Preparations underway for ACL Festival



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Posted on October 1, 2013 at 6:30 PM

Updated Tuesday, Oct 1 at 6:51 PM

AUSTIN -- This year's Austin City Limits Music Festival kicks off on Friday.

Crews are now setting up stages, signs and tents at Zilker Park. Since this year's festival spans over two weekends, the crowds will be bigger than ever before.

Just down Barton Springs Road, businesses like JuiceLand are also getting ready for the crowds

"It's mayhem! It's awesome," said JuiceLand's Ben Hardy.

Nearly 75,000 people will attend the festival every day.

"We'll do some food trailers over here, probably have a line in and out of the the store to get smoothies, and just a bunch of people coming to the lawn to take a load off," Hardy said.

This year Austin City Limits will run twice with almost the same lineup both weekends.

"It's gonna be a good two weeks, gonna be a good two weeks," said Barton Springs Saloon owner Jim LeMond. "Everybody's gotta go by me to get where they're going," he explained.

LeMond is stocking up with a full staff on deck to handle the customers. He's even renting an RV so he can live on the property.

"It's just a carnival atmosphere," LeMond said.

News of the expanded festival was music to his ears.

"I did a little dance right here on the bar. All of us did! All of us did," he laughed.

Not only does the two-weekend festival mean more customers for the businesses on Barton Springs, it's also a big boost for the city's economy.

The festival brought in more than $100 million to the city in only two days last year. This year Shilpa Bakre with the Convention and Visitors Bureau says the sky's the limit.

"We're definitely hoping that they'll bookend so they'll come in on Thursday and stay that weekend and then stay during the week and hopefully enjoy a day or two of the festival the next week," Bakre said.

The stage is set for the largest ACL crowd this city has ever seen.

"The whole street gets electrified, it really does," explained LeMond.

Bakre says hotels are already booked out for both weekends. Festival passes are also sold out for the first weekend and are getting close to being sold out for the second.

For more information on ACL go here.

For information on Capital Metro running its free shuttle service to the festival go here.