The City of Austin is prepared to welcome back an in-person Spring Festival Season. In partnership with event organizers, we have worked to implement safety plans to support a safe experience for both community members and visitors to our city.
"We are thrilled to be here in person today,” said Austin Center for Events Consumer Services Manager, Brydan Summers. “We look forward to a safe and successful Spring Festival Season.”
Austin Transportation Department: @austinmobility
Recognizing that Spring Festival Season draws fans from across the world, some of whom will not be familiar with the layout of our city, we encourage everyone to plan ahead and review the mobility maps on the Spring Festival Season webpage to help plan routes to, from, or around events.
- Be familiar with safety guidelines for cycle and scooter users.
- Street closures, including portions of Sixth, Red River, and Rainey Streets, will be marked by physical barricades. Most of the traffic flow changes will begin in the early afternoon and last until sometime after 3 a.m. at the Austin Police Department’s discretion.
- As in years past, various parking areas and road closures will be impacted.
Austin Public Health: @AusPublicHealth
The Austin area has experienced a decline in COVID-related hospitalizations and we are eager to continue that trend.
- Austin Public Health (APH) collaborated on the SXSW COVID-19 plan, which requires testing every 72 hours prior to event entry and at least every seven days.
- APH also recommends masking indoors throughout the Spring Festival Season to minimize exposure to others, particularly hospitality industry staff.
Austin Police Department: @Austin_Police
The Austin Police Department (APD) will conduct operations to proactively address or respond to criminal behavior.
- A no-refusal initiative will begin on March 11 from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. and will continue each day during those same hours for the duration of the festival season.
- APD will work with Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC) teams to monitor events for intoxicated individuals who present a danger to themselves and minors in possession of alcohol.
- Human trafficking is always a concern, but especially during large-scale events. For more information about human trafficking, including signs for spotting it and prevention, visit www.texasattorneygeneral.gov.
- APD will have sworn personnel watching for individuals who illegally carry firearms.
- APD will continue to work with event organizers to ensure crowd safety.
- A central command center will operate during SXSW.
Austin-Travis County EMS will have multiple dedicated response units and personnel assigned to the downtown area to respond to calls for service and transport patients who require additional care.
- The ATCEMS Patient Collection Point will be in operation from Tuesday, March 15 through Saturday, March 19 from 3 p.m. to 3 a.m. each day.
The Austin Fire Department’s (AFD) Special Events division will be working to ensure a safe, secure experience for all by:
Performing both public assembly (PA) permit and night inspections.
Teams of night inspectors will be out and about during the entire event, ensuring venues operate safely. The focus will be on inspections for overcrowding as well as general fire- and life-safety issues, including locked/blocked/obstructed exits, and complaint calls.
AFD is part of the Public Assembly Code Enforcement (PACE) team, and will be responding to overcrowding complaints in bars and other public assemblies, reports of unpermitted events, and will investigate complaint calls.
Performing fire watch in those cases where necessary due to the complexity or size of particular events and/or variances allowed.
Austin Parks & Recreation: @austincityparks
Park visitors should only park in designated parking areas, and take public transportation or alternative transportation whenever possible.
- Please help keep Austin parks litter-free by practicing Leave No Trace principles. If you bring something into a park, take it with you when you leave.
Communication During Spring Festival Season
The City of Austin will utilize Twitter (@austintexasgov) and Austin Emergency Management (@AustinHSEM) will push out relevant information using #SpringFestATX.
The Austin Police Department (@Austin_Police), Austin-Travis County EMS (@ATCEMS), and the Austin Fire Department (@austinfiredept; @AustinFireInfo) will also employ their Twitter feeds for time-sensitive public safety notifications.
Community members and visitors should call 9-1-1 in the event of an emergency – where there is an immediate threat to life or property – and Austin311 (512-974-2000) to report a non-emergency situation.
Details and updates for Spring Festival Season will be posted on www.austintexas.gov/
The media line for the Central Command Center is (512) 974-9280. This number will be staffed beginning Friday, March 11 until Tuesday, March 15 from 8:00 a.m. until 11:00 p.m. And then from Wednesday, March 16 until Saturday, March 19 from 8:00 a.m. until 3:00 a.m.
About Austin Center for Events
The Austin Center for Events (ACE) is a collaborative assembly of City of Austin departments and agencies designed to streamline special event permitting on public and private property. ACE is anchored by teams from Austin Public Health, Transportation, Parks, Music, Police, Fire, EMS, Code, Austin Resource Recovery, Development Services, and partner agencies. ACE works closely with event organizers to guide them through the special event permitting process.