Fest-goers share safety tips, refuse to ‘let fear paralyze’ at ACL Fest in light of Las Vegas shooting

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Last Sunday’s events in Las Vegas, when a gunman opened fire at a country music festival and killed 58 people, then himself, and injured hundreds more, came as security was already being tightened at the Austin City Limits Music Festival at Zilker Park. Fest-goers were told earlier in the week to expect “a full and complete airport-style search prior to entry.Refunds were offered to fans who didn’t want to attend because of safety concerns.

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Logan Cassidy of Ohio, who works in sales at Dell Technologies, holds up a sign as part of the Walk for Vegas effort on Oct. 6, 2017, at Austin City Limits Music Festival

More: Going to ACL Fest? Austin police chief shares his 3 tips for safety

But on social media Friday, the first day of ACL Fest 2017, fest-goers were sharing safety tips, promoting love over hate and paying tribute to the Las Vegas victims. One attendee even marched to Zilker Park from Austin City Hall holding a sign that said “End Mass Shootings.” There was even a marriage proposal. Several of Day One’s acts spoke up about the shooting, too. Read on to see what people had to say.

https://twitter.com/AdamCampetti/status/916409169913229312

Did you see any moments of remembrance of Las Vegas? Let us know in the comments.

Making a statement on gun violence at ACL Fest 2017

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Seen walking toward the Beer Hall on the first day of Austin City Limits Music Fest, was Logan Cassidy from Ohio, who held an American flag and a sign that read, “End mass shootings. We’re not afraid of you.”

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Logan Cassidy of Ohio, who works in sales at Dell Technologies, holds up a sign as part of the Walk for Vegas effort on Oct. 6, 2017, at Austin City Limits Music Festival

Cassidy, who said he works for Dell Technologies, said he’s marching every day around 2 p.m. from Austin City Hall to the festival to promote his message as part of an effort called Walk for Vegas. Cassidy said we shouldn’t live in fear because of the “Weak and cowardly.”

He said he’ll continue walking from City Hall every day of the fest.

ACL Fest offering refunds to fans who don’t want to attend following Vegas shootings

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As of Tuesday morning, reps for Austin City Limits Festival said they have only received two inquiries about refunds from fest-goers who no longer want to attend the massive outdoor event in Zilker Park this weekend following the mass shooting at a country music festival in Las Vegas on Sunday. But the festival will offer refunds to any fans with concerns following the attack.  

Glow sticks fill the sky as LCD Soundsystem close their set with the song “All My Friends” on the final day of the second weekend of the 2016 Austin City Limits Festival at Zilker Park Oct. 9. 10/09/16 Tom McCarthy Jr. for AMERICAN-STATESMAN

On Monday, Austin officials rushed to reassure the public that they are ready to protect the 75,000 people who will pack into Zilker Park each day.

RELATED: Be prepared for tighter security at ACL Fest

“As you can imagine, I’m not going to go into specifics of what you will see or what you will not see,” interim police chief Brian Manley told the Statesman. “We will have plenty of officers that will be visible, but we will also have plenty that will not be visible, strategically placed, that will only come out if necessary to address any specific incidents.”

In a statement Monday, fest organizers said they work with City of Austin safety officials on these issues year-round.

“Safety has always been our top priority,” fest organizers said. The statement also offered thoughts and prayers for Las Vegas.

Tighter security measures implemented this year include a ban on umbrellas and restricted bag size. Fest-goers should expect bag searches, pat-downs and metal detectors at the gate. E-cigs and air furniture have also been banned this year.

Ticket holders can reach out with their Front Gate Tickets order info via email or phone to begin the refund process. http://support.frontgatetickets.com / 512.674.9300
 

Prepare for George Strait’s shows in Vegas with these hits

More than a year ago, George Strait broke nearly every Texan’s hearts by playing his last touring gig in front of a record breaking crowd at the glitzy AT&T Stadium in Arlington. The last song of the set was “The Cowboy Rides Away,” but King George announced yesterday he’ll be riding back onto stage with four shows in Las Vegas next year.

George Strait announces four concert dates at the new Las Vegas Arena, scheduled to open in 2016, during the "Strait to Vegas" press conference held at MGM Grand Resort and Casino on Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2015, in Las Vegas. (Photo by Al Powers/Powers Imagery/Invision/AP)
George Strait announces four concert dates at the new Las Vegas Arena during the “Strait to Vegas” press conference held at MGM Grand Resort and Casino on Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2015, in Las Vegas. (Photo by Al Powers/Powers Imagery/Invision/AP)

His last show at the Dallas Cowboys’ turf brought in 104,793 people and crushed the Rolling Stone’s 87,500-person record for a 1981 show in the Louisiana Superdome. With the numbers behind the success of Strait’s career, it’s kind of a no-brainer for a star of his magnitude to go where few in the genre have gone before in becoming a limited-time-only Vegas act. Joining Strait on each of the shows at the Las Vegas Arena (scheduled to open in 2016) is fellow Texan breakout darling Kacey Musgraves. Two of the shows will be during the spring on April 22 and 23, with another two at the end of the summer on Sept. 9 and 10. Tickets go on sale Oct. 2 and range from $75 to $200 with VIP hotel packages available.

As if that wasn’t enough, Strait jumped on the “here’s a new album coming with very little warning” wagon and announced the release of “Cold Beer Conversation” on Sept. 25.

After releasing his first album in 1981 (!!!) Strait has gone on to become one of the most awarded artists in any genre. He’s starred in a movie, kept to his country roots with a team-roping competition and put up staggering numbers of hits, albums, awards, records sold, concerts played and anything else you can imagine.

In 2004, Strait released a compilation album of 50 songs to hit number one on the country music chart. FIFTY. That was more than 10 years ago, and since then, he’s released six full-length studio albums, numerous greatest hits and compilation mixes and two Christmas collections (because everyone should hear a Strait version of “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer”).

You can watch the full announcement of “Strait to Vegas” on YouTube, which was streamed live online below for a full-rundown of Strait’s career thus far and more information. On a personal note, I saw George Strait on one of his last stops in San Antonio and it remains to this day one of the best concerts I’ve ever been to. If a hit-driven, heart-pounding sing-along fest of emotional and catchy tunes with a twang in between rounds at the slot machines sounds like fun, book your visit as soon as possible. It remains to be seen if there will be fireworks, showgirls or acrobatic dance during Strait’s stint in Vegas, but with Musgraves playing opener, we’re hoping there’s a little hint of Vegas in the “Heartland.”

Take a walk down memory lane with these hand-picked songs spanning Strait’s career since the ’80s.