ACL may repeat smoking ban

Alex Raisch

Smokers attending the Austin City Limits music festival may be constrained for the second year in a row because of a burn ban set for all of Travis County.

The Travis County Commissioners Court approved a ban on all outdoor burning after moisture readings indicated the soil was drying up. In the wake of the Bastrop County complex fire, which destroyed more than 30,000 acres, the county also issued a burn ban last year that restricted smoking at Zilker Park, where ACL is held. Travis County fire marshal Hershel Lee said only those who abide by hot work procedures will be allowed to burn anything.

He did not comment on whether smoking restrictions will be seen at this year’s ACL festival. Last year, a ban restricted smoking and building fires at ACL, forcing patrons to remove themselves from the grounds before lighting up.

“Only those who abide by the hot work procedures of cutting, welding and grinding are the exception,” he said.

Procedures include making sure that the surrounding 25 feet of workspace is free from vegetation, always having a fire extinguisher handy and making sure a fire watch person is nearby at all times.

Biology junior Alex Moore bought tickets for the upcoming festival and said she thinks it is a smart idea to initiate a smoking ban.

“Although personally I don’t smoke cigarettes, I completely understand the seriousness of a burn ban and would understand if a smoking ban was implemented,” Moore said.

She did, however, have other concerns.

“Do you know if the ban includes marijuana? Because if so, I’m going to have to get high beforehand,” Moore said.