Plus, changes are coming to the UMLAUF Sculpture Garden + Museum.
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💰 What’s in ACL’s wallet?
An overhead shot of Zilker Park at night during ACL, showing huge crowds and "ACL Fest" spelled out in drones in the sky.
Last year’s ACL Festival had the highest economic impact on the city since it began in 2002. | Photo by Ismael Quintanilla III
$8.1 million. That’s how much money the 2023 Austin City Limits Festival generated for the Austin Parks Foundation — marking the largest contribution in the history of the two organizations’ partnership.

That’s just the tip of the iceberg. Overall, the 2023 festival contributed $499.9 million to the local economy, which is equivalent to 3,766 full-time jobs. It also funds the annual maintenance and restoration of Zilker Park.

According to the most recent economic impact report, ACL has raised more than $63 million for local public parks over the past 19 years.

ACL has contributed more than $3.5 billion — equal to 35,967 jobs — toward the Austin economy since it started recording economic impact in 2006.

How will APF allocate the money?

This year’s funding will go toward projects and improvements across all 10 City Council Districts, including:
  • Little Walnut Creek Greenbelt’s playground, fitness center, and dog park
  • Design and permitting at Grand Meadow Neighborhood Park
  • Montopolis Neighborhood Park’s playground and pool shade structure
  • Removal of invasive species at Barton Creek Greenbelt
  • Repairs at Zilker Hillside Theatre
  • Pool repair at Deep Eddy Pool
  • Support of citywide lifeguard training
View a map of where funding has been used.

How does this compare to years past?

ACL is no stranger to breaking economic records. The festival has been steadily growing its total economic impact by ~15% each year. Plus, it has more than doubled from 10 years ago.
A graphic showing a steady uptick of economic impact over time, from $67 million in 2006 to $499 million in 2023.

Analysis from 2020 was excluded since the festival was held virtually that year.


Graphic by ATXtoday

Looking back on years past:
  • 2022: $448 million in economic impact
  • 2021: $369 million in economic impact
  • 2019: $291 million in economic impact
  • 2018: $264.6 million in economic impact
We’re getting ready to do it all againview the lineup for ACL 2024 and get wristbands.
What year was the first ACL held?

A. 2006
B. 2002
C. 1999
D. 1997
Wednesday, May 15
  • Carros y Cultura: Lowriding Legacies in Texas Exhibition | Now-Monday, Sept. 2 | 10 a.m.-5 p.m. | Bullock Texas State History Museum, 1800 Congress Ave., Austin | $9-$13 | Get to know the culture of Texas’ lowriding community at this bilingual exhibition.
  • Tree Smart Brown Bag Lunch and Learn | Wednesday, May 15 | 11:45 a.m.-1 p.m. | Permitting and Development Center, 6310 Wilhelmina Delco Dr., Austin | Free | Pack a lunch for this seminar focused on Austin’s tree permitting requirements and ways you can help protect our city’s urban forest.
  • Ellis Paul | Wednesday, May 15 | 8-10:30 p.m. | The 04 Center, 2701 S. Lamar Blvd. , Austin | $20-$30 | The folk singer and songwriter will perform with Don Conoscenti.
Thursday, May 16
  • Candlelight Spring: A Tribute to Coldplay | Thursday, May 16 | 6:45 p.m. + 8:45 p.m. | St. David’s Episcopal Church, 301 E. 8th St., Austin | $43-$67 | Listen to the British band by the “Yellow” glow of candelight.
  • Stove Top Comedy | Thursday, May 16 | 8-9:30 p.m. | The Ballroom at Spider House, 2906 Fruth St., Austin | $15-$100 | A roster of local comedians will take the stage for a night of laughs.
Friday, May 17
  • So So Spiffy May Shopping Shindig | Friday, May 17-Saturday, May 18 | Times vary | Spiffy Design, 3601 W. Parmer Lane, Austin | Free | Outfit your home with discounted furniture pieces at this monthly market.
  • 2024 Kyle Fair: A Tex-Travaganza | Friday, May 17-Sunday, May 19 | Times vary | Lake Kyle Park, 700 Lehman Rd., Kyle | Free | Calling all Kyles — join together to help break the record of largest same-name gathering, plus enjoy live music, carnival rides, a ribs + ‘ritas contest, vendors, and a drone show.
Click here to have your event featured.
News Notes
  • Travis County Parks will purchase RGK Ranch between Bee Cave and Spicewood for $90 million — the largest purchase in the foundation’s history. The 1,506-acre ranch will be made into a wilderness park, but it will be several years until it is ready to welcome the public. (Austin American-Statesman)
  • Greenhouse gas emissions are declining and Austin’s tree canopy is above 40%, according to the Watershed Protection Department’s State of Our Environment Report. Aside from an uptick in extreme weather, the report noted several optimistic trends in the local flora — read the analysis.
  • The UT Austin Board of Regents and TxDOT approved a $13.5 million investment last week for a cap over Interstate 35, from 15th to Dean Keeton streets. The cap will create 17 acres of extra space for UT and reunite parts of the school that are disconnected by the highway. (KVUE)
  • This new cocktail lounge is fresh as a daisy. Located in south Austin inside Keepers — 5701 W. Slaughter Lane — Daisy Lounge is a cozy space that only seats 38 guests. Inside, expect to find floor-to-ceiling bookshelves, gold accents, and flowery cocktails (of course).
  • The San Antonio-Austin mega metro is inching closer to reality with local brands swapping cities. Recently Frost Bank signed a multiyear deal with Austin FC to become the bank sponsor. The Spurs is also shaking hands with a new gamer-focused event at the Rock at La Cantera. (SA Business Journal)
  • Tillie’s in Dripping Springs is the most beautiful restaurant in Texas, according to a list from OpenTable. The contemporary American restaurant was noted for its 200-year-old space in a Vietnamese building and “impressive” collection of antiques.
  • Break out the pot and get ready to bake, because Willie Nelson just announced the release of his first-ever cannabis cookbook. Written with his wife, Annie, the new book will hit shelves in November.
  • It’s going to be a big year for rookie Cowboys in the upcoming NFL season. Get the biggest stories every day from the local experts of the Dallas Cowboys with Locked On’s daily podcasts.
  • Feeling inspired after watching The Masters last month? Discover the ultimate golf experience at Omni Barton Creek Resort & Spa, located in the picturesque Austin Hill Country — only ~11 miles from downtown Austin. Book a weekend staycation and enjoy exclusive access to the best golf experience in Texas.*
  • Did you know you could finance your fixer-upper with home equity? You could get up to $50K with a HELOC — calculate your payment.*
  • Cornbread Hemp’s CBD Sleep Gummies are available in two strengths and made with high-quality USDA organic CBD extract. Get 30% off with code CBDSLEEP30.*
⛲️ Simply marble-ous
rendering features a two story mid-century modern building with pathways winding through wooded area
Art lovers and history buffs have a lot to look forward to at The UMLAUF.
Photo via @umlaufsculpture
Don’t take this opportunity for granite. The UMLAUF Sculpture Garden + Museum will unveil its Historic Preservation, Expansion and Unification Plan, a blueprint to upgrade the exhibition, at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 29.

The history? In 1985, American sculptor Charles Umlauf and his wife Angeline donated their home, art studio, seven acres, and 150+ sculptures to the City of Austin. This endowment paved the way for The UMLAUF to open in 1991, which currently boasts 100+ bronze and stone sculptures across 5.86 acres.

The HPEU Plan aims to:
  • Improve access to and use of the existing sculpture garden
  • Preserve and open to the public the historic personal residence of the Umlaufs, their private sculpture garden, and art studio
  • Increase gathering space
  • Display art currently in storage
  • Implement sustainable practices and stormwater management strategies
Register for the free event at 605 Azie Morton Rd. — refreshments will be provided.
The Buy
Graduation gifts. Celebrate the end of the school year with graduation gifts for the recent grad in your life.
The Wrap
City Editor Figi poses with an adorable goat. Today’s edition by:
From the editor
The story about the UMLAUF Sculpture Garden’s new plan is brought to you by ATXtoday’s brand new editor, Morgan. She’ll introduce herself to you in due time, but for now, know there are great things in store.
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