How much do Austin’s festivals contribute to the local economy?

ACL, SXSW, and the US Grand Prix contributed an economic equivalent of three Super Bowls combined in 2022.

The ACL flags flapping over a crowd of festival-goers.

The first ACL Fest was held in 2002.

Photo by Chad Wadsworth

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Festival season is in full swing, but let’s be real, when isn’t it in Austin?

Whether you’re a festival fanatic or prefer to avoid festival traffic, Austin’s annual international festivities keep the local economy chugging. We’re taking a quick look into how much cold, hard cash some of Austin’s most famous events bring in.

Austin City Limits Music Festival


ACL 2020 was not included, since it was held virtually.

Graphic by ATXtoday

All-time economic impact: $3.08 billion, equivalent to 32,201 jobs.
All-time funding for the Austin Parks Foundation: $55 million


  • Contributions to the Austin economy: $447.9 million
    • That figure is equivalent to 3,578 full-time jobs.
    • In comparison, the 2023 Super Bowl contributed about $600 million to Arizona’s economy.
  • $7.2 million, excluding annual fees for Zilker Park restoration efforts, was donated to the Austin Parks Foundation for projects including:
    • Trail improvements and maintenance at the Barton Creek Greenbelt
    • Restoration of the historic Henry Madison Cabin at Rosewood Neighborhood Park
    • Designing Austin’s first all-abilities playground at Onion Creek Metropolitan Park

Note: ACL Festival began tracking economic impact in 2006, four years after the festival began.


A graph showing SXSW's economic impact from 2009-2022.

SXSW 2020 and 2021 were not included, by nature of being canceled and held fully virtually.

Graphic by ATXtoday

Economic impact since 2009: ~$2.88 billion


  • Contributions to the Austin economy: $280.7 million
  • $1.8 million in hotel occupancy tax revenue, which came from 10,000 SXSW direct hotel reservations, or 45,500 room nights.

Note: SXSW’s 2023 economic impact report had yet to be released at the time of publication.

A view of the COTA tower and race track.

Last year, Noel Leon was crowned 2021 champion.

Jakob Ebrey

Formula 1 US Grand Prix

All-time economic impact: ~$7 billion


Note: the 2022 US Grand Prix economic impact report had yet to be released at the time of publication.

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