Austin fireworks show changes venues

Christina Noriega

The 38th annual H-E-B Austin Symphony July 4th Concert and Fireworks will move from its usual venue at Auditorium Shores to the Austin 360 Amphitheater at Circuit of the Americas this year.

Auditorium Shores has been closed over the past year for a reconstruction project, requiring the Austin Symphony Orchestra to find a new venue for its annual concert and fireworks show. Jason Nicholson, director of marketing at the Austin Symphony Orchestra, said financial restraints meant performing at the first alternative, Zilker Park, was not possible.

Circuit of the Americas is about 14 miles away from the University and is not serviced by Capital Metro. According to Nicholson, the projected attendance this year is 40,000 to 50,000. In past years at Auditorium Shores, attendance has averaged between 80,000and 100,000.

“We were trying to find a place that can hold that many people and still be between our price range when [the circuit] let us know they’d be interested in hosting us,” Nicholson said.

The Austin Symphony Orchestra considered providing a bus shuttle to the Circuit of the Americas, but the costs exceeded its budget, according to Nicholson.
“If we were to provide public transportation, we wouldn’t be able to provide a free concert,” Nicholson said.

Nutrition senior Jessie Preston said she would not attend the show at Circuit of the Americas this year because of the traffic expected after the event and the distance. 

“When it’s downtown you can just stop by, but I have to base my entire night about going to Circuit of the Americas,” Preston said. 

Michael Leberknight, a psychology senior who works as a pedicab driver downtown, said he would have enjoyed watching the show while working if it were still being held at Auditorium Shores.

“Regardless of whether the fireworks will be at Auditorium Shores or not, it will probably be a profitable and fun night,” Leberknight said.

Nicholson said the concert and fireworks show will return to Auditorium Shores next year.