AUSTIN, Texas – The Pecan Street Festival and Bat Fest were each canceled recently after the city of Austin denied them special event permits. With the Austin City Limits Music Festival just three weeks away, many are wondering if ACL is next.
“The Austin Center for Events understands how important special events are to Austin’s culture and our economy,” said Brydan Summers, director of consumer services at Austin Center for Events.
Summers with Austin Center for Events, or ACE, explains that this is why ACE has actively reviewed its COVID-19 security guidelines for allowing events to return to Austin.
“At the start of the pandemic, ACE did not allow special events, but in April we implemented a new process when conditions improved and ACE began issuing special event permits,” he said. Summers said.
However, the new ACE guidelines for indoor and outdoor events have left popular Austin festivals like Bat Fest and the Pecan Street Festival canceled because the city refused their special event permits.
“Currently, the current permit requirements for indoor events with more than 1,000 attendees or outdoor events with more than 2,500 attendees must provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test performed within 72 hours before the event [or proof of vaccination], you have to maintain social distancing and you have to have blackout areas and outdoor events where social distancing is not possible, ”Summers said.
The Pecan Street Festival was one of the events unable to follow these updated guidelines. The festival has already had to cancel three times previously due to COVID and had to cancel again weeks ahead of schedule.
“The town that met us and she told us they should more than likely turn us down if we couldn’t provide proof of vaccination or proof of non-COVID testing,” said Shannon Sedgwick, president of the Old Pecan Street Association and Pecan Street. Festival. “First of all, we don’t sell tickets so there’s nowhere we could check this out and there aren’t any doors because it’s wide open on Sixth Street for everyone to see. can enter. “
However, Austin City Limits Festival announced on its social media that it will follow these protocols, a step ahead that could mean the festival is still awaiting further additions to the ACE COVID protocol.
“[ACL] could still be canceled if things go as badly as they are now in the city of Austin and our numbers continue to rise and deaths, so it is very possible that they will find out at the last minute as well ” , Summers said.
ACE says public safety is its top priority. They will continue to work closely with Austin Public Health and review its COVID security requirements as necessary.
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