Friday Top 5: Reasons I’m Actually Looking Forward to ACL
I know, another festival related post from myself, but it’s that time of year in Austin if you haven’t noticed. Fall. Sure SXSW rules the Spring, but Fall in Austin, Tx can have your head spinning at all of the live music options. Not only do we have ACL and Fun Fun Fun Fest, but the schedule of touring acts this time of year can be ridiculous. The festival known worldwide and sometimes confused with the television show is our kick-off to the end of the year in music for Austin, Tx, and as much as we might shy away from the fact that The Eagles are a headlining act, deep down inside it’s our festival, and a pretty cool one at that.
If it were only true. Sorry, but it’s wishful thinking. Wouldn’t ACL be so much more enjoyable without the sea of chair camping freaks? Sorry, but it clogs the park and makes it more difficult to navigate the park for full enjoyment of the music. And what other festival allows this behavior?
It’s Austin for crying out loud. Aside from the folding chair crowd, there’s a plethora of interesting folks in this crowd and if you are a people watcher, you could waste hours at ACL without seeing any music and be as entertained.
So, maybe you can’t make it out during the day for the festival, or maybe you didn’t get a ticket soon enough, or maybe you just don’t like the idea of wading through a sea of people to see that one band that you really, really, really, want to see. You might be in luck. The ACL aftershows give everyone a chance to see some of the prime acts from the festival in a more quaint setting. If you didn’t jump on this opportunity early, there still might be some tickets available for some of the shows. Strokes and Spoon fans will have to scour Craigslist though.
2. The Food
Now, I haven’t been to many festivals around the country to compare much, but I know for a fact that the food options at ACL would probably stand up pretty well to anything else any other festival has to offer. I can tell you that the food options at Lollapalooza a few years back were dismal, and in my own personal opinion, good food with plenty of options is a bonus, if not a necessity. Pimiento cheese and pickle sandwiches, Hatch Green Chile Cheese tots, P. Terrry’s burgers, Truffled Mac and Cheese, and Torchy’s Tacos. Are you kidding me?
1. The Lineup
I’ll admit, that the first time I saw the lineup, I was a bit put off, and mostly because of the Eagles and Phish. I’m still put off by those selections, as ACL has the power to bring in a really cool headliner, being that they sell tickets before any acts are even announced. Sure Muse is a big draw and all the kids love the light show, but the real treats are scattered all throughout all the days, leaving plenty of opportunity to check out some of the best in modern music. You’ll hear plenty about some of the acts here for sure, but I’ve got some curiosities that I’m looking forward to for sure: Beach House, Bear In Heaven, Local Natives, Warpaint, Blind Pilot, Gayngs.. just to name a few.
The real truth is, that I dislike big festivals like ACL, but am seeking to find as much positive about it for myself to make this year as enjoyable as possible. From a fans perspective, it’s a great event, and I loved it when that’s all I was attending it for…pure enjoyment. I’ve had great experiences at ACL in the past, but it seems harder and harder for me each year to try and pull a great positive experience over the past few years. But I’m not giving up, and am going to do everything I can to try to make this one of my best ACL experiences ever. There’s some good fucking bands lumped in the mix this year, and I imagine some stellar performances just might take place.