Iconic Supplier Withdraws From ACL Fest Due To COVID-19 Safety Concerns
AUSTIN (KXAN) – In a few days, the Austin City Limits Music Festival will begin, and it will be unlike any other ACL Fest before.
Fans will need to provide a negative COVID-19 test or proof of vaccination. They will also have to wear masks in certain areas of the festival.
The owner of Austin-based Waterloo Records said for the first time that they decided not to be there.
“It’s disappointing because ACL is one of the few festivals in the country that still has autograph signings,” said festival-goer Jorge Ramos, who says he’s trying to get something at the Waterloo tent. every year.
Ramos saw the company’s social media post, saying she was disappointed but hopes to pick up artist autographs at ACL Fest next year, as well as their mini record store.
The owner told KXAN he didn’t want to risk the safety of his staff, clients or artists. Ramos says that even though he’s disappointed, he understands the decision.
“At the same time, just based on the pandemic and everything, there’s hardly any signings in record stores right now or whatever, so I feel like I’m waiting for that. the news, like, is breaking out, “he said.
Other providers, like Easy Tiger, are moving forward. CEO Mike Stitt has said they hope to make 2020 their first year at the festival, but it has been canceled.
“When we heard that the ’21 festival was going to be happening, we immediately made a 100% commitment,” said Stitt.
Its employees have been preparing for the festival for about six months – they are now entering a critical period.
“Logistical preparations started a long time ago, but it’s all going to be cooked fresh, cooked from scratch, cooked to order right here in Austin,” Stitt said.
He says they expect to feed around 75,000 people over the two weekends.
“It’s just a great way for us to showcase our brand and, you know, to be in front of people and also to celebrate, like being together again,” Stitt said.
He says that even with the evolution of COVID-19 protocols and case issues, they were committed to being at the festival for as long as that happened.
“We are confirming that all of our staff who will be there will be fully vaccinated,” he said, adding that all staff will also wear masks, as they do at all Easy Tiger sites.
Ramos says he also plans to do the same.
“A lot of us were waiting for concerts and festivals to happen again, and I don’t want to wait 16 months for that anymore, so I’m just going to follow the rules,” he said.
Despite some concerns about COVID-19, ACL festival organizers say they actually have one more supplier this year than in 2019.