Creek Show, the popular nighttime event of temporary light-based art installations, moves upstream this year.

From Nov. 9 through Nov. 17, six installations Waller Creek Conservancy’s illuminate a three-block stretch of Waller Creek between East Ninth Street and Symphony Square, at Red River and East Twelfth Street.

The free event is open 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.

People take pictures of Ameba Beta by Polis, one of six site-specific light-based installations in Creek Show 2018. Photos: Sightlines.

A private non-profit working to revitalize a 1.5-mile stretch of Waller Creek in downtown Austin, the Conservancy began Creek Show in 2014.

Last year the Conservancy took over the lease for a large part of Symphony Square, city-owned parkland along Waller Creek that includes several historic structures and a creekside amphitheater. The Conservancy renovated the facility which nows house the organization’s offices and both indoor and outdoor spaces for public events. During Creek Show, the newly renovated buildings are serving as lounge and bar. (Austin Symphony Orchestra was the property’s original leaseholder and retains the distinctive triangular 1870s Jeremiah Hamilton House as its ticket office.)

The experience of this iteration of Creek Show is less spontaneous than in years past. Visitors are directed to an entrance on East Ninth Street so that everyone moves in one direction north along the creekside path to Symphony Square.

And with Symphony Square’s amphitheater now in play, this year’s Creek Show is now also a live music event with shows beginning at 8 p.m. nearly every night.

“Lightlines” by Campbell Landscape Architecture and Tab Labs is made of electroluminescent wires. It stretches over the Symphony Square area of Waller Creek. Live music begins at 8 p.m. on most nights during Creek Show.

The transformation of 35 acres along Waller Creek is one of the city’s largest projects.

To date, the Conservancy has raised $46 million from private sources and plans to raise  about $48 million more.

Earlier this year, the Austin City Council authorized an extension of the tax increment financing, or TIF, assessed on the property surrounding Waller Creek, a move that will provide $110 million for the project. Another $42 million will come from other city and state of Texas sources.


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