We have reached out to Austin City Limits Festival organizers to see if the horrific Sunday night shooting in Las Vegas will have an impact on the massive event at Zilker Park, set to kick off on Friday, but even before the weekend tragedy, festival organizers were preparing for tighter security conditions on the ground.
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Over the past year, Austin’s largest concert venues, including the Austin360 Amphitheater at Circuit of Americas and the Frank Erwin Center, have begun restricting bag size, and ACL Fest is following suit. This year, fest organizers say they will allow “18 L sized bags or smaller.” “18 L,” stands for 18 Liter, a compact style of sport backpack. Organizers say bags should be “roughly 1000 cubic inches or 10” x 10” x 10”” and that drawstring bags work well.
As in past years, all bags will be searched at the gate. Festival organizers note: “You can help keep the lines moving quickly by leaving large bags at home and going through the ‘No Bag’ line at the entrance.”
Also, according to guidelines on the ACL Fest website, “by purchasing a ticket, you agree to submit to a full body pat-down and metal detector search before entry.” Last year, security personnel did pat downs at the gate, but we did not see metal detectors. Festival organizers say, “If you would like to be screened by security personnel of your same gender, please let security personnel know prior to the search process.”
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They add that “screening of children will always take place with the consent of a parent or guardian.” Families are encouraged to use the dedicated family entrance, which is tailored to children and families. The family entrance is adjacent to a new third gate to the festival added this year on the east side of Barton Springs Road.
The festival has also banned umbrellas this year (as well as inflatable furniture) and official guidelines say that all sunscreen containers must be sealed. When we reached out for clarification, organizers said they recommend travel-sized sunscreen bottles.