F1 festivals expected to gridlock Downtown Austin
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You don't have walk more than a block or two to find live music in Austin.
Paul Carrozza wants to create a street festival called “Experience Austin.” The street festival would be held the same weekend at the United States Grand Prix and feature everything from Texas barbecue to art, music and more.
Circuit of the Americas will also be hosting an event that weekend called “Formula Fest.”
"Formula Fest will have the different teams, like Red Bull and Mercedes-Benz. People can come out and see who’s driving simulators and things," Austin Transportation Assistant Director Gordon Derr said. "We know what it takes to put on successful shows."
Formula Fest will be near Third Street and Congress Avenue, and Experience Austin will be held just south of the Capitol.
Derr says, in all, seven blocks of Congress Avenue will be closed Thursday evening through early Monday morning to host the festivals. Original plans called for some side streets to be closed as long as a week.
"We are trying to accommodate the community and keep things moving. We've worked our production schedules so that they work overnight. It keeps our road closures to a minimum," Carrozza said.
Downtown Austin Alliance Board Member Fred Schmidt says they’re working with member businesses to make sure they plan ahead and avoid surprises heading to work Friday.
"Everybody knows the drill and kind of prepares for it. As long as everybody knows what is going on, it's a few days of inconvenience for global impact," he said.
Formula One is bound to be one of the biggest shows Austin's ever hosted. There are also several concerts in the works for race weekend.
This week, we expect to hear where Circuit of the Americas plans to hold its concert. Originally, they wanted to use Auditorium Shores before running into backlash from other events in the area.