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City of Austin to increase mask-wearing efforts at ACL Fest Weekend 2

Officials identified additional opportunities for mask-zone education and enforcement for Weekend 2.

AUSTIN, Texas — Most people trying to attend the 2021 Austin City Limits Music Festival are showing up with the required health documents – at least, according to the festival.

This year, ACL Fest is requiring that all attendees present a printed copy of either a negative COVID-19 test taken within the previous 72 hours or proof of full COVID-19 vaccination. 

On Saturday, ACL Fest said during Day 1 of Weekend 1 on Friday, 86% of attendees showed proof of vaccination and 14% came prepared with their negative COVID-19 test results. Less than 1% of people were turned away for not having their health documents, according to ACL.

However, some fest-goers have responded to ACL's tweet questioning those numbers.

A Twitter user named Emily said, "Uhhh no one's documentation was checked when I went in yesterday, where are these statistics coming from?" along with a laughing emoji. She then replied, "I will say that documentation was checked today [Saturday] and needed ID to prove it was my documentation."

Twitter user Marshall White said there is "no chance" that the numbers ACL provided are correct, and Joshua Becker said that he was in line for a long time Friday and didn't see anyone check health documents.

In addition to the documentation requirements, masks are also required this year in areas of Zilker Park where it’s difficult to maintain social distancing, including festival shuttle buses, entrance lines, areas closest to the stages and indoor areas like the on-site merch store. Free masks are available at each entry gate.

However, mask sightings were few and far between on-site through the weekend, especially in crowds standing at stages across the park.

An Austin Public Health spokesperson provided the following statement Monday evening:

“We recognize the challenge and commend ACL organizers for checking for negative COVID tests and/or proof of vaccine at ALL entrances including VIP as well as proper enforcement of masking indoors. We ask the public attending any crowded gathering: If there is no space to properly social distance, cover your face. Additionally, for any issues that were identified over the weekend, we appreciate how fast ACL staff responded to concerns from Austin Public Health. Environmental Health Officers were onsite doing assessments and identified additional opportunities for mask-zone education and enforcement for Weekend 2 – this includes more signage and announcements at the stage and in line where people crowd. APH will work with ACL event organizers to continue to support their enforcement efforts. We will continue to remind individuals attending any events the importance of wearing masks when you cannot socially distance and to watch for symptoms for up to 14 days after the event ends. If you are sick, or if you have been in close contact to someone with COVID-19, get tested and stay home.”

Weekend 2 will be Friday, Oct. 8 through Sunday, Oct. 10.

KVUE will be continuously covering both weekends of the festival. For the latest on what you need to know, performance recaps and more, head to KVUE.com/ACL.

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