AUSTIN, Texas - Events like concerts and music festivals have been on pause for the past year due to the pandemic, but recently the City of Austin is working on updating and relaxing the current guidelines to welcome more indoor and outdoor events to the area now that the city has moved to Stage 2.
"As we've moved through the pandemic, you know, events in Austin have not been possible because of gathering restrictions," said Sara Henry with the Austin Center for Events, or ACE.
Tickets for the Austin City Limits Music Festival this fall go on sale Thursday. It will be one of the first events to happen in Austin following the pandemic.
Henry says with cases on the decline and vaccinations on the rise, it's time to relax some current restrictions for indoor and outdoor events. "As health standards become more relaxed, as people get more vaccinated, and we move into a more normal state with COVID, we will also be moving into a more normal state with the event permit application process."
ACE is currently working on tweaking its event guidelines called Bringing Events Back: Event Reopening Guide and the COVID-19 Health and Safety Form currently required for Special Events Applications. This will include changes to social distancing and masking requirements.
"Events are such a critical part of Austin's culture and community. We've all experienced the loss of not having them over the last year and so I think there is joy ahead and we're all looking forward to some normal thing.," said Henry.
ACE expects to see an increase in event applications over the course of summer and fall meaning more events like ACL and more money coming into the city.
"The economic impacts of not having events have weighed heavily on the small businesses. Event organizers, vendors, photographers, musicians, artists, we all make up the experience sector of a special event ecosystem," said Henry.
The updated guidelines are expected to be released next week.