After calling attention last week to the surprising results of the Zilker Vision Plan’s first community survey, which indicated that a considerable number of Austinites would like to see the Austin City Limits Music Festival moved from Zilker Park to another location more accommodating of its large crowds, we got a front-row seat to the intensity of local debate surrounding this subject — for one, our Facebook post of last week’s article is still generating comments back and forth a full seven days later:
After testing the waters with a public survey of our own, we’ve received 415 responses (and counting) on whether ACL still belongs at Zilker, and now that a week’s passed we’re surprised again to discover that the crowd in favor of keeping the festival at its original location has edged out a victory, though not a wide one. After adding up every answer, this survey’s currently sitting at 55 percent of respondents in favor of keeping the event where it is, with 44 percent supporting a move to Circuit of the Americas or elsewhere — that last 1 percent disregarded our fairly clear instructions for either a “yes” or “no” answer by saying they don’t know, which is very Austin of them.
Here’s a few arguments against moving ACL out of Zilker from our survey:
“No. It’s part of the charm of Austin. It’s one of the main things that makes Austin, well, Austin. If you think it’s too loud or there’s too much traffic, then move to the suburbs. It’s an indication that you’ve grown too old for the young vibrant city life. It happens to many of us. Nothing wrong with it, but don’t expect the world to slow down for you. ACL is important to the businesses in and around downtown. It’s huge for the Austin economy, small and large businesses. Just because these handful of neighbors don’t personally benefit financially from this event doesn’t mean they can ruin it for the rest of us.”
“No, the beauty of ACL is that high school students can walk from school and neighbors can bike to see legends. Yes, it stinks that the park is closed for many weeks, but the festival is also the reason the Zilker grass and area is so well funded.”
“No. I personally am not interested in the festival, but it’s events like these that draw people into Austin, making it a denser, more vibrant city. The tax revenue from these folks traveling from afar can help to pay for valuable improvements for the city – like Project Connect, and park improvements! The festival wouldn’t be the same vibe at all if it was held at COTA.”
And here’s a look at a few responses from those in favor of moving the festival away from Zilker:
“Yes. Impossible as a resident that works downtown to get to and from work in less than an hour.”