Austin fire, police keep busy during SXSW

Crowds in downtown Austin during SXSW 2017. (KXAN Photo)
Crowds in downtown Austin during SXSW 2017. (KXAN Photo)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — During South by Southwest, the Austin Fire Department shut down two events due to overcrowding issues.

Over the 10-day stretch, the department conducted 179 nighttime inspections and addressed 160 issues related to improper exiting. AFD also issued 14 citations, six of which were for overcrowding, three had no permit, two had obstructed/blocked exits, one for improper storage of propane, one had no load card and two were for miscellaneous issues.

The two businesses that were shut down due to overcrowding were the Parlor Room on Rainey Street and The Rooftop on East Sixth Street.

The department also conducted 36 separate fire watches.

AFD wasn’t the only department that was busy during SXSW. The Austin Police Department also conducted a No Refusal initiative from March 3-20. During the initiative, the department made 202 DWI arrests during the no refusal hours of 9 p.m. to 5 a.m.

Out of the 202 arrests, 100 blood search warrants were issued. Twenty-seven of those arrested had a BAC sample over .15. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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