AUSTIN (KXAN) - Auditorium Shores reached capacity during the first night of the free South By Southwest concert series. Most fans were there to see The Strokes perform.
Event organizers closed Auditorium Shores after about 20,000 people went through the gates. Some fans who were not allowed inside then barged through the fencing and knocked it down.
More police and firefighters were called in for crowd control. There were no immediate reports of injuries.
But with so many people, the heat, alcohol and traffic, things could get out of hand quickly for visitors.
Lindsay Horton and her friend Robert Woodbury hope for a good time at South by Southwest. But both know things can go bad fast. Horton saw it last at ACL Festival, when people passed out.
"I was standing right next to a guy when he fell down. It scared me to death," said Horton.
Woodbury saw it Thursday morning while on a police ride-along for his Texas State classes.
"We responded to two calls where somebody got hit," said Woodbury.
Austin-Travis County Emergency Medical Services responded to 16 calls Wednesday night.
"That's pretty high," said paramedic Juan Hinojosa.
They included crashes, trips and falls, and one man who jumped off a Downtown Austin bar balcony on purpose.
Paramedics have three motorcycles this SXSW that are equipped with nearly all the supplies in an ambulance and with them, can maneuver around barricades and through street closures faster than ambulances and fire trucks.
"It just makes our response time that much better to get to the patient's side as quick as we can," said Hinojosa.
Austin police said their biggest problems during SXSW are car burglaries, bicyclists not obeying traffic laws, and people not using crosswalks.
At night it gets rowdier. Last year police arrested 224 people. So far this year they've arrested 88 -- mostly for public intoxication, outstanding warrants and driving while intoxicated.
Horton and Woodbury are thankful the first responders are working to keep this festival safe.
"People should really take care of themselves. I think people like to let loose at these kinds of things," said Woodbury.
Austin-Travis County EMS motorcycles are either donated or paid for through grants. Right now they're used at special events like SXSW, Austin City Limits Music Festival and marathons.
But soon paramedics will test them out in the Interstate 35 corridor during rush hour emergencies.
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Caldwell County residents gathered Thursday evening to organize their fight against a proposed landfill that they say poses a hazard that they don't need.
The pastor of the Austin church attended by the teacher who was killed Thursday in Benghazi remembered him as a spiritual friend dedicated to improving the lives of others.
Dallas firefighters battled a raging fire that blew through a sidewalk grate early Friday morning.