It’s October, and in Austin that means it’s time for the annual Austin City Limits Music Festival (ACL). Over 150 musical acts and hundreds of thousands of fans will converge on Austin’s Zilker Park to enjoy one of the best music events the U.S. has to offer. Like any festival of its scale, ACL has a significant environmental impact involving air and ground transportation, on-site energy and water use and huge amounts of trash and other waste. This year will be bigger than ever before, with ACL mirroring the festivities this weekend and the next. This means the environmental footprint will be bigger too, but the festival’s organizers are well aware of the event’s impact on the environment. For another festival first, ACL organizers have partnered with the City of Austin’s Office of Sustainability to help offset the festival’s effect on the environment and the climate.
Austin’s Office of Sustainability is working with ACL and other local event organizers, including Circuit of The Americas LLC, and ACL Live at the Moody Theater, to create the Positive Impact on Climate and Community (PICC) program. The program leverages the festival’s large draw to raise money for more local sustainability initiatives to offset the climate impact of festival’s energy use.
By purchasing a designated "PICC Purchase" (look for the PICC logo) in the ACL Art Market or the official ACL merchandise stores, $5 from each purchase will be split between the Hill Country Conservancy’s Violet Crown Trail Project and a third-party-verified carbon offset project in Texas through the Texas Climate & Carbon Exchange.
EDF was involved in the process from the beginning by helping the city vet the projects for their environmental benefits. We applaud ACL and the Office of Sustainability for their collaboration to offer this unique service to festival attendees. Results from this year’s festival will be a useful measure of how voluntary donations can counterbalance emissions to negate the climate impact from increased energy use. Most Texans understand that global warming is happening. At ACL this weekend and next, they’ll have a chance to do something about it.
Hope to see you there!