Authorities shut down 3 SXSW venues, one by Justin Bieber - MyFoxAustin.com | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

Authorities shut down 3 SXSW venues, one by Justin Bieber

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Three venues holding South by Southwest events were shut down by authorities overnight. And another is shut down by Justin Bieber, so he can hang out there after giving a surprise performance.

APD, AFD, and Health and Code Compliance are teaming up to make sure things run smoothly during South by Southwest. They have been patrolling the streets 24-7.

It's not something you get to see every day--Justin Bieber showing up to a bar in Austin and requesting to take the stage.

"It was a good time. It was a cool performance. The people that came for the event were absolutely thrilled with it. It was sort of a once in a lifetime opportunity for them," said Ben Siegel, owner of Bangers on Rainy Street.

Siegel says it was an unexpected surprise. He had a hand-full of performers lined up but didn't think Bieber would be one of them.

"Scooter came up and said 'hey, he really wants to do a song.' We said okay, just give us a second to try to figure out security-wise what we're going to do here. Fortunately there were some APD officers that were right in front of the restaurant. They were super cool, super helpful. They brought them inside the property and they kind of just stood on side of the stage," Siegel said.

Authorities say everything went smoothly. But they did have to temporarily close three other downtown venues overnight--one because of overcrowding and the other two for not having a permit.

"Most of your South by Southwest sanction events are permitted because they know what their use is...what we get is a lot of people that ride the coat-tail of South by Southwest so they're not part of the sanction event and they start having events outside the area...a lot of those are not permitted," said Code Compliance Field Operations Division Manager Ronald Potts said.

That's when a venue is shut-down. Potts says in year's past, arrests have been made later in the week.

"We try to go through a process of giving them warnings, verbal warnings or written warnings and then if they comply then we're all happy. If they don't comply then we shut them down. We can issue them a citation depending on the situation Austin police can make an arrest if it's something that's aggravated," Potts said.

Jacob Porpossian says he was at Bangers when Bieber showed up Sunday night. For him it's an ironic twist since he works for a company that monitors South by Southwest online conversations.

"Some of us like myself captured it on my mobile device and was able to post it up on Instagram and this morning we just came into the lounge and we saw that it was trending and it was blowing up online. It was a really, really cool way to see all of this happening and unfolding in front of our eyes using our technology," Porpossian said.

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