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​ACL parent company requiring proof of vaccination for festivals, putting ACL guidelines into question

Hundreds of thousands of people attended ACL 2019. (Laura Figi/Austonia)

Austin City Limits Festival 2021 is just under two months away and with COVID cases surging across the city, Austinites are wondering what will become of the festival this year.

Entertainment company Live Nation, which is a majority stakeholder in ACL and other C3 Presents-run festivals like Lollapalooza, announced over the weekend that it would require all artists, crew and attendees to provide proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test for all shows starting Oct. 4, the day after weekend one of ACL ends.

The new rule's timing makes it unclear what COVID precautions will be taken for the first and second weekend of the festival. Will both weekends require proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test?

According to Senate Bill 968 section 14, Texas businesses cannot "require a customer to provide any documentation certifying the customer's COVID-19 vaccination or post-transmission recovery" in order to enter or receive services from the establishment. Last week, the bill came into practice as two local restaurants Fresa's and Launderette, almost had their state licenses revoked for requiring proof of vaccination to dine indoors.

However, negative COVID-19 tests may be on the table as the bill cannot be used to "restrict a business from implementing COVID-19 screening and infection control protocols in accordance with state and federal law to protect public health."

Austonia reached out to ACL organizers on the festival's COVID safety protocols but did not receive a response. According to its website, ACL will follow current recommendations in place at the time of the festival and will alert patrons of safety policies as the festival approaches.

Before the decision, fellow Chicago festival Lollapalooza required either proof of vaccine or a negative COVID test to attend. The decision was successful in avoiding a superspreader event; a Lollapalooza spokesperson said that 12% of attendees cited the festival as their reason to get vaccinated.

In addition to concert rules, Live Nation will require all employees to be vaccinated to come into the office. The entertainment giant further clarified that starting in October, the guidelines will be mandated where permitted by law in certain states.

"Vaccines are going to be your ticket back to shows, and as of Oct. 4, we will be following the model we developed for Lollapalooza and requiring this for artists, fans and employees at Live Nation venues and festivals everywhere possible in the U.S.," Live Nation president and CEO Michael Rapino said in a statement.


A big announcement from Austonia

Howdy, and happy holidays.

I have some big news for you.

Austonia is now part of 6AM City, a fast-growing network of hyper-local newsletters across the country.

I’m proud to be telling you this, because 6AM City’s mission is very much like Austonia’s — a daily morning update on events, things-to-do and news, with an underlying mission of community building in the cities they serve.

If you’re not already subscribed, 6AM City’s Austin newsletter is called ATXtoday. One of its city editors is Laura Figi, who you’ll remember for her previous great work on Austonia’s newsletter.

I’ve been reading ATXtoday every day since it launched last year.

Starting this week, you’ll receive ATXtoday every morning and I’m confident it will become part of your daily wake up routine. Be sure to add to your contact list (how to do that here).

Meantime let me thank you for your readership and support of Austonia, and convey my wishes for a great holiday season for you and those close to you.

Thank you,

Mark Dewey

Austonia CEO

Tito's releases (not so?) ugly sweater line for the holidays, profits to charity

Tito's Handmade Vodka

Show your love for Tito's and for the community this year with a wide selection of not that ugly, uglyish, ugly, uglier, and ugliest holiday sweaters.

There's lots choose from, and plenty of accessories like scarves and socks, plus gear for your dog, too.

All of the items can be purchased online or at the Love, Tito’s Retail Store in Austin, TX. 100% of all net proceeds from online or in-store purchases go to one of the nonprofits we’ve teamed up with.

Click here to see the entire collection in the Tito's store.