There will now be one monster Formula 1 celebration in downtown Austin rather than two.
Circuit of the Americas' (COTA) Austin Fan Fest and Paul Carroza's Experience Austin have decided one plus one will equal far more than two and have combined their formidable party-planning skills. One Austin Fan Fest will now dominate the downtown footprint from Colorado Street to Brazos, from Second Street to Fifth Street.
Back in August CultureMap first reported on the two competing festivals, Austin Fan Fest to the south of downtown, and Experience Austin up near the Capitol. The problem with holding two competing festivals became clear fairly quickly. Even though the strategies and themes were different, people were a bit confused about which was which. Add to that the challenge of finding sponsors and programming and a couple quick conversations ensued.
As of Monday, we have a single downtown bash with five stages presenting a collection of local performers, local vendors, international acts, and a lot of incredible cars — all in one place — and it will be called Austin Fan Fest.
"This just makes sense," explained Carroza, also the founder of RunTex. "We want to introduce all of our visitors, local and international to the great community we love so much and to the amazing talent we enjoy here. What better way than to combine forces with one of the greatest venues in the world."
"We believe that bringing the two festivals together into one footprint in the Warehouse District, with one name and one message, will help the more than 100,000 fans coming to town for F1 clearly understand where the Austin Fan Fest celebration is taking place and allow them to enjoy it all in one place," added Paul Thornton, President of TAG Presents, which is programming the event with COTA.
Musical artists already announced include a who's who of Austin's great musicians including an amazing lineup from BazaarVoice at Cedar Street. And the Austin Cultural Arts Division is planning a stage showcasing cultural performances of dance, music and spoken word — all free. COTA will also bring a slew of F1 and other racing cars with their race simulators.
Internationally renowned bands will also be performing at ticketed concerts at the Frank Erwin Center, with Aerosmith and Cheap Trick; the COTA Club at the Austin Convention Center with Flo Rida, Cobra Starship, Enrique Iglesias and Nelly; ACL Live with Juanes, Lupe Fiasco and The Wallflowers; and the COTA after party at the Bob Bullock Texas History Museum with Ghostland Observatory and The Wailers.
Certainly combining the two events into one footprint downtown will be challenging but the festival will undoubtedly benefit from it, and frankly, freeing up half of downtown from street closures will be a blessing.
The weekend is taking shape in Austin, and we haven't even started to tell you about some of the luxe parties coming to town including one directly from Monaco. Stay tuned.
Tickets for the ticketed events are available at the Austin Fan Fest website, attending the downtown festival is free. Fan Fest will be open from 6 p.m. until 2 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 16, and from 10 a.m. to 2 a.m. Saturday and Sunday.
Editors note: CultureMap is a media sponsor for the Austin Fan Fest.