As someone who has owned and operated a music blog for nearly five years, you would think I would have made my way to Austin by now. But the cold hard truth is… I’ve never been. I know, I know, it’s the next great city they say. It’s fascinating to me that a place deep in the heart of Texas has become one of the locations huge numbers of people are relocating to. Largely in part to its reputation as being a hub for musicians, media, and creators alike. So, how have I never been!?
I suppose I have just been waiting for the right moment to make the trek from Los Angeles. When I saw the lineup for this year’s Austin City Limits, I decided it’s definitely time to go. I mean…. just look at it!
I often get asked what my dream line up would look like if I could make one myself, and I have to say this year at ACL is pretty damn close. The headliners alone are enough to make me swoon. Red Hot Chili Peppers, Kacey Musgraves, and SZA all in the same weekend? Say less.
But there are “smaller” acts on this docket that I am just as excited about. Some of the sets I’m most looking forward to personally include (but not limited to); Purple Disco Machine, Aly & AJ (iconic), Noah Cyrus, and Sofi Tukker. You know it’s a killer festival when the “small” acts are still some of the biggest acts in the game.
Obviously, the lineup alone is enough for me to pack my bags and never look back. But here are a few other selling points that have me super excited to check out Austin as a first-time visitor.
THE CITY OF AUSTIN ITSLEF
When you are going to another state for a festival, it’s always a bonus if the city in which the event is being held has other things to offer. Of course, the majority of our weekend will be spent within the grounds enjoying the music, but there is plenty of things to do in between set times. I personally would love to check out the iconic 6th street, also known as the live music capital of the WORLD. Since the event wraps around 10 PM each night, I already know this will be the place to be post festival.
Also known for its relaxing parks and rivers that run throughout the city, I would love to be able to cool off and take a quick dip before plunging into a day full of art and music. I love that the city has a mix of nature with urban, it’s the perfect balance. Floating down the Colorado River is a very popular activity for both tourists and locals alike. It looks like so much fun, I may just have to join them.
BACK TO THE FESTIVAL
Now let’s get back to what we came for, the music festival. There are a few things about ACL specifically that I think make it stand out from other events I’ve been to in the past. These things have especially tickled my curiosity enough to have to see it for myself.
I love that the festival got its name and inspiration from the long running PBS series. The series and the festival hold the same ideals, hosting a wide variety of artists and giving them a chance to shine. This is something I align with maybe even more so than the average person. I run my own show, Mic Drop Music Talk, with that same mission in mind. I make it my goal to have extremely diverse guests in order to entertain and expand the minds of my viewers each week. This incredible line up of artists would make for such gripping interviews, and I would love to have the chance to pick their brains backstage.
I know the event organizers made no mistake when choosing the venue. ACL will be conveniently hosted at Zilker Metropolitan Park, regarded as the crown jewel of the city’s park system. The stunning 350-acre park is beloved by locals as it boats both gorgeous city views and wide-open spaces. This central but spacious choice not only makes it convenient for those staying in hotels nearby to get from point A to point B. But it provides great acoustics for the music which is super important for an event of this scale. I’m super exciting to take in the sites this stunning space has to offer.
DOES BIGGER MEAN BETTER?
The bigger the talent, means the bigger the crowd. So big in fact, that the event now takes place over two separate weekends. This year’s ACL is set to take place over six days including October 7th-9th & 14th-16th. Identical lineups are promised for both weekends, so there is no FOMO or pressure on which one to choose.
Spread out over NINE stages… yes you read that right NINE! The only festival that I can think of that comes even close to this number would be Coachella. I’m super interested to see how accessible it is or if it feels like a quest to get from stage to stage. I suppose only time will tell! With over 100+ artists to choose from, one thing is for sure you will not be bored.
I personally am sold on ACL and can’t wait to see what both the city and the event have to offer. If you’d like to join me, you can buy tickets here. They include the sale of 1-day tickets which I love! Not everyone can commit to a full weekend of festivities and many festivals deny that option. So shoutout ACL for being inclusive, I see you! Feel free to follow the event on socials as they share schedules, set times, and other helpful information leading up to the event. Let’s find out if everything really is bigger down in Texas.