Many of the music lovers headed to the Austin City Limits Music Festival this year are bummed out to find that they won’t be able to light up a doobie while listening to their favorite bands. Due to severe drought conditions in Austin, there is a smoking ban for the entire festival area.
While pot has never been legal in the State of Texas, Austin is known for its hippie environment and much of the time, pot smoking at music venues has never really been frowned upon by the local authorities.
“They’re just mainly old hippies who simply can’t attend an open-air concert without smoking pot,” said one police officer who has been patrolling Austin streets for three decades. “We just look the other way, normally,” he said. “But this year is different. One spark and the whole place could go up so we have to put the quietus on all those hippies and say no.”
Of course, while a burn ban may put a bit of a damper on the concert goers’ fun, most of the veteran concert goers know how to get around it.
“This happened about ten years ago,” said Grover “Groove-man” Henderson, a transplant from San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury neighborhood. “Adversity just makes us better, man.” Asked how he’s going to get through three days of concerts without pot. Groove-man laughed. “I been up all night baking with the old lady, man. We have enough brownies to last through Tuesday,” he said as he and his old lady, Sunshine, headed out on their bikes with a loaded picnic basket to catch some tunes.