ACL makes, stage, security adjustments for Weekend 2
AUSTIN, Texas - The beat is on, again. Weekend 2 of the Austin City Limits Music Festival got underway with another round of big crowds and another big deployment of police security.
"We've increased our undercover activity this weekend just because we want to prevent any issues from happening,” said Austin Police Sgt. Noel Guerin.
In weekend 1, Austin police arrested three men allegedly reselling ACL wristbands. They did it more than 100 times, according to court documents, before getting caught. Guerin says there are new reports regarding some online wristband sales scams.
"I got a report this week too of people trying to buy wristbands from somebody on a website and sending them money through Venmo or PayPal, low and behold, they paid them money but didn't get the wristbands. So be smart buyer beware, buy legitimate wristbands from legitimate sources,” Guerin said.
For many of those attending the festival, the big concern was transitioning from a very hot weekend 1 to a very chilly Friday. A few even went full bear, like Emilio Beltran and his girlfriend.
“We were on our way to the festival and we realized how cold it was and we stopped at a nearby store and got these cheap … our outfits underneath are shorts and we were not prepared at all,” said Beltran.
Two friends from Dallas, Katelyn Rudd and McKyna Bishop, also missed the forecast, but they did bring a personal safety plan.
"We are not going to be separated, there's not good cellphone service in there so we are going to stick together the whole time,” said Bishop.
Rudd was nervous that people could get into her backpack. When she said she would hold it upfront to keep pickpockets from cutting into it. Police also say attendees should not use cellphones to hold ID and credit cards. It can be one-stop shopping for pickpockets.
As Austin police have ramped up for weekend two, organizers of the festival have also made some adjustments after weekend one.
Last Sunday a huge crowd packed in to see music phenom Lizzo. The scene at the Miller Lite stage was intense. Officials with ACL say this Sunday, Lizzo will perform at the same stage, but nearby at the Honda stage, an overflow viewing area will be set up.
"I don’t think anybody was really expecting her crowd to be quite so thick, and it was, and to make it even worse on the stage next to her on the Honda stage, they were setting up for Cardi B who is also a very big draw, so maybe this year if they simulcast it and spread things out it, people will not have to cram up and see the act in one spot,” said Sgt. Guerin.
Police will also be watching things outside of the park. Last week several fence jumpers were caught. Along with your own safety plan, fans are greeted at each gate with a familiar advisory: if you see something, say something.