Biggest ACL Festival expected to boost local economy


by SHELTON GREEN / KVUE News and photojournalist MATT OLSEN

Bio | Email | Follow: @SheltonG_KVUE

Posted on October 9, 2013 at 9:52 PM

Updated Thursday, Oct 10 at 5:07 PM

AUSTIN – The new two-weekend Austin City Limits Music Festival means a lot more than just six days of music.

That's because many of the bands and fans are sticking around in Austin throughout the week.

On Wednesday Stubb’s held a performance. It’s one of nine different venues in Austin where 42 different bands in town for ACL are performing during the week.

During their Wednesday night show at Stubb’s Barbecue, the Blind Boys of Alabama made it seem like it was Sunday morning church. And fans took notice.

“I've just seen them before. And I think they're great. So I’m excited they're here,” Austin music fan Vella Karman said.

The Wednesday fundraiser for Waller Creek Conservancy was sponsored by C3 Presents. They're the folks who bring you ACL festival.

Organizers tell KVUE News they expected 2,100 people -- in the middle of a week that's book-ended by two weekends of live music.

“It's amazing. It's not something you would think of doing on a Wednesday night. It's one of those things that everybody thinks you have to wait until the weekend to do it,” Austin music lover Michelle Smith said.

Austin has plenty of music, and some businesses owners can’t get enough of it.

“You can never have enough live music. And C3 along with Stubb’s has decided to fill that gap in between the two festivals. And it's worked out well,” Stubb's General Manager Ryan Garrett said.

According to the Austin Convention and Visitors Bureau, about 75,000 music lovers attend the ACL festival each day. It's estimated that they spend $102 million each weekend.

C3 told KVUE News at least 13 percent of the people here for the festival will stay in the Austin area the entire week.

“I actually don't take as much advantage of the live music here in Austin as I should. So this is a great opportunity and I jumped on it,” Austinite Vella Karman said.

If you can’t make the festival on the weekend, Laura Maag with C3 says there are plenty of opportunities throughout the week to see your favorite bands.

“If people can't attend the music festival on the weekends, they can still see their favorite bands. They can purchase a ticket to an individual concert,”  Maag said. “We've got sell out tonight. We've got a sell out Thursday through Sunday. Wilco, Eric Church, Patty Griffin. They're all coming through.”