ACL Fest 2021 sells out in hours as city eyes safety during COVID-19 pandemic

Austin

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Three-day passes for both weekends of Austin City Limits Music Festival sold out in a record-breaking three hours. The annual music festival returns in October after being canceled in 2020 due to the pandemic.

It has festival goers both excited and cautious as they consider the magnitude of the event.

“I think that everyone knows what they are going into. Everyone is excited to get back out there, and people kind of know their own chances at this point,” said Jan Mitte, who bought tickets to the 2021 festival.

“I’m kind of nervous about going, just because I haven’t been around that many people,” said Jessica Hernandez, who also bought tickets. “But I think that we have taken all the necessary steps to get back on track, so we can have these large gatherings again.”

Most everyone polled said they trust attendees will be vaccinated or will follow common sense safety measures.

On the ACL website, a simple request is outlined underneath a brief COVID-19 disclaimer: “Help keep each other healthy.”

The festival is also being closely monitored by the city, which approved the application to return. The City of Austin’s Center for Events required ACL and all other live event applicants to submit its own COVID-19 safety guidelines. However, the city won’t be requiring event organizers to ask for proof of vaccination.

“If we are later in the year, and we are in a position where there are no additional public health requirements, then we will start to see events that look 100% more like normal,” said Sara Henry, the public information officer for the Austin Center for Events. “I think that we are all looking forward to seeing every single event that helps to make up that ecosystem come back in 2021 in a way that is safe and in compliance with the latest COVID regulations.”

ACL didn’t respond when we asked if they would be taking temperatures at the door or enforcing social distancing in any way. Austin City Limits organizers said they are in regular communication with local health authorities and will be following their recommendations and guidelines when it’s showtime.

Since 2006, economists counted more than $2.25 billion economic impact for the Austin economy, including a record $291 million in 2019.

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