The Tesla Gigafactory party will be attended by 15,000 people in Austin.
Tesla Inc. encounters opposition from community and environmental groups over his plan to throw a party for 15,000 people to celebrate the opening of his gigafactory in Austin.
The company plans to offer tours of the 8-million-square-foot facility, food and two live music stages during the invite-only event on April 7, according to plans filed with Travis County, which includes Austin. Officials granted permission on Tuesday, even after hearing testimonies from concerned neighbors.
Paul DiFiore, a representative for the Colorado River Conservancy and the Austin-based environmental justice group PODER, cited noise, blocked roads, construction dust and water pollution as problems.
“This grand opening is not a substitute for real community engagement,” said DiFiore. “I urge you to consider denying this permit and forcing Tesla to postpone their celebration until they begin to treat the Eastern Travis County community as more than a workforce for Elon Musk, but rather as neighbors and partners.”
Musk, the CEO of Tesla, has multiple locations in the Lone Star State, recently moved there himself and moved Tesla’s headquarters to Austin last year. In Brownsville, his SpaceX venture has helped boost the local economy, but has also generated resistance from residents who hate the influx of wealth and the rise in real estate prices that come with it.
Tesla did not respond to a message asking for comment.
The company hosted a grand opening party for its first European factory outside Berlin on Tuesday. Police removed at least one protester who was blocking a road during a demonstration against the factory’s environmental impacts.