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C3 Presents partnership will bring touring acts to Moody Amphitheater starting in 2021

Tuesday, February 4, 2020 by Chad Swiatecki

The new Moody Amphitheater in Waterloo Park will be programmed with large touring music acts booked through local live concert giant C3 Presents and Live Nation.

The Waterloo Greenway nonprofit that is steering the creation of the urban parks system along Waller Creek has announced a 15-year agreement with the concert promoter that will bring up to 35 performances a year to the 5,000-seat venue, beginning in spring 2021. As part of the agreement, the nonprofit will retain a portion of all ticket revenues to help fund operations in Waterloo and other nearby parks.

C3 Presents began in the early 2000s as the promotion company responsible for the Austin City Limits Festival in Zilker Park, and has grown into a global giant in the live music and outdoor festival promotion industry.

Peter Mullan, CEO of Waterloo Greenway, said the company has advised his group on how to outfit and engineer the amphitheater to best accommodate live concerts and other events that will be held at the facility.

“Them being a local company and understanding the conditions on the ground here in Austin, they were helpful to us in laying out what would work best here in Austin in trying to use it and create something we knew would work,” he said. “For us at the greenway this is a big deal for a couple reasons. It will support and reinforce downtown Austin as a music center and we saw this as a way to enhance that.”

Waterloo Park has been closed since 2011 while it underwent extensive engineering work as a part of the Waller Creek tunnel project that was initiated to reduce flood risks in a key section of downtown.

The tunnel project, which cost in excess of $160 million, was delayed by a serious design flaw that added to its timeline and pushed the city to demand $22 million back from the construction contractor. The park and amphitheater are expected to reopen this fall.

In the surrounding area, other park sites are under construction, the Dell Medical School has opened and there is expectation that the reduced flood risk throughout the area will open up the possibility of billions of dollars in new development.

Mullan said the concerts and other events at Waterloo Park, which will remain open to the public even during ticketed concerts, will bring many newcomers to downtown Austin in the coming years.

“It will create a new center of gravity for a part of the city that has been largely dominated by the Capitol facility. We’re seeing lots of transformation of that part of the city … we’re going to see even more change in that part of the city and what we have happening in Waterloo Park is an important centerpiece to that,” he said.

“We’re fortunate to have an extraordinary number of public and cultural assets in that part of the city stretching all the way down to the lake. One of the messages from the innovation district presentation last week is those kinds of developments really want to be near these kinds of cultural amenities.”

Rick Carney, chair of the city’s Music Commission, said the C3 partnership will return top-level music to a part of the city that has been idle for most of the past decade.

“That’s a fantastic addition to the live music landscape. Not having Waterloo Park for all of these years has been kind of a drag because the early days of Fun Fun Fun Festival (an annual music and comedy fest) were amazing there and it’s such a great spot downtown,” he said.

“It’ll act as a magnet to the area, drawing more people into the Red River Cultural District, and there’s a great opportunity there for more people to be familiar with Austin music in general, if they’re not already. That might be their entryway into the Austin music scene to see something downtown and realize there’s a whole slew of clubs just down the street.”

Renderings by Thomas Phifer and Partners.

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