First weekend of ACL Festival to bring big crowds, big acts

Work crews spent Friday morning assembling stages for the ACL Music Festival. Organizers are preparing for another big year and big crowds; 75,000 people a day are expected according to spokesperson Brooke Leal.

"This is our 18th ACL Fest this year,” said Leal.

Those taking the stage this weekend and the following include: Guns & Roses. Mumford and Sons, The Cure, Childish Gambino, and Cardi B. "We've got a new stage that we are introducing called the Bonus Track Stage, there fans can catch one on one conversations with Bon Appetite's  Andrew Knowlton, interactive wellness activities with Outdoor Voices and goop as well as NPR Music and KTUX who will be filming pod cast interviews with artists,” said Leal.

A muddy repeat of what happened in 2009 is not expected.

An afternoon storm can certainly can’t be ruled out but those attending are encouraged to prepare for a hot weekend. "Bring a refillable water bottle, we've got free water filling stations throughout the park. So its easy free to stay hydrated, take breaks in between sets in the shade, and take care of yourself its going to be warm out here,” said Leal. 

The festival last year had a $264.6 million economic impact on Austin. That was a $10 million increase over the 2017 event. Since 2006, it is estimated that ACL Fest has generated nearly $2 billion.  

Austin police recognize that kind of money can also attract people who are not interested in the music, but criminal opportunity. Last year, after the first week of ACL, Austin police worked more than 60 thefts. A warning was issued then regarding professional pickpockets working the crowds.


Thursday afternoon, officials at APD said they will have patrols in and outside of the event. "There will be heavy officer presence there will be things you do see, there will be things you do not see, again I cannot go into details about that, but please know the department is doing everything that we can this weekend to make sure everyone is safe,” said Officer destiny Silva.

Only small bags will be allowed not the event. The festival is sold out and counterfeit tickets could also be out there.

"The only way we recommend if you are looking for a ticket, type that’s already sold out, is at the verified ticket exchange on our website,” said Leal. 

Money raised by ACL helps pays for several park improvements. A little more than $5 million was provided by the 2018 show.



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