ACL Neighborhood Tickets

Hello, I’m Austin. I’ve enjoyed reading the discussions on here, and I’m glad it exists. Saw this come through and figured it would be an interesting discussion.

ZNA receives 20 free 3-Day Wristbands from C3. Will offer them as a fundraiser to members at face value via lottery.

A motion to not accept the tickets failed due to a tie at a recent executive committee meeting, but a unanimous motion was passed to bring up the issue of ACL’s continued presence at the next general meeting in October. Potential votes on whether to accept future tickets as well as whether ZNA should continue to stay neutral on ACL’s presence in Zilker Park may also be taken at the general meeting.


Hey there Austin from Austin : ) Thanks for sharing this! I don’t have a strong opinion on what ZNA does with the wrist bands or their support or not for ACL. I help run the Friends of Zilker neighborhood association and we also get some wrist bands from C3. We give ours away free of charge - in the past it has been based on serving the neighborhood and/or submitting best pictures or experiences at ACL. Some things that set us apart:

  • Most of our business is conducted online and by our members
  • Positions are proposed, debated on, and voted on then the raw results are sent to city officials as input as to what the opinion of the neighborhood is or is not. It is important that the raw results are sent so the officials know if it’s close ( 49% / 51% ) or a near unanimous decision.
  • Renters, home owners, business owners in the neighborhood are all eligible for membership at no cost.
  • We are much more grass roots as opposed to top down and are organized under the Friends of Austin Neighborhoods instead of the Austin Neighborhood Council.

We have never put up a position, as I recall, directly on support or not for ACL, though we have done several positions around ACL and the impacts on the neighborhood.

We will be putting up a post in the members sub forum before too long to our members on how to claim said wristbands.

Cheers and as a person who enjoys ACL every year with our family and neighbors I say to you - have a great ACL experience!

1 Like

Giving wristbands to ZNA is an outright waste of wristbands. This comes from many years of experience being a Zilker resident and attending ZNA meetings. Please don’t waste them on ZNA. Sell them and give the money to charity.

I mean people do buy them (I have in the past) and I assume they enjoy them? Not sure I’m completely following you. But, I suppose if you really wanted to be equitable / charitable maybe give them to foundation communities or some of the low income residential projects in the area that could never afford to go to ACL.

I couldn’t afford them but I would work/ volunteer at a charity for them. :slight_smile:

1 Like

$375 x 20 = $7,500 into ZNA general fund. How much of that money will be spent on efforts furthering the opposition of ACL in Zilker? Gotta love the irony…ACL gives free tickets to ZNA that the proceeds of which could potentially be used to oppose ACL in Zilker?

1 Like

Oh Lordy, that does sound like a conundrum.

Am I allowed to be equally concerned about city elected officials and commissioners receiving free tickets
to ACL Fest, Trail of Lights, etc., and then voting on major policy proposals affecting Zilker Park where the
role of C3 Presents was unclear or obscured, or should I keep my worry and concern on the
neighborhood association?

If ZNA sells them and then puts the money into Little Zilker park, great. But if like Austin states, using the money to oppose ACL. All I have ever heard from ZNA, is get ACL out. I don’t care if someone wants ACL out of Zilker. It’s their right to have that opinion. My wife seems ready for it to leave the area. My problem is that very few people have all the input in the direction of ZNA. And to be clear, I have met some great people who are part of ZNA. They just get over ruled by those few and their opinions.

Personally, I like how Friends of Zilker distributes the tickets. I was under the impression that the tickets were given to the neighborhood associations so the people that are inconvenienced by the festival (us) are actually able to enjoy the festival. Selling the tickets to the highest bidder, just to use that money to push to remove ACL from the neighborhood, seems weird to me & not super neighborly. But what do I know…

We’ve lived in Zilker for over 11 years. I’ve attended almost every ACL festival since I moved to Austin in 2003. I have seen the changes and still… The reason WHY I live in Zilker is mainly because of the ACL festival. The festival in my backyard is the highlight of living in this neighborhood. Do you know much of a pain it is to park and try to navigate getting 2 small children to the festival? I don’t!! We just walk down the street. Get tired? Walk home & take a break, head back when your favorite band is coming on. Or even better yet, put the kids to bed and sit out on your front porch and listen to the headliner with a glass of wine. Same applies to Blues on the Green (RIP), Kite Festival, & Trail of Lights. That’s why I live in this neighborhood.

I haven’t been on the Executive Committee of ZNA for several years, so I can’t speak for them now. However, when I was on the ExComm some or all of the ACL ticket money went toward the ZNA’s Holiday Family Program which buys Christmas gifts for underprivileged kids who attend Zilker Elementary. I think some of it may also go to Meals on Wheels.

Dave Piper

That’s a real top class conspiracy theory - like most of yours @dweinberg. Forgive me, based on your history of statements, I don’t believe a word you say. In this case we are talking about a public statement presented by the original poster where an organization talked about receiving free tickets and also possibly opposing ACL in the same statement. It was all out in the open (I know that may make you uncomfortable as you can’t spin the shadows) so you turn to some secretive thing happening to make a counter point. Putting your Syracuse U polisci degree to good use I see.

Yes to this 1000%! and the most VIP entrance to ACL is kiddie limits! I’m so happy it’s back this year. Though our kids are older now so we don’t get to use it :frowning:

I hope that’s still the case. The official statement the original poster linked to said it goes to the general fund which I assume means it can be used for anything.

It would be complete news to me that the ZNA buys gifts for underprivileged kids that attend Zilker Elementary. Zilker Elementary has its own program that serves our underprivileged kids and their families. It’s a huge spreadsheet and all the school families contribute to get the needs/wants covered. I’ve never seen a line item for ZNA contributions in the 6 years that I’ve been at Zilker Elementary. That’s great if they actually do help the neighborhood school! I hope that’s true.

I didn’t mean to imply that I’m landing one way or another necessarily on the ACL tickets, nor am I meaning to bash on ZNA. I was just amused by the irony. It’s probably a good idea that a citizenry or membership community be concerned with any money or gifts given or received through government or organizations.

ZNA-Holiday Families Program


ZNA-Holiday Families Program

](ZNA-Holiday Families Program)

Forgive me if I am missing something obvious, This seems to be a donor funded effort with volunteers, and a great program from the looks of it. I didn’t see any connection between this and funds raised from ticket sales via any sort of matching or direct ZNA contribution from ZNA’s funds.

I did think it was a good call out that it goes to the general fund. I had just assumed it went to charity.

As to the point. Much like Trail of Lights preview night I do think the point is a thank you to the neighborhood, not necessarily to fund a neighborhood association.

It is interesting to me how C3 is damned if they do, damned if they don’t. If they offer up money or wrist bands as appreciation they are accused of exerting influence. If they don’t, they are accused of being unappreciative and taking advantage of the city and park for their financial benefit.

Last year I helped facilitate a gift delivery from the ZNA “Zilker Elves” to a Zilker Elementary family. Abbey- I also know the sheet you are talking about. I think Ms. Vreeland (school counselor) separates the list of families to be sponsored and Zilker Elementary community sponsors some and ZNA sponsors others. You are correct they are not on the same sheet. The Zilker Elves were very generous to this family and the family was overwhelmed by the generosity.

1 Like

While I am definitely no fan of the ZNA, I do know that the ACL tickets they get from C3 are gifted; there are no monies from it that go into any fund. That said, I’m guessing this is primarily due to its tax status: the ZNA is a 501(c)(4) nonprofit, and as such, all of its earnings are legally required to be used exclusively for charitable, educational or recreational purposes.

My understanding is that the ZNA intentionally has zero earnings, in order to avoid potential tax ramifications and having to deal with a bunch of various legal requirements specific to nonprofits. Btw this includes state taxes: they’re exempt from franchise and sales & use taxes since they have no earnings, period.

But really, the bigger problem with them being a 501(c)(4) is that such organizations have limitations on what they can advocate in terms of politics; they’re intended for legitimate community organizations, not ones that are pretextually “for the community” but in actuality political orgs. (No, I’m not claiming the ZNA falls into this category, though Community Not Commodity is another story.)

All that said, I agree with the gist of the comments here that it’s certainly “interesting” that the ZNA has no apparent problem accepting freebie passes to ACL, all while simultaneously portraying C3 as Satan incarnate – or, worse, Trump incarnate – and actively trying to get the entire festival not in their back yards. (Also known as “NIMBY.”)