Monday, March 4, 2024

Spring Festival Season Begins this Week

The City of Austin formally welcomes Austinites and visitors to Spring Festival Season 2024. Events kick off with the SXSW Conference and Festival beginning Friday, March 8. Before excited attendees from around the globe make their way to Austin, City leaders gathered Monday at Butler Park to discuss ongoing preparations and how community members and guests can safely enjoy Spring Festival Season.

“SXSW – the festival that made Austin famous across the globe – is right around the corner and will again draw thousands to our city from the fields of education, technology, film, television and – of course – music,” Mayor Pro Tem Leslie Pool said. “I want you to know that Austin is prepared, and we ask for patience and partnership from our residents as we navigate the by-products festivals and events bring with them.”

Spring Festival Season continues to be successful because of the positive relationship between event organizers and the Austin community. City leaders emphasized a neighborly approach of respectfully monitoring the physical impact and noise level events have on nearby residents and businesses.

Watch a replay of Monday’s press conference on ATXN.

Transportation and Public Works Department 
Spring Festival Season will be a busy time in and around downtown. Road closures and detours will add congestion in the area and could cause delays for those choosing to drive. Anyone who is able to walk, bike, or take transit during this time is strongly encouraged to do so. For those who can telework, this is a great time to take advantage of that option.

An interactive Spring Festival Season Mobility Guide map is available to see street closures, rideshare staging areas and loading zones, public transit stations and routes, bicycle routes, and more. Festival attendees are advised to take advantage of the City’s downtown mobility options, including the MetroBike bikeshare system, walking, and public transit. 

Attendees choosing to drink at Spring Festival Season events can use the City’s parking ticket waiver program when making the responsible choice to leave their car overnight. Remember to save the receipt from your safe ride home and fill out the waiver form at

Austin Police Department 
Please drink responsibly and have a plan to get home safely. A no-refusal initiative will begin on March 7 and run evenings and nights through March 17. The Austin Police Department (APD) will be visible downtown to assist with everyone’s safety to ensure all attendees are having a great time and enjoying the vibrant events our City welcomes every year.

With an increase in pedestrians, everyone should double check they are following traffic signals, signage, and officer instructions. Additional officers will be assisting at some intersections to manage pedestrian traffic.

There will be limited parking in certain parts of downtown and many residential areas near downtown require permits. Please do not park in a “No parking / Tow-away” zone as these will be enforced.

Pay attention to your surroundings, especially in crowds. If you see something, say something.

Austin-Travis County EMS 
Austin-Travis County EMS (ATCEMS) 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 12 through Saturday, March 16 from 3 p.m. to 3 a.m. each day.

Austin Fire Department 
The Austin Fire Department’s (AFD) Special Events division works to ensure a safe, enjoyable experience for all attendees by:
  • Performing both public assembly (PA) permit and night inspections.  
  • Deploying teams of night inspectors to ensure venues operate safely. The focus will be on inspections for overcrowding as well as general fire- and life-safety issues, including locked, blocked, or obstructed exits, and complaint calls.
  • Performing fire watch where necessary due to the complexity or size of particular events and/or variances allowed.
AFD will work with its partners to respond to and investigate complaints, such as overcrowding in bars and other public assemblies, and reports of unpermitted events. 

Austin Public Health 
Spring Festival Season attendees are encouraged to be vaccinated, use hand sanitizer, wash hands often and stay home if they feel sick. 
  • Find vaccines near you at ( en Español). 
  • Free mail-order rapid antigen test kits are available once again through Households are eligible for another round of four tests for a limited time.

Austin Parks and Recreation 
It’s important to Leave No Trace so our parks, trails, and green spaces can be enjoyed for Spring Festival Seasons to come. When visiting:

  • Be considerate of other visitors. 
  • Take trash and leftover food with you when you leave Austin’s green spaces. 
  • Plan ahead for appropriate weather. 
  • Stay on established trails when walking to events. 
  • Bring bags for pet waste and dispose of them in designated areas.

For more information, visit  

Communication During Spring Festival Season 
The City of Austin (@austintexasgov) and Austin Emergency Management (@AustinHSEM) will utilize X to share 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 X 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 Austin 3-1-1 (512-974-2000) to report a non-emergency situation. 

Details and updates for Spring Festival Season will be posted on

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 and Public Works, Parks, Music, Police, Fire, EMS, Austin Resource Recovery, Development Services, and partner agencies, and works closely with event organizers to guide them through the special event permitting process.