Austin, Texas – The city’s first full-fledged Broadway festival opened in 2017, but not everyone was thrilled.
Now, as a new version of the festival rolls out, we’re hearing the first word of discontent.
According to an Austin City Council report, the festival’s “quality control department found that the festival organizers had failed to adequately follow their own quality-control procedures and failed to adhere to the rules of the Festival Agreement, which are designed to protect performers and audiences and which are the most important thing to the city.”
According to the report, festival organizers did not follow the guidelines for staging or staffing their venues, failed to maintain proper equipment and did not provide a safe environment for performers, staff and fans.
“There was an unwillingness to follow city safety standards, to ensure that performers and their families were safe, and to provide adequate staffing,” the report reads.
The report says festival organizers were “not making reasonable accommodations for performers and staff” to accommodate the large crowds that attended the festival.
The report states festival organizers also failed to keep performers and spectators safe during the festival and were not complying with city codes of conduct.
The festival’s director of communications, Rachel D’Agostino, confirmed to The Daily Beast that the city is “reviewing our options for moving forward and looking at ways we can improve the festival.”
D’Agastino did not respond to questions about whether the city intends to move forward with a revised festival.
But festival organizers say they are not ready to move on yet, saying they are still “actively evaluating” options for the 2018 festival, including “a possible move to other cities.”
The festival will host the 2019 season at the old The Texas Theatre, which will close in 2020, according to organizers.
D’AGOSTINO said in an email that the event’s 2017 schedule was “designed to meet the needs of the Austin community and to celebrate a diverse and diverse community.”
“We are proud to be part of the city of Austin and look forward to continuing to do so in 2019,” D’AGASTINO wrote.