No band names were announced, but Neon Desert Music Festival organizers did confirm what's been posted on its website for several weeks — next year's festival will be May 25 in Downtown El Paso.
Early bird tickets, which are $45 general admission and $150 VIP, are on sale now at the NDMF website, spokesman Zach Paul announced at a press conference Monday morning at San Jacinto Plaza, where some festival events are held.
Paul said about half of the approximately 40 acts who'll perform on four stages have been booked, but he's not ready to name names yet.
"We're farther along than the last two years," he said. "Knock on wood, that's how everything is."
The lineup will be announced at a launch party in February at Creative Kids in the Union Plaza entertainment district. That usually is when the rest of the ticket prices are announced, and when tickets go on sale.
Paul said that prices for next year's festival will be $65 for general admission, $150 VIP, the same as 2012, when 12,000 people saw artists such as Moby, El Paso's Sparta, Mexico's Le Butcherettes (with El Paso's Omar Rodriguez Lopez) and Austin's Ghostland Observatory.
The festival layout will be the same as last year, according to Gina Martinez, one of the NDMF organizers.
Stages will be located at Cleveland Square Park, in a parking lot north of the Mills Plaza Parking Garage and just outside San Jacinto Plaza, with one at the corner of Oregon and Mills and another at the corner of Mesa and Mills.
Splendid Sun Productions, the Austin company that organizes NDMF, also announced a three-year sponsorship deal with Anheuser-Busch and El Paso's L&F Distributors. The terms and monetary amount of the contract were not announced.
The press conference, the young festival's first, included remarks from City Manager Joyce Wilson, who touted the festival's potential as a vehicle for economic impact and attracting fans and musicians from outside of the El Paso-Juarez-Las Cruces area.
More than 25 percent of ticketbuyers came from outside of the El Paso area in each of the first two years, Paul said. Wilson noted that the 2012 festival attracted artists from North America, South America, Canada and Europe.
"It's really an international festival," Wilson said.
Veronica Soto, executive director of the city's Downtown Management District, said the 2012 festival, which was held May 26, was one of 21 Downtown events that generated an economic impact of $1.4 million since November 2011.
Soto said NDMF was proof that "the arts can be part of the revitalization story" and called the festival "wicked cool fun."
The festival also has entered into an arrangement with Austin City Limits Live, the 2,700-seat Moody Theater that is home of PBS's long-running "Austin City Limits" concert program and other music events.
"We'll do something like 'Neon Desert Music Festival Presents' to establish the brand around here more and help bring it to a regional level," said Sharilyn Mayhugh, ACL Live's marketing director.