SXSW to feature safety changes, after 4 killed last year

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Several new safety measures will be in place when this year’s South by Southwest music festival begins.

Event organizers and civic leaders in Austin, Texas, began looking into how to improve safety after a driver plowed through a barricade during last year’s event into a crowd of concertgoers, killing four people and injuring many others.

There will be an increased police presence during the music portion of South by Southwest, which kicks off Tuesday. Organizers also have taken steps to cut down on overcrowding in concert venues and free alcohol giveaways, and this year’s curfew has been moved up.

Several lawsuits alleging lax safety were filed after last year’s accident. The driver is charged with murder.