Whether it’s because one didn’t have the money, refused to pay the two hundred bucks or were too busy preparing for midterms, you may be one of many students still without ACL tickets. For most, scalping a ticket is far too expensive on a college budget, but that doesn’t stop some determined souls from trying to get into the festival any way they can.
Every year, dozens of festivalgoers try to sneak their way into ACL for free with little luck, but occasionally, a few get through. Austin Community College student Johnny*, is one of those lucky few — and according to him it was wasn’t hard at all.
According to Johnny, he and a group of approximately six others got to the park for last year’s festival early Friday morning of weekend one with the intention of getting into the park. Without any set plan on how to get in, the group found the main entrance open and unattended.
“We got to the park at like 7, 7:30 (a.m.), and we just walked right through the gates,” Johnny said.
Once inside, the group thought they would have to hide to keep from getting caught, but, as it turned out, that wasn’t necessary.
“The first thirty minutes we didn’t know what to do,” Johnny said. “We thought we were all just gonna have to like sit in the porta potties and wait but ended up not even being that. We just sat at a bench and our plan was if anybody stopped us we would just say ‘yeah we’re working at one of the shops waiting for our shift to start,’ but nobody came (to question us).”
The group waited until the park was opened to the public before they left their post for a day at the festival. The following morning they attempted to do the same thing, but this time the same entrance was guarded. Still determined on getting in, they squeezed through a gap they found in the fence.
Now in the park, the group had the same plan as the previous day, just hang out until the park opened. This time, they encountered a staff member, but Johnny said he just walked right passed them.
“He just walked by us, and he said, ‘What’s up, guys? You(‘re) the first ones in the park right?,’”Johnny said. “The park doesn’t open for another two hours. I’m sure he knew, he just didn’t say anything.”
Due to the recent shooting in Vegas and the growing frequency of mass shootings, the festival is working with the Austin Police Department to step up security this year, according to a report by the Austin American Statesman.
Although Johnny was glad to get in without paying, he voices his concern on how those who sneak in also bypass the safety pat down as well.
“Sneaking in, you can bring in whatever you want,” Johnny said. “Nobody’s there to check you. That’s a little scary considering what’s happening now.”
*Names have been changed to protect the anonymity of sources.