AUSTIN (KXAN) — First responders want everyone in town for Austin City Limits Music Festival to get home safely each night.
“We’ve been working on this for months,” said Cpl. Destiny Silva with the Austin Police Department.
APD as well as ATCEMS have additional staff on hand throughout the event to keep up with the influx of people in town.
APD offered the following tips for people attending ACL:
- Keep valuables in different locations on you. For example, keep your phone in a Fanny pack and your keys in a backpack.
- Take note of the serial number of your cellphone before you get to the festival. This can help police track it down more quickly
- Stay hydrated
- Call 311 if something gets stolen
- Flag on-site medical or law enforcement staff immediately if there’s an issue
- Download the What3words app to help give your friends and first responders a pinpointed location of where you are
- Do not accept pills from strangers or friends
“It’s no secret that we’ve had issues with illicitly manufactured drugs that look like legally manufactured pulls so you may think you’re buddy is giving you Xanax but really it’s full of fentanyl,” said Capt. Christa Stedman with ATCEMS.
She added that first responders on site have “more than enough Narcan” in case of emergency.
As a last resort, the Sobering Center downtown is also available for anyone who finds themselves alone and too far under the influence. A spokesperson said they have staffed the facility this week to support a potential influx in patients.
“I think we’ve been really far-sighted in creating a sobering center for the community,” Brigid Shea, Travis County Commissioner for Precinct 2, said. “So that people who drink too much, get high and need help won’t be taken to jail, but they’ll be taken to the sobering center where they can sober up and they’ll also be given lots of resources.”
During SXSW, APD conducted a proactive operation aimed at keeping bad drugs off the street, which resulted in multiple arrests. For security reasons, the department could not elaborate.
Cpl. Destiny Silva with APD and Capt. Christa Stedman with the ATCEMS led the new conference, which began at approximately 3:30 p.m.