In a reflection of the weird and scary times we live in, Texas’ favorite Austin-based music festival is taking extraordinary health measures for 2021, requiring attendees to provide proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test result for entry.
On Thursday, August 19, Austin City Limits Music Festival released information about its new health policy, which states attendees to the two-weekend event must provide “a printed copy of a negative COVID-19 test result,” which must be obtained within 72 hours of attending the festival.
Alternately, attendees who have been fully vaccinated will need to show proof of full COVID-19 vaccination instead of submitting test results.
ACL Fest, scheduled for October 1-3 and 8-10 at Austin’s Zilker Park, released info about its Fan Health Pledge, which asks ticket holders not to attend the event if any of the following are true:
- Within 14 days before attending the festival, you test positive or are exposed to someone who tests positive for COVID-19.
- Within 48 hours prior to attending the festival, you experience symptoms of COVID-19.
- Within 14 days prior to attending the festival, you travel to any international territory identified by federal or applicable state or local governments as being subject to travel or quarantine advisories due to COVID-19.
Additionally, festival organizers released the 2021 entry procedures for the event, which include the following:
- Attendees must comply with the ACL Festival Fan Health Pledge.
- Each day, attendees must bring a printed copy of their negative COVID-19 test, a vaccine card, or vaccine record.
- Attendees must bring their festival wristband.
- Only clear bags will be allowed and no liquids are permitted to be brought into ACL Festival.
In light of the health concerns, Austin Kiddie Limits, the kid-focused portion of the festival, will take a break this year, the organization announced. Children 10 and younger will be admitted for free with a ticket-holding adult, though children must also produce a negative COVID-19 test result obtained within 72 hours of the event or proof of full vaccination if they’re old enough to have received the vaccine.
ACL Fest notes that information about any masking recommendations will be released closer to the festival dates, and the event will provide “increased hand-sanitizer stations onsite” and cleaning crews will frequently clean high-touch areas.
The news comes as Austin remains in Stage 5, the highest COVID-19 risk level, and grapples with combatting the delta variant and hospitalization capacity, situations that have the potential to worsen with the influx of thousands of music fans heading to ACL Fest.
The festival itself has experienced some upsets leading up to the event this year, among them losing headliner Stevie Nicks because of COVID-19 concerns, and coping with demands from some in the community to cancel the in-person event for the second year in a row.