AUSTIN, Texas — As Austin-Travis health officials reported ICU beds are down to two and new COVID-19 cases continue to soar at an aggressive rate, some locals are concerned with whether one of Texas' biggest entertainment events should still carry on.
The three-day 2021 Austin City Limits Music Festival is set to take place in Austin's Zilker Park from October 1-3 and October 8-10. However, a group called "Cancel ACL Fest" is now calling for the cancellation of the in-person events.
RELATED: ACL Live artist requests masks, proof of vaccination to attend weekend concert
A Change.org petition has accumulated over 170 signatures as of Wednesday morning and the number continues to grow.
The petition's homepage reads, in part,
Due to Governor Abbott’s laws against vaccine passports and mask mandates, it is no longer safe to have this event. ACL has no plans to even discuss canceling. For the public safety of all that live in Austin, it’s best to cancel the festival. The pandemic is not over yet, the virus is still mutating. We must do all that we can to stop this super spreader event.
On Monday, Austin City Limits Radio announced the temporary postponement of its Blues on the Green live music shows which were scheduled for August 10-11. On Tuesday, music legend Stevie Nicks dropped out of the ACL Music Festival lineup, citing the rise in coronavirus cases.
On Tuesday, Austin Public Health officials reported 583 new cases of COVID-19 and 569 hospitalizations – the highest since January 26 – with most patients being unvaccinated. They also reported 128 are using ventilators – a record-setting number.
MORE| Tyler, The Creator added to ACL Festival lineup after DaBaby was dropped
ACL Fest organizers said they are in regular communication with local health and public safety officials and will follow current recommendations and guidelines in place at the time of the festival.
The author of the Cancel ACL Fest petition goes on to say:
Many people without vaccines will be able to attend, many people will become ill. We must ACT NOW!