ACL Fest: Be prepared for an airport-style search at the gate

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In the wake of the horrific mass shooting in Las Vegas on Sunday, Austin City Limits Festival organizers and Austin city officials have worked to reassure ACL Fest-goers that the fest will be secure.

RELATED: Refunds offered to fans who no longer want to attend after shootings

People sprint to the claim their favorite spot when the gates opened at the Austin City Limits Music Festival in Zilker Park on Friday Oct. 3, 2014. JAY JANNER / AMERICAN-STATESMAN
This ran 10/4

“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 on Monday. “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.”

ACL FEST: Practical fashion pro-tips

Festival organizers have added an additional safety section to their website.

“For the safety of everyone entering the festival, all fans are subject to a full and complete airport-style search prior to entry. This may include a full body pat-down and magnetometer screening before entry,” it says under the security section. All bags will also be searched upon entry and bag size this year has been restricted to compact 18L backpacks or bags that are roughly 10″ x 10″ x 10″. The festival recommends using drawstring bags like this one.

With the additional security measures, festival organizers are anticipating a slow down at the gate and recommend planning extra time to clear security. (If you can get away with not carrying a bag it will likely be smooth sailing through the no bag express lane.) To ensure a faster entry time, they also recommend avoiding the peak arrival times between 3 and 5 p.m.

Organizers are also asking fest-goers to look out for each other. “If someone around you looks like they need help, check in with them. If someone is getting unruly, alert the nearest staff member. Keep an eye on your belongings,” the safety section on the website reads. To be fully prepared for the worst they ask fest-goers, “have emergency contact info on your person and your phone lock screen in case emergency personnel need to know.” If you register your wristband, you can add an emergency contact.

Finally, the festival has published a map with information on emergency exits that would be used in the event of an evacuation. If the festival is forced to evacuate for weather or other reasons, fest-goers are encouraged to follow ACL Fest social media accounts and the official festival app to see if the park will reopen.


Author: Deborah Sengupta Stith

Deborah Sengupta Stith has been hanging out in dimly lit corners of the city soaking in the music scene for almost 20 years. Twitter: @deborific

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