Debrief: Austin City Limits Music Festival
It’s only two days to the Eighth Annual Austin City Limits Music Festival here in my glorious Austin, Texas.
For those of you who have been before, you know how special an event it is. For those of you who haven’t, what are you waiting for?
“ACL,” as we Austinites have come to refer to it, began as a small festival in 2002 and has grown (some would say too large, but I say the more the merrier) into a world-class music festival.
Which is just what it should be, if we’re to fully live up to our mantra of being the “live music capitol of the world!”
This year, a couple of things are worthy of note. First, Zilker Park has been completely reseeded from the ground up. Not the patchwork improvements made after the great Coldplay duststorm of 2005.
No, this is a serious overhauling of the park, and the grass looks absolutely gorgeous. And, it’s nice and fluffy to sit on.
Second, the festival is being held a week later than normal, and after our 60+ days of 100+ heat in Austin this year, that could be the key difference maker.
In prior years (like 2005), temperatures have reached up to 106 degrees during the festival. It’s currently a lovely 73 degrees outside. I went for a long mountain bike ride very early this morning on the Austin greenbelt and there was almost a chill in the air.
If you don’t have a ticket already, this year’s 3-day passes are sold out, so check your favorite ticket vendor or Craig’s List. If you do, get over to the Box Office now (3pm-8pm daily) and get that wristband. You will be hating yourself if you wait until Friday to pick it up, as you’ll be standing in line with hundreds of others while you listen to the music from afar.
Some other tips: Bring suntan lotion, just in case, and I always like to take a small umbrella. You can bring a portable, collapsible chair, and I always take some small binoculars as well. Otherwise, leave stuff at home, because you likely won’t be able to bring it in, and it’s a long trip back to wherever your car is.
This year, the festival has gone all social media on us. You can share your personalized schedule from their Web site via Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter.
Me, I like to roam around from act to act freestyle (schedules are for my workday!), but here’s a few of the acts I hope to take in:
John Legend, Pearl Jam, Kings of Leon, Asleep at the Wheel, Poi Dog Pondering, Heartless Bastards, Mishka, Reckless Kelly, Dave Mathews Band, The Scabs, Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears, David Garza, Rodriquez…and lots, lots more.
By the way, I just downloaded the new Pearl Jam album, “Backspacer,” on iTunes, and upon first listen have decided it’s some of the best stuff they’ve done since they emerged into the scene in the early 90s.
Eddie Vedder has never been better, and I’m really looking forward to seeing he and his band perofrm in our refurbished park right down the street from Turboville!
So, get on a plane and get yourself down to Austin. The Festival starts mid-day Friday and goes through Sunday night.
You can learn more at the ACL Website.
P.S. And leave your agita at home. This is the mellowest, coolest music festival you’ll ever go to, and the people who attend it, both visitors and locals, are very well behaved and all about the music, and we want to keep it that way!