So far, so good.
The first weekend of the newly expanded Austin City Limits Music Festival went well, Mayor Lee Leffingwell said Friday, and he expects this weekend to go off without a hitch, as well.
The city has stepped up parking enforcement and traffic control in neighborhoods near Zilker Park, where the event takes place, at the request of residents, Leffingwell said.
Last weekend, officers issued 566 citations and had 22 illegally parked vehicles towed.
“It’s sold out, which means at least 75,000 people each day,” Leffingwell told the American-Statesman. “There obviously isn’t that kind of capacity for parking. In deference to the neighbors down there, to preserve their quality of life, we’re proactively looking for problems.”
The city of Rollingwood, located just west of Zilker Park, has also said its officers will be cracking down on illegal ACL Fest parking this weekend.
Leffingwell encourages festival-goers to use the free shuttle buses. Pick-up is at Republic Square, located at Fourth and Guadalupe streets in downtown Austin.
“It’s a lot less hassle,” he said.
Portions of Zilker Park briefly reopened to the public earlier this week, and Leffingwell said the city is pleased with how the park has held up so far.
“The grass looks better than it’s ever looked,” he said. “This is established sod that’s very sturdy.”
It will be up to C3 Presents, the festival’s organizer, to repair any damage that does occur at the park, Leffingwell said.
While some residents have grumbled about ACL Fest’s impact on Zilker Park and the surrounding areas, Leffingwell says C3 Presents compensates the city for the inconveniences. Organizers have given about $7.5 million to the Austin Parks Foundation through the years, he said, and recently committed to spend $5 million to upgrade Auditorium Shores
“This is a good deal for Austin,” Leffingwell said.