Thank you, ACL 2011!
Updated: Sep 6, 2018
All photos by Brian O'Neill
We survived! Like nearly everyone else (including Batman!), I was sweating among the sold-out crowds down at Zilker Park for the 10th annual Austin City Limits Festival this weekend. And the 10th anniversary of ACL certainly didn’t disappoint. The bands sounded great, the food was good, the beer was cold, and after the rainfall each of the three days, the weather became bearable and yielded some lovely skies. (See above.)
While this was my sixth year to attend the festival, I did discover a few new things. First, the shortest bathroom lines are the ones closest to the Google Plus stage. The closer you get the stage, the shorter the line. Second, go for the craft beer stand next to Rock Island Hideaway instead of the bar. It’s the same price for draft beer, and they take credit cards. Third, try the bacon-wrapped sweet peppers with goat cheese from Odd Duck. Believe. Finally, ACL attendees and producers really do rock. Between sets on Friday, festival producers and fans helped raise $30,000 for Texas wildfire relief.
There probably aren’t many surprises here, but my five favorite sets of the weekend (in chronological order) were:
Kanye West I had never considered myself a Kanye fan before, but consider me converted after his powerhouse Friday headlining performance.
Fitz and the Tantrums I’ve chronicled my love for this band before, and I was thrilled to discover that their tight jams translate from a smaller venue to an afternoon festival slot.
My Morning Jacket Things really got rocking once the boys brought out the Preservation Hall Jazz Band for the final part of their set.
Fleet Foxes Lead singer Robin Pecknold and the rest of the Foxes sounded just as heavenly from the Bud Light stage as they do on their albums.
Arcade Fire There’s definitely a reason this Grammy-winning group was chosen to headline the whole shebang.
The day after ACL always sucks a little bit, whether it’s tired feet, unhappy sinuses, sleep deprivation or just the cruel dawn of a Monday morning, but today, festival-lovers got a nice surprise in the form of dates for next year’s festival—October 12–14, 2012. The hopefully cooler fall-ish temps will be more than worth the extra month of waiting for ACL’s annual return.
What was your favorite part of ACL? If you didn’t attend, do the later dates for next year’s festival make you more inclined?