Each year, everyone goes crazy for the Austin City Limits Music Festival. Flocks of people ranging from teenagers to grandparents flood Zilker Park to witness a vast array of live music over the course of three days for two weekends in a row. But, while the festival is the focus of the city, what goes on outside of the park?
Story by Evani Shah
Photos Courtesy of Austin City Limits Music Festival
The hype kicked off last Friday with performers like Jay-Z, Martin Garrix and Foster the People. With so many students in attendance, campus was relatively barren and quiet.From dorms to apartments to sorority houses, a herd of University of Texas students decked out in their most fashionable, Austin-y outfits migrated across the city towards Zilker.
While many of these iconic festival “get-ups” are planned weeks in advance, there are always those who scramble to put an outfit together at the last minute. Popular shops on Guadalupe Street such as Urban Outfitters and The Dainty Hooligan provided many shoppers with the perfect outside-all-day trends and, as a result, a lot of people found themselves “twinning” with other festival attendees.
‘ACL Eats’, which features the festival’s array of food vendors, is one of the event’s most popular attractions. Classic Austin restaurants and chains got the chance to debut their favorite dishes to hungry customers.
“I think I come here for the food,” said fourth-time ACL -attendee, Lily Maine. “The music’s really good but where else can you find a frozen banana dipped in chocolate and nuts?”
Since Zilker Park isn’t exactly within comfortable walking distance from campus, rideshare apps like Uber and Ride Austin experienced a huge surge throughout the weekend. To avoid breaking the bank, many college students used Ride Austin because the app was promoting an ACL Special: a free ride to the venue in specially marked Ride Austin Hondas. While this increased the wait time significantly for some festival goers, it most definitely decreased the pressure on broke college kids.
CapMetro, the Austin Public Transit system, was at peak-efficiency throughout the course of the three-day music festival, especially at night time when exhausted festival-goers were struggling to make it back to their beds. Though the foot traffic was high, those who ventured to the busses found it incredibly easy.
“Once we got on the bus, it was smooth sailing from there,” said UT freshman, Sarah Salzman. “We all just passed out and waited to go home.”
ACL experienced it’s most popular day this past weekend on Saturday, Day 2. Tickets from resale vendors such as Stubhub were going for as much as $200–nearly double the original price. Saturday was also a big day for football; UT had a home game that ended in a double overtime victory during the festival. Students and avid Longhorn fans were forced to choose between two of the most popular Austin events of the fall season. UT Facebook groups flooded with students frantically trying to sell their game tickets to go to the festival and vice versa.
Longhorn football wins are usually celebrated with a night on Sixth Street. This weekend however, the classic downtown scene was relatively mild as Austinites were way too exhausted from the festival to join the festivities. The final performances ended at 10:00 p.m. on Saturday and most attendees were back in their beds shortly thereafter.
After a weekend that felt like an eternity, the people of the city of Austin tried their best to get a good night’s rest on Sunday night. With their ears still ringing with music and their legs sore from dancing, Austinites prepared for the post-festival-depression that would ensue over the next week –until ACL Weekend Two, that is.