AUSTIN, Texas — Officials for the Austin City Limits Music Festival have announced that the 2020 event has been canceled due to concerns about the coronavirus pandemic.
The music festival had previously featured headliners such as Childish Gambino, Cardi B, Tame Impala, Billie Eilish and Guns N’ Roses. The festival is traditionally held in Zilker Park in early October.
The festival made the announcement on social media and its website on July 1:
"Austin City Limits Music Festival will no longer take place in 2020. We would have loved to put on another memorable show this year, however, with the uncertainty surrounding the current situation in Texas, this decision is the only responsible solution. The health and safety of our fans, artists, partners, staff and the entire Austin community remains our highest priority.
"We will return to Zilker Park on October 1-3 and October 8-10, 2021 to celebrate our 20th Anniversary. We encourage fans who have already purchased tickets to hold on to them to lock in access to next year’s festival at 2019 prices. Refunds will be made available for fans who purchased directly through the festival and cannot attend next year’s dates. All current ticket holders will receive an email from Front Gate Tickets shortly with information on both options.
"ACL Fest has always been rooted in tradition, our common love of live music, and our community. This includes supporting Austin Parks Foundation for the past 15 years to improve parks and green spaces across the city. Take this time to maintain your personal health and wellness by visiting www.austinparks.org to learn how you can safely enjoy and support parks in our area, and please continue to follow the advice of local officials, look out for each other, and stay safe."
In 2019, festival-goers broke travel records at the Austin Bergstrom International Airport with 31,165 travelers passing through for the second weekend.
In 2018, ACL generated $264 million for the City of Austin.
The cancellation will have a big impact on Austin businesses, said Tom Noonan, Visit Austin CEO.
"That's a loss for our hotel community. It's a loss for our music venues. It's a loss for our restaurants and so much of our hospitality tourism industry. So it's not going to be a typical tourism year for us, and that's a loss for a lot of people – 130,000 people need this industry to come back and be strong, and it will at some point," said Noonan.
Both Noonan and Austin Chamber of Commerce CEO Laura Huffman said the cancellation was a necessary move.
"This is part of that story of how hard COVID-19 has been on our community and just how important it is for each and every one of us to do our part in slowing this thing down," said Huffman.
Nooman added, "We need to slow down again for a while because of the caseload, and that's the appropriate right thing to do. It was the right decision for Live Nation to make today."
Both CEOs said right now people can support local businesses by ordering to-go, wearing masks and social distancing.
"It really is up to us to slow this down, and I think now more than ever we're motivated to do that because we're starting to miss some things that are really important to this community," said Huffman.
It's not only restaurants, bars, retail and hotels being affected by the ACL Festival cancellation; a percentage of the ticket sales go to the Austin Parks Foundation. Since the ACL Festival started more than $35 million has gone to the organization to improve Austin parks.
This announcement follows the cancellation of another major Austin festival, South by Southwest, which was canceled in early March due to COVID-19.
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