AUSTIN (KXAN) — Austin City Limits Music Festival is just days away, and first responder crews have been preparing for months, they said.
“A lot that goes into this,” said Captain Darren Noak with Austin-Travis County EMS.
When it comes to event safety, people KXAN spoke with said seeing first responders on site helps give them peace of mind.
“Making sure people aren’t pushing and shoving,” said Lauren Fritz. “If you’re at the front of the crowd, it can get a little frightening.”
“I guess just crowd control mainly,” added Taylor Payne.
They’re both experienced ACL attendees.
Max Rubio said he has no plans on going.
“Safety really is an issue, at any point, somebody could go nuts,” he said.
Noak said event safety is a team effort between police, fire and EMS personnel. They’ll have a drone team out feeding back real-time aerial footage to the command post.
“Crowd movements, ridesharing lines, just overall safety and overall activity of it,” he said.
While EMS faces staffing issues, Noak said the agency will have enough medics on hand to provide medical care to anyone in need. Private ambulance groups and area hospital will also help with on-site care.
EMS said it receives a full spectrum of calls during ACL, from injuries from crashes and stage setup to weather-related illnesses.
“Got to be ready for everything,” said Noak.
The Austin Police Department said it’s working closely with event organizers to provide the “appropriate” number of law enforcement personnel. It will also implement its “No Refusal Initiative” aimed at keeping drunk drivers off the streets.
APD provided the following safety tips for people attending the festival:
- Pay attention to your surroundings, especially in crowds.
- Keep your phone and ID/credit cards/cash in separate places on your person.
- Do not keep your phone in your back pocket — phones sticking out of back pockets or backpacks are not secure.
- Keep property in a secure location (front pocket, fanny pack) or leave it at home.
- Record serial number information for your device and store it separately.
- Notify on-site security/APD immediately for assistance.
- Use APD’s online reporting site or Austin 3-1-1 (non-emergency) to report theft.
- Check the ACL Fest lost and found site to report or attempt to locate a lost cell phone.
- If you see something, say something.