AUSTIN (KXAN) — As thousands of people descend into Austin for South by Southwest, the City of Austin is making sure all the visitors have a fun and safe time at the hundreds of events around town.
Starting Friday, and running through the duration of the festival, Public Assembly Code Enforcement (PACE) teams will be checking venues and events to make sure they have the necessary permits and aren’t over-capacity.
“There will be two teams out initially during the interactive and film festival,” said Lt. Brad Price with the Austin Fire Department. “When the music festival starts, we’ll have four teams out: two during the daytime and two at night.”
This year, the PACE team will be focusing on events without a permit or “pop-up” events.
“We don’t always shut things down,” said Price. “If we can correct the situation without going to that extreme, we will, but our emphasis is always going to be on public safety.”
Last week, the City denied a permit for a Lady Gaga performance.
The City stopped accepting temporary permits associated with SXSW at the beginning of February when it reached it the maximum number of permits.
“In the downtown area alone, we have 190 bars and clubs that are expected to be at capacity, and we’re adding 148 temporary events on top of those, which will also require inspection and monitoring,” said Austin Fire Department Battalion Chief David Britzke.
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