Austin City Limits Returns

Austin City Limits Music Festival recently rose to the occasion making their two 3-day October weekend lineups full of talented performers following a year off due to the pandemic. ACL’s unique line up included popular mainstream artists like Billie Eilish, Miley Cyrus, Jack Harlow and Tyler the Creator but also invited timeless acts like Duran Duran and George Strait.   

     Despite a handful of setbacks leading up to the festival including a few weather delays, ACL rocked Zilker Park, with the help of its 450,000 attendants.  

     ACL 2021 was announced May 19 followed by the lineup announcement and tickets for sale the day after. According to Fox 7 Austin, “2021 ACL Music Festival sold out both weekends in record time.”  

     Weekend one tickets sold out in three hours, but sophomore Georgia Thompson managed to get hold of three passes before the tickets disappeared. Many people, however, were not so lucky.   

     For the people who did manage to get tickets, the anticipation to see headliners such as Rüfüs du Sol and George Strait as well as other artists like Doja Cat, Machine Gun Kelly, St. Vincent and Greta Van Fleet grew by the day leading up to weekend one.   

     However, two central headliners were announced by the festival that they will no longer be attending in early August. Rapper DaBaby was removed from the setlist after making some homophobic comments and former Fleetwood Mac member Stevie Nicks because of her growing concern about Covid-19 and large gatherings.  

      ACL was quick to find artists that have a similar music style and fan bases as DaBaby and Nicks. Soon enough, Tyler the Creator and Duran Duran would take the previous artists spots on the festival line up.  

     In addition to big named artists, ACL invited local artists like Dayglow, Mike Melinoe and Latinx performers like Shiela and Lunay.    

     The day finally came for ACL to return, but mother nature had different plans. The whole morning of Oct. 1, Austin faced rain that didn’t seem to let up.   

     Senior Emma Lochridge, who drove up Friday morning, was worried she wouldn’t be able to see some of her favorite artists like Machine Gun Kelly and Jon Pari because of the rain. However, ACL went to its Instagram and announced a delay in the schedule with gates opening at 3:30 p.m.  

      That schedule delay forced the festival to cut several artists from Friday’s line up like Nothing Nowhere and Bexley. In addition to that delay, all weekend one concert goers fled the gates at once at 3:30 p.m., causing two plus hour waits to get into the festival.   

     The festival made use of their social media pages by advertising all their sponsors and local small businesses that would be at the festival.   

     The festivals largest sponsor was American Express. All AmEx users received the opportunity to sink their bank account to their festival wrist bands and received special perks like faster lines and discounts.    

     Senior Callie LaValle took advantage of that exclusive offer during weekend one and was able to see Tate McRae with two of her friend’s backstage because of her AmEx status.   

     “Before the show started, we got to say hey to her and see her pre performance rituals with her band members,” LaValle said.   

     Some sponsors of ACL however were not so popular.   

     Despite Uber and Lift being heavily advertised by ACL, many festival goers attempted to avoid using them at all costs because of their surcharges and impractical pick-up spots.   

     Abby Skelly and Hagen Lowe took matters into their own hands by sharing a bird scooter and riding it into downtown Austin saving over $100.   

      “For us it was like a ten-minute scooter ride but like a 30-minute walk for everyone else; they were speedy,” Skelly said.   

      After a successful two weekends of performances, ACL fest set a precedent for future concerts around the world and gave artists hope that it is time to get back on stage. 

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