C3 Presents is firing on all cylinders: The promoter has been in the process of kickstarting Lollapalooza 2013 by announcing its dates before Lollapalooza 2012 even begins, and is also reportedly considering expanding its fall fest Austin City Limits to two weekends by as early as next year.
According to the Statesman, C3 is negotiating the expansion with the city of Austin by promising a substantial hike in the donations it makes to the local parks department (the new figure, it reports, is "in the millions") and local nonprofit Austin Parks Foundation, with hopes of nailing down October 4-6 and October 11-13, 2013. That money would go to sprucing up two locations — the Great Lawn at Zilker Park, which C3 helped renovate in 2009 with a $2.5 million donation, and Fun Fun Fun Fest's location, the "dustbowl" that is the city's Auditorium Shores, where C3 held the inaugural Austin Food & Wine Festival earlier this year.
ACL 2011 drew a crowd of 75,000 per day. Three years ago, Austin's Convention and Visitors Bureau estimated that the fest brings in roughly $27 million for the city alone every year, and considering festival growth overall in recent years, that's likely a underestimation at this point.
This year's ACL, scheduled for October 12-14, features approximately 130 acts led by the Black Keys, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Neil Young, and Jack White. Austin City Limits, the iconic public access show for which the fest is named, also just did some housekeeping of its own by moving its archives to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland.
With this, in addition to letting next year's Lollapalooza dates loose so early, C3 seems to be trying to one-up Coachella promoter Goldenvoice, who tends to make its (already very early) fest announcements in cryptic, fervor-inducing date-and-time graphics.