Ready to really crack up? Because Austin's growing comedy scene is just for laughs.
Moontower Comedy Festival organizers met outside the historic Paramount Theater on Friday morning to announce that the 10-year-running event partnered with Just For Laughs Group, a Montreal-based international comedy producer, which will greatly expand the festival.
This year, the festival is running from Sept. 22-25 since it was postponed due to COVID but Moontower Comedy Festival said it will return to its normal April schedule in 2022, this time rebranded as "Moontower Just For Laughs Austin" with 10 days of shows instead of just four.
"We have a built-in audience population who are willing to really experiment with these folks," Paramount Theatre Executive Director and CEO Jim Ritts said. "This is a great place to live. Yes, it's expensive, but yes, it's a great place to live and the (comedy) community is starting to grow. I think that's going to be really important for us."
Moontower Comedy Festival already puts on 95 shows over the course of four days—the new "powerhouse comedy event" will add even more specialty content, venues and comics from both festivals to the diverse lineup. The team said more information on the 2022 festival will become available in the coming months.
In the clurbs, we all fam. #Moontower2021
— Moontower Comedy (@MoontowerComedy) September 23, 2021
Ritts said with this partnership, the Paramount Theatre, Moontower and Just For Laughs hope to make "Austin the Mecca for comedy in the United States."
"We do get the statement related to us with 'Keep Austin Weird.' What we really care about is 'Keep Austin Experimental," Ritts said. "Be willing to try new things, be willing to be open to failing. That's what a comic does."
As the festival expands, Ritts said its comics will still receive the same compensation as before. According to Ritts, all of the comics that participate in the festival are paid full industry rates, have travel covered and are treated like the "special artists" they are.
"I think stand-up comedians are the single greatest, bravest people in the world. They walk out onto a stage and if it doesn't go well, they have no rescue, there's not another actor on the stage, not a director that they can blame," Ritts said. "One of the things that happened is that as the reputation grows... and as we expand this, there are more work opportunities that will happen over time."
Moontower Comedy Festival is still ongoing until Saturday with dozens of sets still to go. Catch Sal Vulcano followed by Margaret Cho at the Paramount Theatre tonight. Tomorrow holds Girls Gotta Eat at the same theatre and Killers at The Creek and The Cave, among others.
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So you want to buy a house?
To anyone trying to get on the "housing ladder," it's been a discouraging couple of years as prices skyrocketed in a market crowded with buyers bidding against each other for just about any available home.
Things may be calming down, with the Austin Board of REALTORS reporting fewer sales and more available homes this summer.
Mortgage rates have more than doubled in the last year, from around 3% to well over 6% on a 30-year fixed rate loan, getting even more of a bump this week after the Federal Reserve raised bank rates on Wednesday.
So how affordable are homes right now? That, of course, depends on what you want and how much you're able or willing to pay, but here are some rough estimates of what a typical buyer would pay to buy a $650,000 home, which would be considered "mid-price" in today's market.
Mortgage banker Chris Holland (NMLS 211033) of Austin's Sente Mortgage ran some numbers for Austonia to illustrate a typical purchase.
Holland says that while the 30-year fixed rate mortgage is often mentioned in the media, the most popular loan that he's seeing now is a 7/1 adjustable rate mortgage, which has a fixed rate for 7 years and then adjusts every year based on market rates, with a limit on how much it can increase each year. The interest is amortized over a 30-year period. Adjustable Rate Mortgages (ARMs) offer lower rates than fixed rate loans.
Here are the numbers, which are examples. In practice, exact numbers vary with a buyer's credit rating and overall financial situation, and with the rate, which can move up or down at any time.
- $650,000 home purchase price
- 7/1 ARM at 5.875%
- 5% down payment, equals $32,500
- 95% financed, equals $617,500
- $4,990 payment, including principle and interest (P&I), insurance, and property tax
- Typically, a borrower's debt to income ratio needs to be at or below 45%. So for this mortgage, a borrower, or borrowers, would need income of roughly $11,100/month, or $133,200/year. That number could be higher, depending on the buyer's outstanding credit balances on things like credit cards and car loans.
Holland says he's had a lot of clients approved for loans who were house hunting but have put that on hold, hoping prices come down.
Camp Fimfo Waco, a brand new camping resort, is kicking off football and fall camping season in style! With top-notch amenities, premium accommodations, and 10 weekends of fall fun, there’s no better place to have a fall camping getaway, especially if you’re a Baylor football fan!
Fall promises to be a one-of-a-kind camping experience. From Sept. 16 to Nov. 24, weekends will be packed with fall-themed activities, including special Halloween weekends in October. Campers can enjoy activities like fall crafts, campground trick-or-treating, costume contests, site decorating, outdoor movie nights, and more!
Packages and Ways to Stay
Camp Fimfo Waco
Located just 5 miles from McLane Stadium, Camp Fimfo Waco is the perfect place to stay during home game weekends. Skip the stuffy hotel room and embrace the great outdoors before cheering on the Baylor Bears! Campers can purchase a Baylor Tailgating Package that includes a pre-game meal from Executive Chef Sean Kelley and transportation to and from the game! Chef Kelley will also be cooking up delicious, elevated tailgating meals near the stadium so make sure to check out The Plaid Plate food truck before the game.
Stay in style and comfort, no matter your camping preference! At Camp Fimfo Waco, there are multiple ways to stay. Red Carpet RV sites come with a concrete pad and patio, full hook-ups, cable hook-up, a charcoal grill, fire ring and fire pit. Back-in or pull-thru options are available, as well as coveted spots tucked along the Bosque River!
Don’t have an RV? Not a problem, Camp Fimfo Waco has cabins too! Book a Riverview Firewheel Cabin if you’re looking for an air-conditioned oasis for the whole family. Complete with a kitchen and private bathroom, this cabin can fit up to 10 people. Elevate your stay by adding on a golf cart or snag a private cabana by the pool for guaranteed shade. With wifi available throughout the park, you can stay connected during your stay!
Amenities and Activities
Camp Fimfo Waco
Camp Fimfo Waco features lots of amenities to fill your days with fun, whether you’re a kid or kid at heart. After challenging your friends to a game of pickleball, basketball, or mini golf, go for a dip in the resort-style, heated pool - open daily through October! Stay on the weekends through October to enjoy the interactive splash playground. With plenty of ways to burn off energy, like the jumping pillow or playground, you can be sure to end the day with a peaceful night around the campfire!
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