austin Parks Foundation. "Government can't meet all the needs by itself and this partnership with Austin City Limits is one of the best examples we have in the city," Adler said.

And it's not just Zilker that benefits. "This playscape [at Edward Rendon Metro Park] was completely renovated.  And also over here at Martin Pool, we put a giant shade structure up over the pool.  It was pretty bare before" Wallis said.

Council Members Alter, Ellis, Pool and Tovo talked about park projects in their districts that will benefit from ACL dollars. "They make these small grants of about $50,000 all over the city and they help our community to make investments into their parks and to leverage those funds to find other resources to support our parks," Alter said.

According to the press release: Proceeds from the 2018 ACL Fest will be put toward dozens of park projects in all 10 City Council districts, including but not limited to:

  • Eastlink (Districts 1, 3 & 4) - Support the development of a bike and pedestrian-friendly route from Bartholomew District Park to Lady Bird Lake 
  • Govalle Neighborhood Park (District 3) - Playscape and ball field revitalization
  • Austin Nature & Science Center (District 8) - Master Plan creation 
  • Alliance Children's Garden (District 9) - Support the development of a children's play area at Butler Park
  • APF's ACL Music Festival Park Grants Program (Districts 1-10) - Supports community-initiated park improvement projects