Security, city working overtime for 2-weekend ACL

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by SHANNON MURRAY / KVUE NEWS and photojournalist DENNIS THOMAS

Bio | Email | Follow: @ShannonM_KVUE

kvue.com

Posted on October 4, 2013 at 6:17 PM

Updated Friday, Oct 4 at 6:20 PM

AUSTIN -- Surrounding Zilker Park city staff are working overtime to make sure this year's Austin City Limits Music Festival is a success.

Festival goers are looking forward to a weekend full of live music.

"It'll be good to see Queens of the Stoneage," said festival goer Ash Howard.

"Muse and Fun!" said another girl entering Zilker Park.

Making sure those shows are a success takes a lot of work in and around Zilker Park.

Police are stationed both inside and outside of festival grounds. Austin police say this year their focus is on parking in the neighborhoods surrounding the park.

"It seems like every year it gets bigger," said APD Senior Police Officer Dennis Farris.

Officer Farris says there are 10 officers dedicated to parking enforcement.

"If you park illegally we are going to ticket you. If you are parked blocking something, parked in the right of way, we are going to tow you," he said.

Many neighbors are turning their prime parking into profit, charging anywhere from $20 to $40 for a spot on their property.

"It can get a little crazy out here. You have 75,000 people a day coming out here, and obviously people want to come down and park as close as they can so they don't have to walk as far," Officer Farris said.

Nearly every city department works extra for the festival. That includes health inspectors, transportation officials, and parks and rec staff. There's also an event commander center on festival grounds where firefighters, EMS, and police are stationed in case of an emergency.

"All the way down to our Austin Public Library system that is featuring local artists on their web page," said City of Austin spokesperson Reyne Telles.

Overtime costs are mostly covered by the staff members' salaries or by event promoter C3, but Telles says any cost to the City is more than made up for with the money the festival brings in.

"The City of Austin really does benefit from the $102 million last year that was generated in economic impact, and we're looking for a much bigger number than that now that we've gone to two weekends," Telles said.

When it comes to mega crowds and the headache that comes along with it, ACL's music fans don't seem to mind.

"I love the music and just being with all these people having fun and enjoying life. That's what it's all about," said festival goer Villareal Roberto.

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