You are standing in the middle of a huge crowd. The lights are flashing and the music fills you up with positive energy as you look up at your favorite artist performing live. Happiness and excitement buzz in the air. Everyone in that crowd is here for the same purpose: seeing the artist they love perform during not just one, but a three day long concert ordeal. This is a music festival, and the closest one to Dallas in October is Austin City Limits Music Festival in Zilker Park.
The Austin City Limits Music Festival takes place during 2 weekends in October. Weekend one is the 6th through 8th and weekend two is the 13th through the 15th.
The lineup of music artists change every year, but a few headliners among over 100 artists from this year’s lineup are: Jay-Z, Chance the Rapper, The XX, Tove Lo, Vance Joy, ASAP Ferg and Skepta, who was featured in Drake’s More Life album released this summer.
Although this festival takes place during the school year, weekend one aligns with Ursuline’s fall break, allowing students to use that weekend to take a fun trip down to Austin to enjoy ACL and the city.
For example, Hannah Bennett ’18 went to ACL last year with her best friend Kate Reynolds ’18 along with another friend from HP. Recalling her experience she said, “Everyone in the crowd was so happy and excited to see the artists so it was a very positive and friendly environment.” She will be returning to the festival again, and she is most looking forward to seeing The XX, Glass Animals, Louis the Child, Foster the People, Coin, Milky Chance, Vance Joy and Zhu. “I am excited to see all of these artists because I have been to many music festivals and these artists have not been there. I love them all, and I can’t believe they are going to be at ACL,” she said.
For any first timers at the festival, a tip Bennett gave was: “It is important to stand waiting for your favorite bands if you want to be really close; this might mean you have to make some sacrifices and not see another band. However, wherever you are in the crowd is always fun!”
In addition to the music and performances, another staple of the festival is the food. Austin is known for its various unique, delicious food options, and the ACL Music Festival does not disappoint in that department. The ACL Eats Food Court offers tasty meals, snacks, sweets and drinks from the area’s favorite restaurants. It also accommodates for various diets, providing vegetarian, vegan, and gluten free options. Vendors that will be at the festival this year are: Juiceland, Maine Root Beverages, Shake Shack and Torchy’s Tacos to name a few.
Although Bennett did not explore the foods in Austin outside of the festival, she shares that Salt Lick is a famous barbeque restaurant in Austin, and will be one of the vendors at ACL this year. She also stopped at the Czech Stop (a little Czech bakery) on the way to Austin for kolaches that she highly recommends.
“The food at ACL is really good, local Austin food. My favorites last year were Burro Cheese Kitchen with the best mac and cheese grilled cheese ever, The Peached Tortilla serving delicious Asian food with a southern flair and Amy’s Ice Cream with some very yummy ice cream!”
Whatever music taste you have, Austin City Limits will most likely encompass that genre. While you are down in Austin for the festival, be sure to explore the city as well — from new friends, new restaurants to a new landscapes and scenery — you never know what you may discover.