ACL Festival Brings Record Economic Impact Numbers

By February 26, 2020Blog

Since 2009, AngelouEconomics has partnered with C3 Presents to assess the economic contributions of the Austin City Limits Music Festival to Austin. Beginning originally as a two-day event, the festival has now extended to a total of 6 days – three days over two weekends. Popular acts in 2019 included Guns N’ Roses, The Cure, Childish Gambino, Billie Eilish, Tame Impala, Lizzo, and more.

Altogether, the festival now brings approximately 75,000+ music fans per day across the two weekends. This includes an impressive 130 bands from around the world, 8 music stages across Zilker Park, and 36 premier food vendors. In addition, ACL Cares hosted 18 nonprofit organizations and strived to maintain a positive environmental impact by diverting waste, refilling water bottles, and reducing carbon dioxide emissions. In 2019, the festival brought over $291 million to the local economy, created 3,126 jobs, and produced $119 million in labor income.

Continuing to Shatter Records

In 2018, another record high, ACL brought $265 million to Austin and created or sustained 2,989 jobs. The longstanding relationship between C3 Presents and our team allows us to measure the cumulative impact of the festival. Since 2006, the total economic impact has been $2.256 billion and has resulted in 24,626 jobs created or retained.

Photo source: Greg Noire


The three largest sectors by economic output were food & beverage ($66.4 million), hotels ($34.8 million), and real estate ($14.7 million). Similarly, the top sectors by jobs created or sustained were food & beverage (1,208 jobs), hotels (273 jobs), and ground transportation (229 jobs). As the festival’s popularity continues to soar, we project that its local economic contributions will remain a powerful force to the city.


AngelouEconomics has worked with numerous professional and business associations in building dozens of unique economic impact studies, as well as site selection projects and strategic economic development projects. Some projects have examined the effects of statewide policy measures, such as the Texas Bathroom Bill or ban on Sanctuary Cities. Other projects have measured the contribution of member networks in terms of jobs, wages, and total economic output. Like this study for Prospera, a nonprofit organization which specializes in providing bilingual assistance to Hispanic entrepreneurs in Florida. Economic impact studies are effective tools for quantifying and illustrating the value of individual professional and business associations.

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