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Safety At ACL

Updated: Saturday, August 3 2013, 04:06 PM CDT

As they make final preparations for Austin City Limits 2012, organizers say the big stages and big screens, and definitely the big crowds, bring with them some pretty big concerns, too.

“Safety is the most important thing.  It’s part of everything we do out here,” says Lisa Hickey, of C3 Presents, the company behind ACL.

Even with precautions, organizers know accidents can happen; for instance the propane tank explosion in a service area that caused a scare at ACL in 2007.  Then earlier this year, C3 Presents had to deal with rough weather at its Lollapalooza show in Chicago, which forced the evacuation of more than 60 thousand people in about half an hour.  Hickey says, “You learn a lot every time you do one of these festivals”.

ACL managers have even gleaned valuable information from events they weren't even affiliated with; like the deadly stage collapse caused by severe weather at last year’s Indiana State Fair, “We definitely look at experiences like that and make notes and improve our own plan.  We use the most technologically advanced tools to monitor the weather at all times and we do have a plan in place.  If we see a storm on the radar we have a certain amount of time to let everyone know so they can seek shelter.”

Since so many fans at the festival are inseparable from their cell phones, the ACL app has been identified as perhaps the most effective way to get urgent messages to the masses, says Hickey, "This is our easiest way to message everyone who is attending the festival...if there is severe weather coming…if we need to evacuate the festival".

Critical information can be disseminated to thousands of people in seconds.  Hopefully, it won’t be needed for anything like that, though; because the ACL app will be plenty busy meeting its other obligations, as thousands turn to the tech tool to keep up with a dizzying three day lineup of live music. 

To get the ACL app, go to http://www.aclfestival.com/acl-news/2012-mobile-app/.Safety At ACL


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