ACL Live Reopens With Fourth of July Festival

Brownout, Jackie Venson, and Walker Lukens headline

While most live original music venues in Austin remain closed due to COVID-19, others continue to resume gatherings with limited capacities, tabled seating, and outdoor sections sold in “pods.” ACL Live at the Moody Theater, the city’s largest downtown venue, now welcomes the public back as part of a socially-distanced Fourth of July event.

A photo of ACL Live’s concert floor with seating and tables in preparation for its use as the Beat the Heat Lounge

Utilizing sister businesses 3ten ACL Live and the W Austin hotel, the Red, White & Willie Nelson Blvd. festival bills performances by Jackie Venson, Brownout, Walker Lukens, Jesse Dayton, Carolyn Wonderland, Los Coast, Ida Red, DJ Chorizo Funk, and DJ Mike Swing. Also included: “virtual fireworks.” This morning’s announcement promises more names.

Upon entry, all attendees and staff must complete a wellness check consisting of having your temperature taken, hands cleaned with a CDC-approved sanitizer, and having a someone administer a health questionnaire.

The ticketed block party plays out over five stages on and around the intersection of W. Second (Willie Nelson Blvd.) and Lavaca. Acts will play in 3ten, which opens at one end like a garage, plus the ACL Live terrace, the venue’s second story porch, the W’s hotel pool, and the patio of nearby restaurant Trace. The actual Moody Theater comes into play, but only as a Beat the Heat Lounge with tables, chairs, and couches on the concert floor.

In an interview last month, discussing what concerts would look like in the future, ACL Live general manager and head booker Colleen Fischer noted that the venue staff had already acquired and were practicing using forehead thermometers, hospital-grade disinfectants, and electrostatic sprayers.

“We’ll go with the industry standard in terms of how to space out a GA floor,” she said in addressing safely distanced crowds at a large venue. “I don’t see us deviating if we’re all working together for public safety.”

Staff at the fest will be wearing masks and face shields. They encourage, but don’t require, attendees to wear masks as well.

The Red, White, and Willie Nelson Blvd. website lays out the safety measures: upon entry, all attendees and staff must complete a wellness check consisting of having your temperature taken, hands cleaned with a CDC-approved sanitizer, and having a someone administer a health questionnaire.

“Capacity to each space will be closely monitored to avoid overcrowding,” reads the website. “Appropriately spaced chairs & tables or floor markings will be available in all spaces to help guests maintain proper distance between parties.”

Staff at the fest will be wearing masks and face shields. They encourage, but don’t require, attendees to wear masks as well. Workers will also be constantly wiping down “high-touch areas,” like door handles, bars, sinks, soap dispensers, tables, and trash cans.

Tickets for the Red, White, & Willie Nelson Blvd. fest are available now.

UPDATED – 4PM:

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