The Austin City Limits Festival announced a requirement that attendees have a negative COVID-19 test or proof of vaccination to attend this year’s event.
The requirement stems from similar requirements to attend other popular music festivals, including Chicago’s Lollapalooza.
The Chicago Public Health Commissioner shared that two weeks after the festival, only 200 COVID-19 cases had been traced back to the event.
Of those cases, no one required hospitalization. The commissioner also noted that 90% of attendees were vaccinated against the virus.
Following this model, ACL fest plans to require proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours. This requirement is being implemented despite Texas’s law denying state contracts and operating permits to businesses that require proof of vaccination for service.
Joshua Massingill provided commentary on the ACL Fest’s decision and the application of the new Texas law in an interview with CBS Austin.
It is important to note that this new Texas law is not implemented by one government agency but, rather, is government-wide. Massingill said that means there is no one agency focused on enforcing the mandate.
The ACL Fest doesn’t actually obtain any permits from the government for the event. Instead, it hires vendors who in turn receive proper licenses from the state. This could help the ACL Fest avoid confrontation with the new regulations.
Massingill also said that the festival’s option to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test instead of vaccination might be a loophole to the new statute.
He said this was a “novel” approach by businesses to avoid the state’s consequences, so he could not anticipate the government’s response.
However, given the ACL Fest’s prominence in Texas, Massingill said he anticipated the state would respond in 24 to 48 hours if it planned to object to the requirements.