On Friday afternoon, Austin City Limits kicked off with a boom – literally. In a not so green incident, a fire occurred just outside the festival grounds as Pete Yorn was kicking off the event on one of the eight stages closest to the fire.
According to the festival organizers, “the incident occurred outside the northern perimeter of the service drive around the grounds. Festival staff put he emergency plan in action and the Austin Fire Department, as well as other emergency personnel, responded quickly and extinguished the fire. The cause of the fire is unknown, but festival organizers and the Austin Fire Department have begun an investigation.”
As black smoked filled the Austin skyline, memories of dusty air and coughing from year’s past were momentarily heightened, but the fire was quickly put out and blue skies appeared. The estimated 65,000 fans continued to pile into the festival grounds to hear the afternoon and evening acts of Joss Stone, Crowded House, Bjork, and The Killers.
While the explosion may have put a slight damper on the carbon neutrality of the festival, event organizers rallied and Austinites cooperative nature truly made the first night of ACL 2007 a memorable one.
Update: Four employees of an alcohol distribution company were injured, with one still remaining in the hospital. A spokesperson responded, “the good news is they’re all surviving, and they got the best medical care that they can.” For the full news story, check it out here.