Austin City Limits - fondly known as ACL - is a three day music festival in (you guessed it) Austin. Back when I first attended four short years ago it was just one weekend...but with the event drawing people from across the country (and globe?) I'm assuming people started asking for more and the ACL powers that be decided to extend the program to two weekends of fun. The first weekend was October 2-4 and the second weekend was (you guessed it) last weekend, October 9-11. After getting some very amazing VIP tickets offered to me a few weeks ago for weekend two I couldn't pass up the opportunity to see the 2015 lineup of performers. So I enlisted my friend and fellow Biscuit babe Avery as my partner in crime and we did our best to treat the three days as a marathon, not a sprint...
150 people are moving to Austin each day. If you’ve ever visited the city you probably understand how this is possible…the music scene, eclectic aesthetic, beautiful landscape, shiny skyline, healthy and active lifestyle mentality, and yum culinary offerings are just a few reasons that make Austin a hot bed for tech start-ups and University of Texas fans alike. The 350 acres of Zilker Park sections off part of its space to ACL each October and I think it does a perfect job of showcasing all that’s great about the city. The two largest stages (out of the eight situated in the field) sit on opposite ends – east and west – with the east backing up to the city skyline and the west looking out over lush trees and getting the sunset glory each night. Because great music goes well with good food and drinks, tons of amazing sponsors and local restaurants come in with delicious offerings.
Avery and I did our best to balance our intake of cocktails with lots of Vita Coco Coconut Water and H2O. It might be October but Austin is still hot and trekking from stage to stage and standing among other fans is as invigorating as it is draining. We totally lucked out having the tickets we did because the VIP Grove area offered shade, seating, food + drinks, cool booths (loved the South Congress Hotel pop-up with cool boutique Sunroom), and wicked installation of hanging streamers by The Color Condition (created by my talented friends in Dallas!). We could have just looked at those colorful swags and mobiles of color all day…but we did make it out of the Grove for the main purpose of the festival: the music lineup. And there were several bands and artist that were clear favorites. Below is our list of most loved performances and a few song recommendations:
- George Ezra (best know for Budapest, listen to Blame it on Me)
- Alessia Cara (listen to Here)
- Lord Huron (listen to She Lit a Fire and Time to Run)
- Of Monsters and Men (known for Little Talks, listen to King and Lionheart)
- Hozier (best know for Take Me to Church, listen to Someone New and Work Song)
- Florence and the Machine (known for You’ve Got The Love, The Dog Days are Over and Shake it Up, listen to Ship Wreck)
Far and away, the best performance we experienced was by Florence and the Machine. I’m already a major fan of hers so I was pumped out of my mind that I got to see her close the festival on Sunday night…now I can honestly say that I’m obsessed. Her energy is INSANE – she was literally sprinting across the stage (barefoot) and dancing her face off for a full hour and a half. At one point she ran off stage into the crowd and ended up about five feet from us. I almost passed out/got crushed by other screaming fans. Not sure I’ve ever seen anyone perform and felt such authenticity and soulfulness.
Avery and I left Austin yesterday tired but happy, with a full list of songs to download. So glad we got to experience such an amazing weekend and already hoping I get to return to the fest again next year!