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Big events could shift away from parks in central city

East Austin parks recommended for new large gatherings

Some of Austin’s most well known (and used) parks could soon get a break from the ravages of the all the large events that take place there, according to a Monday report in the Austin Monitor. Austin City Council’s Parklands Events Task Force has recommended moving some of the biggest events away from the three parks where they are routinely held: Zilker Park, Auditorium/Vic Mathias Shores, and Edward Rendon Sr. Park at Festival Beach in Town Lake Metropolitan Park aka Festival Beach.

Rather than moving long-established events—such as the Austin City Limits Festival and SXSW shows—from those outdoor venues, however, the task force recommends the goal be accomplished by not allowing new events to occur on the days that existing ones leave free when they drop away.

That could mean that Fun Fun Fun Fest might have to find a new setting in the future, the Monitor’s Chad Swiatecki points out. The festival took a break this year after being acquired by Stratus Properties from its former business partner Transmission Events.

The task force, formed in 2015, recommended decreasing the number of events held Auditorium Shores annually from 25 to 17—although, Swiatecki notes, that is not necessarily the final goal. Task-force chairmen told the monitor that the city needs to move more events out of the city core and mentioned several parks—Walter E. Long Metro Park, Bolm Road District Park, Onion Creek Metropolitan Park and Johnny Trevino Jr. Metropolitan Park—all in east/southeast Austin, as alternatives in sharing the wear and tear that festival traffic brings.

There is no mention of whether or not the proposed parks’ neighborhoods were consulted about the recommendations or will support an influx of festival traffic, but those details will likely be made clear if the recommendations come before the whole council.

Austin’s ‘big three’ parks to see fewer events [Austin Monitor]

Lady Bird Lake

Lady Bird Lake Trail, Austin, TX 78704