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I'M GETTING TOO OLD

[00:00:01]

FOR THIS SON HAVING HIM.

[2022 Spring Festival Season PreEvent News Conference]

GOOD MORNING.

IS EVERYBODY READY? CAN YOU HEAR ME? OKAY.

ALL RIGHT.

GOOD MORNING.

AND THANK YOU FOR BEING HERE.

WELCOME TO THE 2022 SOUTH BY SOUTHWEST PRE EVENT NEWS CONFERENCE.

MY NAME IS SARAH HENRY AND I'M THE COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER FOR AUSTIN CENTER FOR EVENTS.

WE'RE VERY GLAD TO HAVE YOU HERE TODAY.

UM, TODAY YOU'RE GOING TO HEAR FROM MAYOR, EITHER JUDGE BROWN AND CITY MANAGER CRUNK FOLLOWED BY SOME TIME FOR QUESTIONS WITH OUR ELECTED OFFICIALS AND CITY LEADERSHIP.

AFTER THAT, WE'LL REGROUP TO HEAR FROM PUBLIC SAFETY LEADERSHIP ABOUT OPERATIONAL MEASURES TAKEN TO ENSURE PUBLIC SAFETY DURING THE FESTIVAL, AND THEN, UH, TIME FOR MORE QUESTIONS.

AND WITH THAT, I WILL TURN IT OVER TO MAYOR ADLER.

IT DOESN'T GET MUCH MORE EXCITING THAN TO BE IN AUSTIN, TEXAS THE SECOND WEEK IN MARCH, SOUTH BY SOUTHWEST BEGINNING AGAIN, AS IT HAS FOR SO LONG.

AND ALL OF US GATHERED TOGETHER IN PERSON.

THIS IS WHAT AUSTIN IS ALL ABOUT.

THIS IS AN EVENT THAT REALLY CENTERS THE CULTURE AND THE ETHOS OF WHAT IS AUSTIN, TEXAS, AND TOO MUCH OF THE WORLD SOUTH BY IS FOR THEM.

WHAT AUSTIN IS, IT IS THEIR DOOR INTO OUR CITY AND INTO OUR COMMUNITY AND OUR, AND OUR IN OUR PEOPLE FOR THE NEXT TWO WEEKS, SOUTH BY SOUTHWEST IS THE PULSING HEART OF AUSTIN, TEXAS.

IT IS THE PULSE OF THE, OF THE MUSIC OF THE IDEAS OF THE CREATIVITY, OF THE ART, OF THE INNOVATION OF THE ENTREPRENEURSHIP.

THIS IS A REALLY IMPORTANT EVENT TO THIS CITY.

IT WAS HEARTBREAKING AND PERHAPS THE MOST DIFFICULT DECISION THAT I HAD AS MAYOR TWO YEARS AGO TO CANCEL SOUTH BY SOUTHWEST, THAT PROSPECT WAS UNFORESEEN AND UNIMAGINABLE AT THE TIME, THE IMPACT ON OUR COMMUNITY, ON OUR SMALL BUSINESSES, ON OUR RESTAURANTS, ON OUR HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY, THE IMPACT WE KNEW CANCELING THIS EVENT WOULD HAVE, WOULD BE FAR REACHING AND LITTLE.

DID WE KNOW THE FULL EXTENT OF THE IMPACT OF THIS VIRUS WHEN WE CANCELED SOUTH BY SOUTHWEST AND EARLY MARCH 1ST WEEK OF MARCH IN 2020 HOURS, I THINK WAS PERHAPS THE FIRST BIG EVENT TO GET PULLED DOWN AS PART OF THE PANDEMIC WITHIN 10 DAYS, IT WAS SOMETHING THAT WAS THE NORM AS CITIES FOLLOWED OUR LEAD AND DID THE SAME KIND OF THING, UH, ACROSS THE COUNTRY.

IT IS ONLY FITTING THAT WE REALLY OPENED BACK UP THE CITY IN A GRAND WAY WITH SOUTH BY SOUTHWEST, SOUTH BY SOUTHWEST IS WHERE GOOD IDEAS GO TO BE REAL SOUTH BY SOUTHWEST IS THE WORLD'S FAIR OF GOOD IDEAS.

REAL EXCITING TO HAVE THIS EVENT REALLY EXCITING.

WHEN YOU LOOK AT THE LINEUP OF PEOPLE THAT ARE COMING, WE HAVE A PROGRAM, A MAYOR'S TRACK CIVIC IO.

THAT'S BRINGING IN, I DON'T KNOW, 25 MAYORS FROM AROUND THE COUNTRY PARTICIPATING ON PANELS, BUT MAKING SURE WE TAKE BACK TO MUNICIPALITIES, THE GOOD IDEAS TO HELP SOLVE SOCIAL CONCERNS IN ALL OF OUR CITIES.

MY GOOD FRIEND, THE SECRETARY OF TRANSPORTATION WILL BE ARRIVING HERE, UH, ON THE 16TH.

AND MY HOPE IS THAT WHILE HE'S HERE TO SPEAK ON A PANEL, WE CAN GET THEM OUT TO SEE SOME OF THE PROJECT CONNECT LOCATIONS WHERE HE CAN VISION WITH US WHAT IT MEANS TO CAP BY 35 AND AS HE MOVES IN AND OUT OF AN AIRPORT THAT IS PRESENTLY UNDER A PROJECT TO, TO DOUBLE ITS SIZE, EXCITING TO HAVE SOUTH BY SOUTHWEST OPEN AGAIN, THIS IS, THIS IS WHO WE ARE MANNER JUDGE.

ALL RIGHT.

SO THIS IS WHAT MY FACE

[00:05:01]

LOOKS LIKE.

ALL RIGHT, GOOD MORNING.

I'M TRAVIS COUNTY, JUDGE ANDY BROWN, AND JUST VERY EXCITED TO BE HERE TODAY, ANNOUNCING THAT WE ARE GOING TO HAVE SOUTH BY SOUTHWEST AS THE MAYOR NOTED TWO YEARS AGO YESTERDAY.

I THINK MY PREDECESSOR AND THE MAYOR AND OTHERS MADE THAT HARD DECISION TO CANCEL IT.

AND I'M SO EXCITED THAT, UH, HOPEFULLY I'LL BE ABLE TO GO TO IT TODAY.

WE'VE GOT THE HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES SECRETARY COMING.

UH, MORE IMPORTANTLY, DOLLY PARTON AND LIZZO ARE COMING.

I'M CURRENTLY TRYING TO GET DOLLY PARTON AND LIZZO TO UNDERSTAND WHY THEY SHOULD STOP BY 700 LAVACA AND SAY HI, BUT NOTHING SO FAR.

UM, SO THIS WEEKEND I PARTICIPATED IN THE IT'S MY PARK DAY WITH MY DAUGHTER AND MY SON AND MY WIFE.

THAT WOULD BE MY WHOLE FAMILY.

UM, AND WE HELPED SPREAD MOLT AND, UH, PICK UP TRASH IN OUR, IN OUR PARK, BY OUR HOUSE.

AND WE DID IT WITHOUT MASKS.

AND THAT, THAT WAS REALLY A WONDERFUL FEELING.

AND WE REALLY WERE ABLE TO BUILD COMMUNITY WITH OUR NEIGHBORS A WAY THAT WE HAVEN'T BEEN ABLE TO DO THIS WHOLE TIME.

UM, OUR COLLECTIVE EFFORTS OF THE CITY, THE COUNTY, EVERYBODY IN THIS REGION HAVE LED US TO THIS POINT WHERE THINGS ARE A LITTLE BIT BETTER WITH COVID RIGHT NOW.

UM, IT'S BECAUSE WE HAVE ALL GOTTEN VACCINATED.

WE WORE MASKS WHEN WE NEEDED TO.

AND AS A RESULT, WE HAVE A, UH, FRANKLY, A LOWER DEATH RATE HERE IN TRAVIS COUNTY THAN ANY OTHER COUNTY THAT I'VE SEEN IN TEXAS AND MUCH LOWER THAN THE RATE STATEWIDE.

SO I JUST WANT TO THANK EVERYBODY FOR ALL THE HARD WORK AND COLLECTIVE SACRIFICE.

OVER THE PAST FEW YEARS, WE'VE MISSED BIRTHDAYS.

WE'VE RESCHEDULED WEDDINGS AND STAYED HOME FROM GOING TO CHURCH AND OTHER GATHERINGS.

AND WE DID THIS TO KEEP EVERYBODY SAFE.

SO NOW WE'RE VERY EAGER TO ENJOY THE FESTIVITIES, ENJOY GOING TO LOCAL BUSINESSES, TRYING TO GET A TABLE WHILE EVERYBODY IS HERE FROM SOUTH BY AT LOCAL RESTAURANTS.

AND WE'RE SUPER EAGER TO CELEBRATE THE ARTISTS AND THE VENUES THAT MAKE THIS SPRING FESTIVAL SEASON FUN.

UM, AND EVERYBODY HERE TODAY, ONCE YOU TO DO THAT, AND THEY WANT US ALL TO CONTINUE DOING OUR PART, TO KEEP THE COMMUNITY SAFE.

AND AS A LOT OF, YOU KNOW, THE CDC UPDATED THEIR GUIDELINES AND THAT'S REALLY EXCITING NEWS FOR ALL OF US, BUT TO HELP ENSURE THAT WE CAN KEEP OUR COVID NUMBERS LOW THROUGHOUT THE SUMMER AND AS LOW FOR AS LONG AS POSSIBLE.

WE'RE ASKING THAT LOCALS AND VISITORS ALIKE GET VACCINATED, GET BOOSTED AND WEAR MASKS WHILE PARTICIPATING IN THE INDOOR FESTIVAL PORTIONS UNTIL THE END OF THIS MONTH, UH, FOLLOWING THE HANDY CHART THAT DR WALKS AND APH HAD PUT TOGETHER.

SO THAT'S SORT OF THE GUIDE THAT WE'RE ASKING PEOPLE TO FOLLOW OUR COMMUNITY SERVES AS THE REGIONAL HUB FOR CENTRAL TEXAS HOSPITALS FOR THE CENTRAL TEXAS HOSPITAL SYSTEM.

AND WE WANT TO BE ABLE TO HOST IN-PERSON EVENTS WHILE ALSO MAINTAINING OUR COMMUNITIES, HEALTHCARE RESOURCES, MORE THAN 70% OF THE AUSTIN, TRAVIS COUNTY COMMUNITY HAS BEEN VACCINATED.

AND THAT HELPS A TON.

AND SO WE'RE ASKING FOLKS TO WEAR A MASK FOR TWO MORE WEEKS UNDER THE GUIDANCE OF DR.

WACHS, AND ALSO MOST IMPORTANTLY, GET VACCINATED, GET BOOSTED TODAY MARKS THE BEGINNING OF OUR PATH FORWARD LIVING WITH THE VIRUS WHILE ALSO BEING ABLE TO GATHER AND CELEBRATE THE EXPERIENCES AND CULTURE THAT MAKE OUR COMMUNITY SPECIAL IS WHAT THIS IS ALL ABOUT.

SO LET'S TAKE CARE OF EACH OTHER AND BE SAFE, AND I'LL TURN IT OVER TO YOUR CITY MANAGER.

CRANK THANK YOU.

WELL, TODAY IS REALLY A GREAT DAY AND I AM HUMBLED EVERY DAY BY THE DILIGENCE HARD WORK AND SACRIFICE OUR COMMUNITY HAS DONE TO KEEP EACH OTHER SAFE.

OVER THE LAST TWO YEARS, WE HAVE SEEN THE CREATIVE SECTOR AND SPECIAL EVENTS INDUSTRY ADAPT AND MODIFY OPERATIONS TO STREAM ONLINE CONTENT, TO MOVE OUTDOORS AND INNOVATE IN WAYS THAT ONLY STRONG, NIMBLE SMALL BUSINESSES CAN.

AUSTIN HAS BEEN A LEADER IN SUPPORTING THE EXPERIENCE SECTOR INDUSTRY, WORKING DILIGENTLY TO GET EVENTS, VENUES, ARTISTS, AND ART SPACE BUSINESSES BACK OPEN, AND ON THE ROAD TO RECOVERY.

WE'VE SEEN THE INDUSTRY SUPPORT EACH OTHER BY CONNECTING THEIR VOICES AND FORMING NEW ORGANIZATIONS LIKE THE NATIONAL INDEPENDENT VENUE ALLIANCE AND REOPENING EVERY VENUE SAFELY.

COLLECTIVELY THESE GROUPS ORGANIZED TO COLLABORATE AND RAISE AWARENESS ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF OUR CREATIVE SECTOR AND WHAT IT NEEDED TO SURVIVE AND THRIVE.

AND THE CITY OF AUSTIN LED THE WAY AND RESPONDED BY DISPERSING OVER $26 MILLION TO THE CREATIVE SECTOR RECOVERY.

I'M INCREDIBLY PROUD OF THE DEPARTMENTS WHO REPRESENT THE AUSTIN CENTER FOR EVENTS.

THEY HAVE WORKED TIRELESSLY ALONGSIDE EVENT ORGANIZERS TO NAVIGATE

[00:10:01]

THE CONSTANTLY CHANGING LANDSCAPE OF OUR PANDEMIC.

I KNOW IT'S INCREDIBLY DIFFICULT TO PLAN AN EVENT SIX MONTHS OR A YEAR AHEAD WHEN YOU DON'T EVEN KNOW WHAT THE COVID NUMBERS WILL BE LIKE IN A WEEK.

SO TO THE AUSTIN CENTER FOR EVENTS STAFF, THANK YOU FOR TRYING TO PROVIDE AS MUCH ASSURANCE AND GUIDANCE TO OUR COMMUNITY AS YOU COULD.

THANK YOU ALSO TO THE EVENT COMMUNITY IN OUR DEDICATED EVENT, PARTNERS, INCLUDING SOUTH BY SOUTHWEST FOR YOUR PATIENTS, UNDERSTANDING AND SUPPORTS.

WE ARE SO HAPPY TO BE HERE TO WELCOME YOU BACK AND TO HAVE A SAFE SPRING FESTIVAL SEASON.

I THINK WE'RE NOW GOING TO PAUSE AND HAPPY TO TAKE QUESTIONS FOR THE MAYOR, THE JUDGE, OR MYSELF.

OKAY, GO AHEAD AND START OFF.

UH, WE FIRST JUST WANTED TO KNOW WHAT ATTENDANCE IS EXPECTED TO BE, ESPECIALLY COMPARED TO 2019.

IS IT NOT GOING TO BE AS HIGH AS IT WAS BACK THEN? WHAT'S WHAT'S EX ATTENDANCE EXPECTED TO BE A QUESTION PROBABLY FOR THE SOUTH, BY, AT THE NEXT PORTION OF THIS PRESS CONFERENCE, WE WILL HAVE REPRESENTATIVES INCLUDING FROM SOUTH BAY WHO MIGHT BE BETTER ABLE TO ANSWER THAT QUESTION.

UH, I GUESS THIS WOULD BE MORE OF A QUESTION FOR YOU GUYS THEN WHAT IS THE CITY DOING TO PREPARE FOR THE INCREASE IN XYLAZINE OVERDOSES THAT WE SAW LAST WEEK IS THE CITY, UH, STOCKING UP ON NARCAN? WHAT WHAT'S THE CITY DOING TO MAKE SURE THAT THAT DOESN'T BECOME A BIGGER PROBLEM? YEAH, ABSOLUTELY.

THESE ARE OBVIOUSLY CONCERNING EVENTS THAT HAVE HAPPENED IN RECENT DAYS, BUT IT'S ALSO IMPORTANT THAT WE ARE COLLABORATING ACROSS OUR COMMUNITY.

AND SO AT THE NEXT SECTION OF THIS CONFERENCE, YOU'LL BE HEARING FROM OUR MAYOR FROM OUR PUBLIC HEALTH OFFICIALS, FROM OTHERS THAT ARE REALLY ENGAGED IN THE COMMUNITY TO KEEP EACH OTHER SAFE.

AND WHAT EFFORTS THAT WE'LL BE DOING A SPECIFIC TO THIS EVENT PRETTY MUCH NO SOUTH BY SOUTHWEST.

SO ECONOMICALLY WHAT IMPACT IS THAT HAT AND IN TERMS OF DOLLARS AND IN TERMS OF EXPOSURE FOR THE CITY, HOW HAVE YOU ALL BEEN ABLE TO PLAY? YEAH, IT HAS BEEN HARD TO QUANTIFY.

YOU KNOW, WE ARE STILL LOOKING AT SOME OF THE WAYS IN WHICH THE ENTIRE PANDEMIC HAS IMPACTED OUR ECONOMY.

WE ARE FORTUNATE TO BE IN A COMMUNITY WHERE WE HAVE RECOVERED MUCH MORE ROBUSTLY THAN MANY OTHER PLACES ACROSS THE COUNTRY.

SO HAVING THE CANCELLATION OF EVENTS LIKE SOUTH BY CERTAINLY TAKE ITS TOLL.

BUT AGAIN, WE HAVE BEEN ABLE TO SEE THAT THROUGH THIS PANDEMIC AND THE WAY THAT IT'S HIT OUR ECONOMY IN MUCH MORE SIGNIFICANT WAYS THAN OTHER PLACES IN THE COMMUNITY.

DO YOU WANNA SPEAK TO THAT MAYOR, PLEASE? IT'S IMPORTANT TO NOTE THAT THE ECONOMIC BENEFIT TO AUSTIN THE SOUTH BY SOUTHWEST IS ROUGHLY THE EQUIVALENT OF HAVING A SUPER BOWL IN THE CITY.

AND YOU KNOW HOW COMPETITIVE IT IS TO GET A SUPERBOWL IN YOUR CITY.

WE HAVE A SUPER BOWL EVERY YEAR THAT SOUTH BY IS HERE AND IT'S LIKE CANCELING THAT EVENT FOR THE LAST TWO YEARS.

IT'S BEEN HARD.

UH, AND YOU CAN TALK TO THE ORGANIZERS.

IT'S BEEN HARD FOR THEM TO BE ABLE TO HOLD ON TO THE EVENT AND LAST YEAR'S EVENT, WHICH, WHICH HAD A VIRTUAL COMPONENT TO IT.

DOESN'T COMPARE WITH AN EVENT WHERE YOU CAN SIT DOWN IN A CLUB AND LISTEN TO MUSIC.

SO AS THE MANAGER SAID, IT'S TAKEN A LOT OF ASSISTANCE AND HELP TO, TO CARRY FORWARD, TO HELP BRING ALONG THE, THE HOSPITALITY AND ENTERTAINMENT AND ARTISTS IN OUR COMMUNITY, BUT JUST LIKE OUR CITY BEING SO STRONG, IT GOES INTO THESE THINGS.

ONE OF THE LAST CITIES, WE'RE ALSO ONE OF THE FIRST CITIES AND COUNTIES TO COME OUT.

IT'S BEEN DEVASTATING, BUT WE'RE SURE HAPPY TO HAVE IT BACK THERE.

GREAT.

WELL, THANKS EVERYONE.

WE'LL TAKE A SHORT BREAK AND THEN RECONVENE TO HEAR FROM THOSE DEPARTMENTS ABOUT ALL THE OPERATIONAL INITIATIVES IN ORDER TO MAINTAIN PUBLIC SAFETY FOR THE FESTIVAL, WITH THAT ALTERNATIVE BACK TO SARAH HENRY.

THANK YOU.

YEAH.

THANKS.

WE'LL TAKE A QUICK BREAK AND WE'LL BE RIGHT BACK WITH YOU GUYS.

OKAY.

LET'S KICK THIS BACK OFF.

WE ARE JOINED TO TODAY TO GET INTO SOME DETAILS ABOUT THE SAFETY MEASURES FOR PUBLIC SAFETY, THAT WILL BE IN PLACE THROUGHOUT SPRING FESTIVAL SEASON.

SO WE'RE GOING TO HEAR FROM THE FOLLOWING FOLKS, UM, OUR CONSUMER SERVICES MANAGER WITH AUSTIN CENTER FOR EVENTS BRIGHT IN SUMMERS FOLLOWED BY PUBLIC HEALTH AUTHORITY.

DOCTOR DOES MORE WALKS POLICE, CHIEF JOSEPH MCKOWN, ROBERT SPILLER, THE DIRECTOR OF

[00:15:01]

AUSTIN TRANSPORTATION AND MS. DOTTY, WALK-INS THE DEPUTY CEO OF CAP METRO.

UH, WE'RE ALSO JOINED BY SEVERAL REPRESENTATIVES FROM OUR PARTNER AGENCIES WHO WILL BE AVAILABLE TO ANSWER QUESTIONS AS WELL.

UM, AND WITH THAT ALTERNATE OVER TO BRIGHTON SUMMERS, GOOD MORNING.

I'M BRIAN SUMMERS, CONSUMER SERVICES MANAGER WITH THE DEVELOPMENT SERVICES DEPARTMENT WITH THE AUSTIN CENTER FOR EVENTS BEGINNING JANUARY, 2021, AUSTIN CENTER FOR EVENTS MOVED INTO THE DEVELOPMENT SERVICES DEPARTMENT WHERE I'M PLEASED TO SUPPORT THE ADMINISTRATOR ADMINISTRATIVE PROCESSES FOR AUSTIN CENTER FOR EVENTS WITH MY COLLEAGUE, WILLIAM MANO EAST IS A PARTNERSHIP OF MULTIPLE CITY DEPARTMENTS, INCLUDING SEVERAL DEPARTMENTS HERE TODAY.

SOME OF THEM INCLUDE AUSTIN PUBLIC HEALTH, THE POLICE DEPARTMENT, AUSTIN TRANSPORTATION DEPARTMENT, AUSTIN RESOURCE, RECOVERY PARKS AND RECREATION DEPARTMENT, AUSTIN, TRAVIS COUNTY EMERGENCY MEDICAL SERVICES, FIRE DEPARTMENT CODE DEPARTMENT, AND HOMELAND INSECURITY MANAGEMENT.

ADDITIONALLY, WHEN WELCOMING LARGE CITY-WIDE EVENTS LIKE SOUTH BY SOUTHWEST ACE WORKS CLOSELY WITH AGENCIES SUCH AS CAPITAL METRO, TEXAS ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGE COMMISSION AND AUSTIN BERGSTROM INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT ACE ALSO COORDINATES CLOSELY WITH EVENT ORGANIZERS LIKE SOUTH BY SOUTHWEST AND OVER THE LAST YEAR, ACE FOCUSED ON WORKING WITH EVENT ORGANIZERS TO NAVIGATE THE CHALLENGES OF THE PANDEMIC.

WE'VE WORKED WITH CITIES ACROSS THE COUNTRY TO BENCHMARK SOLUTIONS AIMED AT FOLLOWING FOR SAFE MASS GATHERINGS.

IN FACT, ACE DEPARTMENTS COLLABORATED WITH EVENT ORGANIZERS TO DEVELOP THE BRINGING EVENTS BACK A SAFETY GUIDE FOR VENUES TO PERFORM THAT SAFELY.

ALL THESE DEPARTMENTS ARE FOCUSED ON PUBLIC HEALTH AND SAFETY.

DURING EVENTS.

OUR TEAM HAS WORKED WITH EVENT ORGANIZERS FOR MONTHS SO THAT PEOPLE CAN SAFELY GATHER AND ENJOY THE FESTIVAL.

DURING THE FESTIVAL, WE WILL ALSO ACTIVATE THE PUBLIC ASSEMBLY CODE ENFORCEMENT TEAMS. THESE PACE TEAMS WILL NAVIGATE THE CITY PERFORMING INSPECTIONS TO ENSURE PLANS SUBMITTED, UH, COMPLY WITH APPROVED SAFETY STANDARDS.

WE'VE PERMITTED A TOTAL OF 106 SPRING FESTIVAL SEASON EVENTS, WHICH IS A DECREASE FROM 2020.

THESE DETAILS ALONG WITH MAPS LINKS TO MOBILITY, RESOURCES, AND MORE FESTIVAL DETAILS CAN BE FOUND AT AUSTIN, TEXAS.GOV BACK SQUAT, BLACK SLASH SPRING FESTIVAL ATX AND FOLLOW THE HASHTAG SPRING FEST ATX FOR NEWS AND UPDATES THROUGHOUT THE CITY DURING THE FESTIVAL.

I'LL NOW TURN IT OVER TO AUSTIN.

TRAVIS COUNTY PUBLIC HEALTH AUTHORITY.

DR.

DOES MORE WALKS GOOD MORNING, EVERYONE.

IT WAS THIS TIME TWO YEARS AGO WHEN HEALTH PROFESSIONALS ACROSS THE NATION RECOMMENDED THAT STAYED HOME TO GIVE US TIME TO RESEARCH AND ACQUIRE TESTS, PPE, AND EVENTUALLY A LIFE-SAVING VACCINE.

HIS GENESIS STARTED RIGHT HERE IN AUSTIN, TEXAS AT UT.

I'M PROUD TO SAY THAT WE ARE IN STAGE TWO AHEAD OF SOUTH BY SOUTHWEST THE UT MODELING CONSORTIUM PROJECTIONS CONFIRMED WHAT HAPPENS WHEN OUR COMMUNITY COMES TOGETHER.

AND ONCE AGAIN, WITH USING MASK AND GETTING VACCINATED, WE SEE OUR CITY ABLE TO HOLD AND SAFELY HOST SPECIAL EVENTS LIKE SOUTH BY SOUTHWEST, AFTER MUCH COORDINATION, APH HAS APPROVED SOUTH BY SOUTHWEST HEALTH, HAIL HEALTH AND SAFETY GUIDELINES THAT INCLUDE TESTING AND MASKING AND VACCINES DUE TO SPRING BREAK TRAVEL AND SPRING FESTIVAL SEASON APH IS STILL RECOMMENDING WEARING MASK INDOORS, ESPECIALLY WHEN SOCIAL DISTANCING IS NOT POSSIBLE, AT LEAST THROUGH MARCH 20TH.

AND WHY IS THAT? WELL, THERE ARE LOTS OF THAT ACCOUNTERS THAT WILL BE COMING FROM PLACES WITH HIGHER LEVELS OF COMMUNITY SPREAD.

AND OUR HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY PLAYS AN IMPORTANT ROLE IN OUR COMMUNITY.

AND IT'S BEEN HIT HARD BY THE PANDEMIC.

MANY EMPLOYEES IN THE INDUSTRY WORKED TO PROVIDE FOR MULTI-GENERATIONAL HOUSEHOLDS, WHICH MAY INCLUDE PEOPLE WHO ARE AT INCREASED RISK OF EXPERIENCING SEVERE SYMPTOMS OF COVID-19.

THE CDC HAS UPDATED METRICS AND OFFERED A CAVEAT FOR COMMUNITIES DEALING WITH UNIQUE CIRCUMSTANCES.

AND OUR UNIQUE CIRCUMSTANCES INCLUDE AUSTIN IS ONE OF THOSE INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL DESTINATIONS.

AND WE CAN NOW HAVE SPRING BREAK AND THE SPRING FESTIVAL SEASON UPON US.

SO IN SHORT, IF YOU'RE NOT UP TO DATE WITH YOUR COVID VACCINES, NOW'S THE TIME THE VACCINE IS SAFE AND EFFECTIVE.

AND WE THANK SOUTH BY SOUTHWEST FOR SUPPORTING

[00:20:01]

THIS MESSAGING AND LEADING OUR EVENT SEASON OFF WITH A BANG.

AND I'LL TURN THIS OVER NOW TO POLICE CHIEFS, CHICAGO.

GOOD MORNING, EVERYONE.

SO I'M GLAD FOR A NUMBER OF THINGS, THE FACT THAT WE'VE GOT OUR SOUTH BY SOUTHWEST FESTIVAL GOING AGAIN, UM, THE FACT THAT WE'RE DOING IT AS SAFELY AS POSSIBLE, AND I'M HERE TO TALK ABOUT WHAT THE AUSTIN POLICE DEPARTMENT IS GOING TO BE DOING TO HELP THAT.

I'M GLAD THAT WE'RE TAKING A MOMENT TO DISCUSS THE IMPORTANCE OF THIS BECAUSE IT ISN'T JUST ABOUT US.

THE POLICE DEPARTMENT IT'S ABOUT OUR COMMUNITY.

I WANT EVERYONE TO BE ABLE TO ENJOY ALL THE GREAT THINGS THAT SOUTH BY SOUTHWEST HAS TO OFFER, BUT TO DO SO IN A RESPONSIBLE MANNER, APD HAS COMMITTED TO AN ENVIRONMENT OF SAFETY, UH, BUT WE NEED THE COMMUNITY'S ASSISTANCE TO MAKE SURE THAT IT STAYS THAT WAY.

WE WILL BE WORKING WITH OUR PUBLIC SAFETY PARTNERS, INCLUDING, UH, THE SPECIAL EVENTS TEAMS AT THE TRANSPORTATION DEPARTMENT, FIRE EMS, BUILDING SAFETY, ALL IN ADVANCE OF, UM, THE PERMITTING THAT HAS DONE FOR EVERY EVENT FOR SOUTH BY SOUTHWEST WE PLAN AND COORDINATE SAFETY MEASURES, INCLUDING REVIEW AND APPROVAL OF SITE PLANS, INGRESS AND EGRESS, BARRICADES, FIRE SAFETY, AND, AND IMPORTANTLY CROWD CONTROL, UH, IN ADVANCE TO MAKE SURE THAT WE HAVE SAFE EVENTS.

ADDITIONALLY, FOR LARGE EVENTS LIKE THIS ONE, WE ACTIVATE A CENTRAL COMMAND CENTER WHERE OUR TEAMS ARE IN CONSTANT COMMUNICATION WITH THE EVENT ORGANIZERS SO THAT WE CAN PROACTIVELY MITIGATE AND RESPOND TO INCIDENTS.

IF THEY ARISE, I WANT TO GO OVER A FEW AREAS OF SAFETY THAT WE WILL BE CONCENTRATING ON AS A POLICE DEPARTMENT, AND ALSO TALKING ABOUT WHAT I'M GOING TO BE ASKING, UH, FROM THE PUBLIC.

SO LET'S START WITH BARRICADING DOWNTOWN.

WE WILL BE HAVING A NUMBER OF STREET CLOSURES IN THE DOWNTOWN AREA, AND THESE WILL BE INDICATED BY PHYSICAL BARRIERS.

THE MAJORITY OF STREET CLOSURES WILL BEGIN AT ABOUT 12 O'CLOCK NOON EVERY DAY, AND WE'LL BE GOING ON A DAILY BASIS UNTIL VERY EARLY IN THE MORNING, THESE ROAD CLOSURES OBVIOUSLY WILL AFFECT TRAFFIC FLOW IN AND AROUND DOWNTOWN.

THERE WILL BE INTERACTIVE MAPS THAT ARE AVAILABLE TO ALL OF THE PARTICIPANTS OF SOUTH BY SOUTHWEST.

ON MANY OF THE MAPPING FEATURES THAT ARE ON YOUR PHONE, AS WELL AS, UH, THE SOUTH BY SOUTHWEST SOUTHWEST APPLICATION, WHICH YOU CAN DOWNLOAD.

WE WILL HAVE ADDITIONAL OFFICERS IN VEHICLES THAT ARE ASSIGNED SPECIFICALLY TO DOWNTOWN TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT AND THE TRAFFIC DIVISION WILL BE ASSISTING IN COORDINATING WITH THE POLICE DEPARTMENT TO MOVE TRAFFIC OUT OF DOWNTOWN DURING RUSH HOURS IN AN EXPEDIENT WAY, OUR OVERALL MESSAGE TO THE PUBLIC.

AND WHAT WE'RE ASKING, PLEASE BE PATIENT, OBVIOUSLY THE FLOW, BOTH VEHICULAR AND PEDESTRIAN AND TRAFFIC IN THE DOWNTOWN AREA WILL BE VERY HEAVY, DO NOT ENTER BLOCKED INTERSECTIONS AND, UM, AND KIND OF ADD TO THOSE ISSUES.

WE ENCOURAGE THE PUBLIC TO USE PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION, UM, INCLUDING BICYCLES, NO, WHERE YOUR RIDE SHARE A RIDE SHARE APP PICKUP AND DROP OFF POINTS ARE.

AND THESE ARE LOCATED ON THE SOUTH BY SOUTHWEST APPLICATION.

IF YOU HAVE A PROBLEM AND IT'S AN EMERGENCY CALL 9 1 1.

IF IT'S NOT AN EMERGENCY CALL 3, 1, 1 PEDESTRIANS OBVIOUSLY WILL BE VERY HEAVY IN THE DOWNTOWN AREA.

SO IF YOU'RE IN A VEHICLE, PLEASE BE LOOKING VERY ACTIVELY FOR THE PEDESTRIANS THAT ARE WALKING.

THEY MAY NOT BE FOLLOWING ALL OF THE DIRECTIONS AND THE SIGNS AND WALKING IN THE MIDDLE OF THE STREET AND SO FORTH FOR THOSE THAT ARE ON FOOT, WE'RE ASKING, PLEASE FOLLOW THE DIRECTIONS OF THOSE PEDESTRIAN CONTROL DEVICES, UH, AND THE SIGNALS AS WELL AS OFFICERS THAT WILL BE OUT THERE HELPING TO MANAGE PEDESTRIAN TRAFFIC.

WE WILL HAVE OFFICERS AT SOME INTERSECTIONS HELPING WITH THAT WITH REGARD TO PARKING.

MANY OF THE FAMILIAR AND REGULAR PARKING LOCATIONS HAVE BEEN DISPLACED BECAUSE OF SOUTH BY SOUTHWEST.

I'M TELLING YOU NOW THAT NO PARKING AND TOW AWAY ZONES WILL BE ENFORCED.

AND MANY RESIDENTIAL AREAS IN THE DOWNTOWN AREA

[00:25:01]

WILL REQUIRE SPECIAL PERMITTING TO BE ABLE TO PARK OR FACE TOWING.

SO ONCE AGAIN, I'M GOING TO GO BACK AND SAY, PLEASE USE OUR PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION, UH, INCLUDING BICYCLES TO GET IN AND OUT OF, UM, DOWNTOWN WHEN IT COMES TO ALCOHOL CONSUMPTION TABC OR THE TEXAS ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGE COMMISSION, AS WELL AS APD WILL HAVE ENFORCEMENT TEAMS THAT WILL BE ACTIVELY LOOKING FOR MINORS IN POSSESSION OF ALCOHOL AND PERSONS THAT ARE INTOXICATED TO THE POINT THAT THEY'RE A DANGER TO THEMSELVES.

SO WE'RE ASKING, PLEASE DRINK RESPONSIBLY, PLEASE HAVE A PLAN TO GET HOME SAFELY, UH, AND TAKE CARE OF YOURSELVES.

WE WILL BE RUNNING A NO REFUSAL INITIATIVE FOR DRIVING WHILE INTOXICATED, BEGINNING ON MARCH 11TH.

AND THAT WILL RUN FOR THE DURATION OF THE FESTIVAL, THE HOURS.

AND THOSE ARE FROM 10:00 PM TILL 5:00 AM.

AND WE WILL HAVE ADDITIONAL OFFICERS THAT WILL BE STAFFED FOR DWI ENFORCEMENT.

I WANT TO TALK ABOUT TWO OF THE, UH, CRIMINAL, UH, AREAS THAT WE WILL BE HIGHLY FOCUSED ON BEGINNING WITH HUMAN TRAFFICKING.

HUMAN TRAFFICKING IS REAL.

AND UNFORTUNATELY, DURING MAJOR EVENTS, TRAFFICKERS TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THIS TYPE OF SITUATION.

I'M GOING TO ASK FOR PEOPLE TO PLEASE VISIT THE TEXAS ATTORNEY GENERAL'S WEBSITE ON HUMAN TRAFFICKING.

WE WILL PROVIDE THAT WEBSITE.

IT WILL BE AVAILABLE, UH, TO IDENTIFY WHAT THE SIGNS OF HUMAN TRAFFICKING LOOK LIKE.

WE WILL HAVE OFFICERS THAT WILL BE CONCENTRATED ON THAT AS WELL.

AND SECONDLY, WE, UH, THE CITY OF AUSTIN, LIKE OTHER BIG CITIES HAVE NOT IMMUNE TO GUN VIOLENCE.

SO WE WILL HAVE TEAMS THAT WILL BE CONDUCTING PROACTIVE CRIMINAL INVESTIGATIONS, UH, RELATED TO, UH, PEOPLE CARRYING GUNS ILLEGALLY OR COMMITTING VIOLENT CRIMES USING FIREARMS. THEY WILL BE TARGETING INDIVIDUALS AGAIN, CA ILLEGALLY CARING TO INTERVENE PRIOR TO THOSE WEAPONS BEING USED, UH, TO COMMIT ACTS OF GUN VIOLENCE.

UH, HOPEFULLY DISRUPT THAT IN THE DOWNTOWN AREA, PARTICULARLY DURING THE FESTIVAL, UM, AND IMPROVING THE SAFETY AND OVERALL PERCEPTION OF SAFETY SO THAT PEOPLE NOT ONLY ARE SAFE, BUT FEEL SAFE WHILE THEY'RE HERE IN OUR CITY ENJOYING THIS WONDERFUL TIME AT THIS TIME.

I'LL GO AHEAD AND TURN IT OVER TO DIRECTOR SPILLER WITH THE AUSTIN TRANSPORTATION DEPARTMENT.

THANK YOU.

WELL, WELCOME EVERYONE.

AND THANK YOU FOR COMING TODAY.

UH, WE ARE ALSO EXCITED ABOUT, UH, SOUTH BY, BUT IF YOU, UH, MOBILITY DISCUSSION POINTS, UH, TO POINT OUT, YOU KNOW, IF YOU LIVE HERE, YOU KNOW, THAT TRAFFIC HAS JUST ABOUT RETURN TO PRE PANDEMIC LEVELS.

IT'S ACTUALLY ABOUT 85, 90% OF PRE PANDEMIC TRAFFIC LEVELS.

UH, I WILL SAY THAT THAT TRAFFIC IS FOLLOWING DIFFERENT PATTERNS, BUT IF YOU WORK IN THE DOWNTOWN AREA, YOU KNOW, THAT IT STARTING TO GET CONGESTED IN TERMS OF OUR NORMAL COMMUTE, UH, PATHWAYS TO DOWNTOWN.

AND SO WE'RE ASKING PEOPLE, EVEN WITH THE EXCITEMENT ABOUT THE CITY OPENING UP AGAIN IN SOUTH BY, UH, TO CHOOSE NOT TO DRIVE IF POSSIBLE TO DOWNTOWN, UH, FOR IF YOU OWN A BUSINESS OR YOU WORK DOWNTOWN, PLEASE CONSIDER TELEWORKING USING AN ALTERNATE MODE.

UH, TRANSIT, UH, CAPITAL METRO WILL BE ACTIVE THROUGHOUT THE, UH, UM, UH, EVENT, UH, AS WELL AS CHIEF TACAN MENTIONED BICYCLES.

WE ENCOURAGE YOU TO RIDE BICYCLES, UH, IMPROVE YOUR HEALTH.

IT'S AN AWESOME TIME TO, UH, GET BACK ON THE STREET AND WALK, UH, YOU SCOOTERS OR WHATEVER.

WE WILL ASK YOU A AS CHIEF CHICONE SAID THAT, UH, THERE'LL BE MANY STREETS CUT OFF OR, OR BLOCKED BY BARRICADE THAT IF YOU'RE USING ONE OF THESE DEVICES, PLEASE GET OFF OF YOUR DEVICE.

AS YOU ENTER A BLOCKED AREA AND WALK IT THROUGH THAT AREA.

THERE'LL BE MANY PEDESTRIANS ON THE STREET, AND WE WANT TO MAKE SURE THAT THEY HAVE A SAFE EXPERIENCE AS WELL.

UM, EVENT GOERS CAN USE INTERACTIVE MAPS, UH, THAT OUTLINED KAPPA METRO STOPS WHERE THEY'RE LOCATED.

UH, BUT ALSO METRO BIKE STATIONS ALSO PROVIDES INFORMATION ABOUT THE AVAILABILITY OF SCOOTERS AND SO FORTH.

AND AGAIN, WE'D ASK PEOPLE TO PARK THOSE DEVICES, THOSE MOBILE DEVICES APPROPRIATELY IN THE PAINTED BOXES, UH, THAT WE PUT OUT ON THE STREET CLOSE TO WHERE THE BARRICADES WILL BE, UH, SO THAT THOSE DON'T CLUTTER OUR STREETS AND MAKE IT DIFFICULT TO WALK AROUND.

UH, IF YOU'RE ATTENDING THE FESTIVAL AND YOU'RE HAVING A DRINK IS AGAIN, CHIEF CHECON MENTIONED SAFETY IS OUR NUMBER ONE CONCERN.

PLEASE HAVE A PLAN BEFORE YOU COME.

IF YOU DO FIND THAT YOU'VE DRIVEN OR YOU AND YOUR FRIENDS HAVE DRIVEN DOWNTOWN, AND THAT YOU, UH, HAVE TAKEN IN TOO MUCH ALCOHOL, WE WOULD ASK YOU TO LEAVE YOUR CAR PARKED.

IT IS BETTER TO TAKE THE CHANCE THAT YOUR CAR IS GOING TO GET A TICKET.

WE ACTUALLY HAVE AN AMNESTY PROGRAM.

UH, THE NEXT MORNING,

[00:30:01]

IF YOU FOUND THAT YOU'VE HAD TO LEAVE YOUR CARD TO MAKE A GOOD DECISION AND TAKE A DIFFERENT ROUTE HOME CAPITAL METRO, OR A TAXI OR A TNC, UH, WE WILL, UH, TAKE CARE OF THAT TICKET FOR YOU, UH, WITH SOME JUST BASIC PROOF THAT YOU GOT A TICKET AND YOU NEED TO TAKE CARE OF THAT.

UH, BUT PLEASE SAFETY IS OUR NUMBER ONE REQUEST.

IN TERMS OF TRAFFIC, WE WILL HAVE TRAINED TRAFFIC ENGINEERS, AS WELL AS, UH, UH, UH, OTHER SENIOR TRAFFIC, UH, EXPERIENCED FOLKS, WATCHING THE SIGNALS AND WATCHING THE STREETS IN ASSISTANCE TO AUSTIN POLICE DEPARTMENT.

WE ACTUALLY DO MODIFY SIGNAL CONTROL ON A MINUTE BY MINUTE BASIS.

AS WE SEE CONGESTION HAPPENING AND TRY TO REROUTE FOLKS AROUND, UH, WE DO TRY TO GIVE PREFERENTIAL TREATMENT TO TRANSIT TO HELP IT THROUGH THIS VERY CONGESTED AREAS.

YOU CAN IMAGINE TRANSIT VEHICLES CAN CARRY MORE PEOPLE THAN PRIVATE CARS.

AND SO WE DO ASSIST IT, BUT REALLY FUNDAMENTAL TO THAT IS WE NEED TO MAKE ROOM ON OUR STREETS.

WE NEED TO HAVE THOSE PEOPLE THAT LIVE HERE, UH, TRY TO USE A DIFFERENT MODE OR STAY AWAY FROM DOWNTOWN IN TERMS OF BUSINESS, BUT PLEASE, UH, THAT'S JUST TO MAKE ROOM FOR THE RETAIL AND SERVICE FOLKS WHO NEED TO GET INTO DOWNTOWN ON A REGULAR BASIS OR ON A SPECIFIC TIME LIMIT, UH, TO CONDUCT OUR BUSINESS AND WELCOME OUR GUESTS.

I INVITE AUSTIN NIGHTS TO COME TO TOWN.

THERE'S LOTS TO SEE, EVEN IF YOU'RE OUTSIDE THE OFFICIAL SOUTH BY SOUTHWEST GATED AREA, THERE'S LOTS OF THINGS TO DO.

I KNOW THE RESTAURANTS AND BUSINESSES DOWNTOWN WILL APPRECIATE THAT.

UM, ONE OTHER ITEM ABOUT TRAVEL.

I KNOW THAT MANY AUSTINITES ALSO, UH, LEAVE TOWN, UH, DURING SOUTH BY, AND IF YOU'RE GOING BY WAY OF AUSTIN, BURT'S FROM INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, UH, ON BEHALF OF OUR AIRPORT DIRECTOR, JACKIE AFT, I WILL TELL YOU, MAKE SURE YOU HAVE A RESERVATION AND A PLAN TO GET THROUGH THE AIRPORT BECAUSE THE AIRPORT, LIKE OUR ROADWAYS ARE BACK TO PRE PANDEMIC LEVELS.

AND SO YOU NEED TO PLAN AHEAD.

UH, AND THEN THE LAST POINT THAT I WOULD REITERATE IS NO PARKING MEANS NO PARKING COMMERCIAL MEANS COMMERCIAL LOADING ZONE.

UH, WE WILL BE STRICTLY ASSISTING ATD AND STRICTLY ENFORCING, UH, THE TOWING AND NO PARKING ZONES.

AGAIN, WE CAN'T HAVE A FESTIVAL OF COMMERCIAL BUSINESSES CAN'T GET IN UNLOAD AND GET OUT, UH, EFFICIENTLY.

AND SO THOSE WILL BE STRICTLY ENFORCED TO MAKE SURE THAT WE ARE GETTING MOVES THROUGH, UH, APPROPRIATELY AS WELL AS A HANDICAP PARKING.

PLEASE MAKE SURE THAT IF YOU ARE COMING TO DOWNTOWN, THAT YOU'RE ADHERING BY THE PARKING REGULATIONS, WE WILL BE MAKING SURE, UH, IN COORDINATION WITH AUSTIN POLICE DEPARTMENT, THAT THOSE ARE ADHERE TO, UH, WITH THAT, I WOULD TURN IT OVER TO, UH, THE DEPUTY DIRECTOR AT CAPITAL METRO DOTTY WATSON.

GOOD MORNING.

THANK YOU FOR BEING HERE.

THIS YEAR'S FESTIVAL WILL, ONCE AGAIN, FALL DURING SPRING BREAK FOR OUR LOCAL SCHOOLS AND THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS, AND THAT'S A BIT OF A RELIEF FOR OUR TRAFFIC SYSTEMS, BUT WE CAN STILL EXPECT HEAVY TRAFFIC DURING THE SOUTH BY SOUTHWEST FESTIVAL WEEK.

UM, LIKE MY COLLEAGUE AND MR. SPILLER HAVE MENTIONED PUBLIC TRANSIT IS A GREAT ALTERNATIVE TO DRIVING IN YOUR OWN VEHICLE.

AND SO WE'RE ENCOURAGING EVERYONE, INCLUDING OUR GUESTS TO CONSIDER THESE ALTERNATIVE OPTIONS, INCLUDING OUR BUS AND RAIL SERVICE BECAUSE OF THE EXTRA TRAFFIC WE ARE EXPECTING.

AND THE ADDITIONAL RIDERSHIP WE ARE EXTENDING OUR METRO RAIL OPERATIONS, UM, RAIL SERVICE ON MONDAY THROUGH THURSDAY WILL RUN UNTIL 12:30 AM.

AND ON FRIDAY AND SATURDAY, IT WILL RUN UNTIL 2:30 AM.

WE WILL ALSO OFFER SUNDAY RAIL SERVICE, WHICH WE TYPICALLY DO NOT FOR THE FIRST WEEKEND OF THE FESTIVAL WHEN THE SOUTH BY SOUTHWEST INTERACTIVE FOLKS ARE HERE ON MARCH 13TH, AS FOR MASKS, WE DO REMIND EVERYONE THAT PUBLIC TRANSIT IS STILL UNDER TSA MANDATE TO WEAR MASKS ONBOARD ALL OF OUR VEHICLES.

AND SO WE DO HAVE LIMITED NUMBERS OF MASKS AVAILABLE FOR PEOPLE WHO'VE FORGOTTEN TO BRING ONE, BUT HOPEFULLY EVERYONE IS FOLLOWING THE GUIDANCE OF AUSTIN PUBLIC HEALTH AND HAS THEIR MASS HANDY FOR SOUTH BY SOUTH CUSTOMERS WHO MAY OR FOLKS WHO MAY BE TRYING OUR SERVICE FOR THE FIRST TIME, WE WILL HAVE AMBASSADORS AT OUR METRO RAIL STATIONS TO HELP ANSWER QUESTIONS.

WE'LL ALSO HAVE A POP-UP TENT OUT BY THE CONVENTION CENTER, HELPING PEOPLE UNDERSTAND WHAT'S GOING ON.

UM, WE HAVE A BEAUTIFUL DOWNTOWN METRO RAIL STATION NOW THAT WE DIDN'T HAVE THE LAST SOUTH BY SOUTHWEST.

SO WE ARE BETTER PREPARED THAN EVER TO SERVE OUR MANY CUSTOMERS.

UM, IF YOU'RE INTERESTED IN GETTING REAL-TIME INFORMATION ABOUT BUS ROUTES, WE ENCOURAGE YOU TO DOWNLOAD THE CAT METRO APP IN YOUR APP STORE OR GOOGLE PLAY STORE.

AND THAT WILL ALSO ALLOW YOU TO BUY A MOBILE TICKETS.

AND IF YOU WANT ROUTE SPECIFIC INFORMATION, YOU CAN SIGN UP FOR OUR TEXT ALERT SYSTEM@CAPMETRO.ORG SLASH METRO ALERTS.

THANK YOU SO MUCH.

WE'RE LOOKING FORWARD TO A GREAT FESTIVAL.

OKAY.

AT THIS TIME, WE WILL TAKE SOME QUESTIONS FOR THESE GUYS THAT ARE HERE BEHIND US.

IF YOU WILL KINDLY, IF YOU HAVE A QUESTION SPEAKING INTO THE

[00:35:01]

MICROPHONE AND FOR THE FOLKS BACK HERE, IF THE QUESTION IS REMAINING, THEY'LL JUST STEP UP TO THE MIC AND ANSWER FOR YOU.

UM, I'LL GO, SORRY.

DON'T MEAN TO JUMP THE GUN.

AND THIS IS PROBABLY A QUESTION FOR CHIEF CHECON.

UM, I JUST WANTED TO ASK AGAIN, IF, IF APD IS PREPARING FOR ANY, I KNOW WE SAW THAT BATCH OF OVERDOSES WITH XYLAZINE LAST WEEK IS APD DOING ANYTHING EXTRA TO PREPARE FOR POSSIBLE OVERDOSES AT SOUTH BY? SO ALL OF OUR OFFICERS NOW ARE EQUIPPED WITH NARCAN.

AND SO, UM, YOU KNOW, WHAT, WHAT WE'RE HOPEFUL OF IS THAT WE CAN GET TO, IF WE, A PERSON THAT IS EXPERIENCING A DRUG OVERDOSE, GET TO THEM QUICKLY.

UH, I KNOW THAT WE WILL HAVE A, WHAT WE CALL RESCUE TASK FORCES AND QUICK RE UH, QUICK REACTION FOLKS, UH, THAT WILL BE DEPLOYED THAT CAN, UH, GET AROUND EVEN WITH BARRICADED AREAS VERY QUICKLY AND BE ABLE TO ADMINISTER, UH, EMERGENCY MEDICAL SERVICES.

DID I HEAR WHEN THEY WERE FIRST ANNOUNCING THIS PARTICULAR SEGMENT THAT WE HAD FEWER PEOPLE GET PERMITTED THIS YEAR THAN LAST YEAR FOR THE SPRING FESTIVAL? I, YES, THAT'S CORRECT.

UM, SO LAST YEAR, YOU KNOW, SOUTH BY WAS VIRTUAL.

AND SO REALLY LOOKING BACK TO 2020 WOULD HAVE BEEN THE LAST TIME THAT WE WERE ISSUING A LOT OF SPECIAL EVENT PERMITS IN 2020.

WE HAD ABOUT 190 DURING SPRING FESTIVAL SEASON.

AND THIS YEAR, I THINK IF I HAVE MY NUMBER, RIGHT, IT'S 107.

I HAD THAT IN MY REMARKS.

SO THERE ARE LESS PERMITS THIS YEAR.

I THINK IT'S IMPORTANT TO NOTE THAT FOR BUSINESSES THAT ALREADY OPERATE AS A MUSIC VENUE, FOR EXAMPLE, THEY DO NOT REQUIRE SPECIAL EVENT PERMITS FESTIVAL OR EVENT OR LOCATION.

UM, IT'S PRETTY DIFFICULT TO SAY, UM, IT'S NO DIFFERENT, IT'S DIFFICULT TO SAY, UH, SORT OF ACROSS THE BOARD.

UM, I DON'T HAVE ANYTHING TOO SPECIFIC ON THAT.

IT'S TOUGH FOR ME TO OPINE ON IT, BUT I WOULD THINK THAT, UM, AS WE'VE BEEN MOVING DOWN TO STAGE TWO, THERE WERE MAYBE SOME BUSINESSES THAT WERE WAITING TO SEE WHAT THE PANDEMIC SITUATION WOULD BE LIKE BEFORE THEY APPLIED FOR SPECIAL EVENT PERMITS.

GOOD MORNING, CAROLINA FROM UNIVISION.

THIS QUESTION IS FOR CHIEF SHAQUAN.

I KNOW THE SITUATION IS A LITTLE DIFFERENT SOUTHWEST BY SOUTHWEST AND SIXTH STREET, BUT ANY, ANY SPECIFIC LESSONS THAT AFTER THE SATURATING THAT HAPPEN IN SIXTH STREET, WHEN PEOPLE WERE HEARD AND MURDER, IS THERE ANYTHING THAT YOU ARE GOING TO IMPLEMENT THIS YEAR, OR AT LEAST YOUR AGENTS TO BE MORE SPECIFIC, ANYTHING SPECIFIC THEY'RE GOING TO TRY TO DO, BECAUSE AT THE END OF THE DAY, WE'RE TALKING ABOUT MASS GATHERINGS, A LOT OF PEOPLE CROWDED, IF SOMETHING HAPPENS, IT COULD.

YEAH.

THANK YOU.

SO FOR, I'LL JUST TELL YOU FOR EVERY SOUTH BY SOUTHWEST, WE STAFF THEM DIFFERENTLY THAN A TYPICAL, UM, YOU KNOW, WEEKEND IN THE ENTERTAINMENT DISTRICT.

UM, WE BRING IN MANY SPECIALIZED UNITS THAT ARE WORKING FROM OUR ORGANIZED CRIME DIVISION ON THE, ON THE THINGS THAT I WAS TALKING ABOUT AND THE AREAS OF GUN VIOLENCE, PARTICULARLY, UH, IN HUMAN TRAFFICKING, IN, UH, NARCOTICS TRAFFICKING AND THOSE KINDS OF THINGS.

SO WE WILL HAVE A MUCH LARGER PRESENCE IN THE DOWNTOWN AREA THAN YOU WOULD SEE ON A NORMAL WEEKEND, UM, BY, BY QUITE A FEW OFFICERS PRE PANDEMIC FOR SOUTHWEST SOUTHWEST.

SO WE ARE ANTICIPATING SLIGHTLY SMALLER, UH, YOU KNOW, CROWDS FOR THIS SOUTH BY SOUTHWEST.

YOU JUST HEARD THAT THE PERMITTING IS DOWN SOMEWHAT.

AND, UM, REALLY WE'RE ANTICIPATING, WE ARE ANTICIPATING VERY LARGE CROWDS.

WE MAY HAVE, YOU KNOW, JUST THE NORMAL CROWDS THAT COME OUT FOR A WEEKEND IN THE ENTERTAINMENT DISTRICT THAT ARE JOINING THE SOUTH BY SOUTHWEST CROWD.

SO THAT'S JUST GOING TO BE MORE FOLKS, BUT WE ALSO HAVE MORE OFFICERS.

AND, UH, WE'RE ALSO PARTNERING WITH TRAVIS COUNTY, UH, AND WITH DPS THAT ARE ALSO PROVIDING RESOURCES, UH, FOR THE FESTIVAL.

SO THERE WILL BE A HEALTHY LAW ENFORCEMENT PRESENCE DOWNTOWN.

WE HAD MAYBE IN 2019, I HAVE NOT COMPARED THE NUMBERS.

UM, BUT I KNOW THAT WE WORK VERY CLOSELY WITH AUSTIN CENTER FOR EVENTS TO ANTICIPATE WHAT THOSE, UH, SIZE CROWDS ARE GONNA LOOK LIKE.

AND THEN, UH, AND THEN STAFF APPROPRIATELY, I DON'T KNOW THAT WE HAVE MORE BARRIERS IN PLACE.

UM, BUT, UH, YOU KNOW, AS WE HAVE A SMALLER NUMBER OF SANCTIONED EVENTS THAT ARE HAPPENING, WE MAY NOT NEED TO CLOSE QUITE AS MANY STREETS TALKING ABOUT, UH, LESS PERMITS.

THIS IS KIND OF DIRECTED TOWARD YOU.

DO YOU HAVE ANY ESTIMATE ON ATTENDANCE THIS YEAR, SPECIFICALLY COMPARED TO 2019? AND THEN I ALSO WANTED TO ASK YOU ABOUT ANY POSSIBLE STAFFING OR VOLUNTEER SHORTAGES YOU MIGHT BE FACING.

THAT QUESTION MIGHT BE BETTER SUITED TO SOUTH BY SOUTHWEST STAFF.

I THINK TAMMY HERE MIGHT BE AVAILABLE TO ANSWER THAT FOR YOU.

[00:40:02]

HI, TAMMY RECTOR, VICE PRESIDENT OF EVENT OPERATIONS FOR SOUTH BY SOUTHWEST.

UM, AS WITH MOST EVENTS HAVE AND PLANNING FOR OVER THE LAST YEAR, THERE WERE A LOT OF UNKNOWNS AS WE STARTED OUR BADGE SALES AND OUR CREDENTIAL SALES.

UM, BUT AS OUR SITUATION HAS IMPROVED HERE IN AUSTIN, SO HAVE OUR SALES AS WELL.

AND SO WEEK OVER WEEK, WE'RE SEEING INCREASES AND PEOPLE WANTING TO COME TO AUSTIN AND ATTEND SOUTH BY SOUTHWEST.

AND SO WE WILL ANTICIPATE CONTINUING, CONTINUING TO SEE MORE BAD SALES IN SOME OF OUR BIGGEST SALES ARE ACTUALLY OUR WALK-UP SALES.

SO WE ARE LOOKING FORWARD TO ALMOST A NORMAL LITTLE HUSTLE AND BUSTLE HERE IN AUSTIN FOR SOUTH BY SOUTHWEST NUMBERS WHEN IT COMES TO ATTENDANCE.

I, DON'T NOT OFF THE TOP OF MY HEAD.

I'M SORRY.

AND THEN IT'S OKAY.

ANY STAFFING ISSUES? I KNOW A LOT OF INDUSTRIES ARE FACING STAFFING SHORTAGES.

IT'S SOUTH BY EXPERIENCING THE SAME THING.

WELL, NOT SO MUCH SEEING STAFFING SHORTAGES.

WE ARE SEEING SOME CHALLENGES AS IT RELATES TO OUR VOLUNTEERS, BUT WE ARE MAKING CONCESSIONS AND WE'RE MOVING PEOPLE AROUND AND WE'RE WORKING AS, YOU KNOW, A PRODUCTION COMPANY WOULD AND MOVING PEOPLE TO WHERE WE NEED THEM AND REALLOCATING AS WE NEED.

I KNOW YOU DON'T HAVE SPECIFIC NUMBERS, BUT JUST SO THE RESIDENTS OF AUSTIN, BECAUSE, YOU KNOW, THEY'D TRY TO KIND OF PREPARE FOR SOUTH BY SOUTHWEST AS WELL.

WOULD YOU SAY IT MIGHT BE 75% AROUND THERE OF WHAT A 2019 WAS, OR IS THERE A WAY TO KIND OF QUANTIFY IT AT ALL? I WOULD SAY WE WERE DOWN A, A FEW PERCENTAGES, YOU KNOW, MAYBE THE 20 ISH PERCENTAGE RATE, BUT LIKE I SAID, YOU KNOW, A LOT OF THE PEOPLE THAT COME TO AUSTIN FOR SOUTH BY SOUTHWEST AREN'T NECESSARILY OUR REGISTRANT'S, ALTHOUGH WE HAVE, YOU KNOW, A BIG CONTINGENCY HERE THAT HAVE COME FOR OUR EVENT, YOU HAVE TO REMEMBER THAT WE ALSO BRING IN A LOT OF PEOPLE THAT JUST WANT TO EXPERIENCE AUSTIN DURING SPRING BREAK AND EXPERIENCE THE ENERGY THAT SOUTH BY SOUTHWEST SPRINGS, THERE ARE ALWAYS A LOT OF FREE EVENTS AND THINGS LIKE THAT.

HOW DOES THAT COMPARE? MAYBE THIS YEAR TO 2019, WE ARE STILL HAVING OUR FREE EVENTS.

SO WE HAVE THE OUTDOOR STAGE AT LADY BIRD LAKE.

WE HAVE OUR WELLNESS EXPO.

WE ALSO HAVE OUR FLAT STOCK EXPO.

THAT'S AT THE CONVENTION CENTER, AND WE ARE MAINTAINING ALL OF OUR ENTRY POLICIES JUST AS WE WOULD FOR ANY OF OUR CREDENTIALED EVENTS.

SO A VACCINE OR A TEST RESULT WILL BE NEEDED TO ENTER THOSE.

AND WE ARE SUPPORTING THAT WITH TESTING CENTERS AT THE CONVENTION CENTER, AS WELL AS POP-UPS I ALL OF THE FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC EVENTS COVID RELATED.

BUT I KNOW IT'S ENCOURAGED FOR FESTIVAL GOERS TO WEAR THEIR MASK FOR TWO MORE WEEKS BECAUSE OF THE FESTIVAL GOING INTO SPRING BREAK.

BUT IT HAS TO BE A CONCERN DUE TO ALL THESE PEOPLE IN AREAS THAT AREN'T MASK REGULATED THAT THIS POSSIBLY COULD LEAD US BACK INTO STAGE THREE OR FOUR.

HAS THAT BEEN A CONCERN? ARE THERE THINGS BEING DONE PLANNED? OUR MITIGATION MEASURES, WE WORKED REALLY CLOSELY WITH AUSTIN PUBLIC HEALTH IN THE CITY OF AUSTIN, AND WE PLANNED FOR AN EVENT AND A STAGE FIVE SITUATION.

AND ALTHOUGH THE SITUATION HAS IMPROVED FOR OUR STAGING, WHICH IS WONDERFUL FOR EVERYBODY THAT'S ATTENDING SOUTH BY SOUTHWEST AND OUR VISITORS COMING FROM OUT OF TOWN, UH, WE'RE GOING TO STAY THE COURSE WITH THE MITIGATION MEASURES THAT WE WERE PLANNING FOR IN STAGE FIVE, WHICH INCLUDES MASKING AND ALL OF OUR EXPOS, ALL OF OUR CONFERENCE ROOMS. UM, ANY OF OUR CITY OF AUSTIN FACILITIES, WE'LL BE ENCOURAGING MASKING ANYWHERE ELSE.

WE WILL HAVE A MASSIVE SIGNAGE CAMPAIGN TO PROVIDE GUIDANCE THAT APH HAS PUT OUT OVER THE, OVER THE YEARS WHILE WE'VE BEEN NAVIGATING THIS PANDEMIC.

UH, WE HAD THE TESTING CENTERS AND THAT IS OPEN TO EVERY PARTICIPANT OF SOUTH BY SOUTHWEST.

SO WHETHER YOU'RE A VENDOR, YOU'RE A HOTELIER, YOU'RE ONE OF OUR POTENTIAL PARTNERS, PARTICIPANT STAFF, VOLUNTEERS.

EVERYBODY'S WELCOME TO USE THAT TESTING CENTER.

WE THINK IT'S GOING TO BE REALLY IMPORTANT BECAUSE THERE IS GOING TO BE PROBABLY LESS MASKING OUT IN THE CITY.

AND WE WANT PEOPLE TO BE ABLE TO HAVE THESE RESOURCES TO, YOU KNOW, MITIGATE THE SPREAD OF COVID-19.

ALL RIGHT.

THANK YOU.

OKAY.

I DON'T THINK WE HAVE ANY OTHER QUESTIONS GOING ONCE.

AWESOME.

WELL, THANK YOU GUYS SO MUCH FOR BEING HERE WITH US IN PERSON TODAY.

WE HOPE YOU HAVE A SAFE SPRING FESTIVAL SEASON AND HAVE A GREAT DAY

* This transcript was compiled from uncorrected Speech-to-Text.