Security changes that will affect your ACL experience

ACL Music Festival 2017 signage (KXAN Photo)
ACL Music Festival 2017 signage (KXAN Photo)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — With Austin’s biggest music festival starting Friday, many people are wondering if there will be any changes to how security is conducted in and around Zilker Park.

Austin Chief of Police Brian Manley says they will have more officers around the festival in addition to Department of Public Safety troopers joining them for the first time. Like a lot of security at large events, police tend to keep details close to their vests.

But with so many tall buildings overlooking the 75,000 people crowd at Austin City Limits, Manley tells KXAN they adjusted plans after the Las Vegas shooting. “We did pay attention to where the high ground exists around this event so that does play into our planning and in our response capabilities,” says Manley.

More staff and officers were already planned because ACL this year has a larger footprint, adding a third entrance and another stage area. ACL contracts with private security companies who will run the “airport style” entrances.

“Allow some time for the security checkpoints. Security is our top priority here at the festival,” says Brooke Leal, spokeswoman for the festival.

The biggest change you’re going to notice in the security line is the new bag restrictions. The largest bag you’ll be able to bring in has to be 10-by-10 inches or smaller.

“It’s standard policy now with a lot of large-scale events and venues in Austin, including the Irwin Center, so we’re following suit with that,” says Leal.

But since officers can’t be everywhere, APD says if you see something say something, know where your exits are and don’t get so drunk or high that you couldn’t escape a dangerous situation. 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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