ACL: Too big, Too fast?

“Oh my gosh she is going to slip, I can’t look, someone needs to get her down from up there!” said onlooker, Andrea Hiller in despair watching an ACL-goer creating a spectacle of herself ontop of the mock capitol art display. This year’s Austin City Limit’s Music Festival has drawn huge numbers, but with more people comes more of a chance that ACL could experience unwanted danger for festival goers. This was the case as an unidentified woman is arrested for Public Intoxication after she climbed to the top of a mock capitol art display in the middle of Zilker Park.

On October 12th, as the last night of the festival is coming to a close, an unidentified woman dances on top of an art display recreating the Austin Capitol statue in the middle of the park as the crowd that forms below cheers her on.

“ She is crazy, who does something like that? Climbing to the top of a non-interactive piece of art, dancing and simply she is acting really drunk.” The woman climbed up a few metal poles and hoisted herself onto the slim ledge at the top of the art display. People from nearby concerts gathered as they see a new type of audience, not surrounding a band, but a single woman dancing without a care above the crowd.

The crowd starts to diversify as festival security, Austin Police officers and off-duty “C3” security officers surround the rapidly growing scene. Repeated calls have been made to APD, with no response. However, the APD’s Public Lisa Cortinas, a Public Information specialist, states that this incident is “one of a kind that rarely happens with such a high level of security.”

The ACL Festival website promotes its positive view on safety issues stating, “We are making every effort to create a safe and secure environment on the Festival grounds. On-site security will be provided by the Austin Police Department, the Parks & Recreation Department police and a private security company. Emergency medical staff will be available on site. If you need any assistance, go to the medical tent, or look for a police officer or Festival staff member.”

This shows that the festival is highly prepared for a variety of circumstances in order to keep the attendees safe. This incident is rare yet unusual and fascinated many people who chose to partake in encouraging an unsafe situation by gathering and going the unidentified woman their attention over the ongoing concerts that surrounded them.

However, the unidentified woman did not seek assistance, but instead put herself in danger as she put on a show for audiences at ACL in a drunken haze. After approximately 30 minutes, C3 security officers found a ladder and rescued the woman. The off duty “C3” security officers arrested the unidentified woman at 9:30 p.m. and charged her with the one of very few public intoxication arrests. Repeated calls have been made to Austin police, and have not been answered at this time.

KVUE reported around 80,000 people attend ACL each day. During the two weekends, there were was one overdose incident but besides that there were a “very limited amount of arrests made this year due to increased experience with festival goers,” said V.I.P Productions Director, Aaron Garner. Assistant Chief Jason Dusterhoft said weekend one of ACL ran smoothly with only one arrest on festival grounds and two outside the park. “You have 11 last year, two this time. That’s a pretty big decrease,” said Dusterhoft.

Garner believes that as the festival books bigger names, the crowds will gain momentum as well. “With headliners like Eminem, it’s no wonder ACL has grown so much!”


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