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C3 Presents expands beyond Lollapalooza in Brazil

Peter Mongillo
The Eastern Sea, shown performing at the Austin City Limits Music Festival this weekend, plans to release a Christmas album.

As the third day of the Austin City Limits Festival was just beginning Sunday, festival organizers C3 Presents were already looking forward and outside the country, to Brazil. In recent years, the Austin-based event production company has expanded into South America with Lollapalooza Festivals in both Chile and Brazil (in addition to another coming in Israel and a partnership with Australia’s traveling Big Day Out festivals. Now they are expanding even further with a partnership that involves the Austin events company in all festivals, tours and other events put on by Lollapalooza Brazil partner GEO.

“We realized we had a great show in Lolla, but it was three days a year, and Brazil is a gigantic market;” said C3 co-owner Charlie Walker. “The familiarity with European and American bands in Brazil has become so much greater.”

Now, when an artist like Gary Clark Jr. heads south to perform at Lollapalooza Chile and Brazil next year, C3 can book him in other venues throughout the country. C3 will also be responsible for bringing in all international talent for GEO, which handles Formula One events and is part of giant media conglomerate Globo Organization.

C3 co-owner Charles Attal said that music festivals in Brazil look more or less the same as they do in the States. “When we got there, we felt like we were at home. They had the same setup backstage; we felt like we were in Austin,” Attal said.

Attal said social media has created a world where there isn’t nearly as much difference in what music is popular in the United States and what plays well in South America. “On the new, up-and-coming stuff it’s easy, it’s easier for them to get down there. They trust us enough to take chances with new bands,” he said. “A band that can sell 1,000 tickets here, down there it would probably do the same thing.”

C3 and GEO are developing a large, new international festival in Brazil. There was also talk of possible events related to the 2016 Olympics and regional festivals — so that in a few years the bands that spend their summers touring from fest to fest can also spend their winters doing the same in South America.

Formula One Fan Fest lineup comes together. In addition to a slew of big-name musicians (Aerosmith, Juanes, Flo Rida and others) performing in Austin during the weekend of the Formula One race (Nov. 16-18), a downtown festival will also include Austin-based bands. Phoebe Hunt, Sara Hickman, Quiet Company, Shakey Graves and T-Bird and the Breaks are among the acts that will perform on stages set up in a festival area between Lavaca and Brazos Streets and Second and Fifth streets. For more info on the lineup, visit austinfanfest.com.

A very Eastern Sea Christmas. Austin band the Eastern Sea, which was among the local artists playing the Austin City Limits Festival over the weekend, is following up its not-very-cheerily-named album “Plague” with a Christmas album. In addition to 10 classics, including “O Holy Night,” lead singer and songwriter Matthew Hines penned two originals. “One is kind of dark and cynical, and the other I tried to make as cheesy and bright as possible,” Hines said during the festival Saturday. “It was a new experience … We need to show our fans that we can have a good time.”