ACL Fest had $369 million economic impact in Austin in 2021, new report says
After a two-year hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Austin City Limit Music Festival's return to Zilker Park in 2021 had a $369 million impact on the local economy, according to a report released Tuesday by the event's organizers.
The $369 million impact is an increase of $78 million, or 27%, over the $291 million brought in by the 2019 festival, according figures from by the festival’s organizers.
Since 2006, ACL has generated more than $2.6 billion for Austin’s economy, the equivalent of creating or retaining 28,204 jobs for Austin employees, according to the data.
"Events like this bring in not only great entertainment, but bring in resources that enable us to help do the kinds of things that this community wants to see," Austin Mayor Steve Adler said. "ACL is a big part of the brand in our city."
The annual report — put together by Austin-based by Angelou Economics and paid for by ACL Fest — is based on festival operations data provided by event organizer C3 Presents and spending surveys completed by more than 7,000 festival attendees.
Angelou Economics has measured ACL Fest's contributions to the economy for C3 Presents since 2009. The October 2021 ACL Fest drew 75,000 music fans per day for six days and more than 120 musical artists including Miley Cyrus, Billie Eilish, George Strait and Duran Duran.
Bars and restaurants felt the biggest economic impact in 2021 with $104 million. Hotels received a $42 million economic impact, followed by the real estate sector with $19 million.
More than $142 million in labor income was paid to Austin employees as a result of the festival, according to the report. That includes expenditures both on- and off-site of the ACL festival grounds.
The local food and beverage sector saw 1,474 jobs created or sustained through the festival, with 472 jobs for hotels and 389 jobs for ground transportation companies, the report said.
Also at the event on Tuesday, C3 Presents presented a $6.7 million check to the Austin Parks Foundation to go toward future park improvements across Austin. A portion of every ACL ticket goes toward Austin parks each year.
Over the last 17 years, ACL's partnership with the Austin Parks Foundation has provided more than $48 million to Austin’s public park system, according to organizers. That's in addition to maintenance and restoration of Zilker Park, which are also paid annually by ACL.
The 2022 Austin City Limits Music Festival will take place at Zilker Park October 7-9 and 14-16 with Lil Nas X, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, P!nk, Kacey Musgraves and the Chicks among the headliners.
Three-day tickets went on sale Tuesday at noon.