The lawn at Zilker Park has had 13 solid months of peace and quiet, but starting tomorrow, that poor grass won’t know what hit it as the 2012 Austin City Limits Music Festival kicks off for a three-day weekend of music, food and fun.
ACL Fest kicks off bright and early tomorrow morning. On Friday, I plan on checking out sets from First Aid Kit, LP, The Afghan Whigs, Alabama Shakes, Weezer, Florence + the Machine, M83 and The Black Keys, but for Saturday, I need some suggestions, especially when it comes to choosing between co-headliners Jack White and Neil Young & Crazy Horse. What do you think? On Sunday, I’m thinking The Boxer Rebellion, Stars, Lera Lynn, Two Door Cinema Club, The Lumineers, The Avett Brothers, Childish Gambino and the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
If you need to escape the crowds for a bit, you can take the Mopac footbridge across Lady Bird Lake to the American Legion Hall for the XBox Music Lounge on Friday and Saturday from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. or for the Rock the Vote Night Party on Friday from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. Both the day lounge and the Friday night party include nibbles, booze, DJ sets from acts like Metric and The Wombats and, best of all, ice-cold A/C. RSVP here to get your name on the list.
Next year, that Zilker lawn will see a double-dose of action when ACL Fest splinters off into two separate weekends, so this year’s fest marks the last time you’ll be able to see the exact same acts do the exact same show on the exact same weekend with all 70,000 of your closest friends. The two-weekend format for 2013 has elicited some mixed reaction. On the one hand, shorter lines for the porta-potties are always a plus, but on the other, it’s not as exciting when you’ve already seen the Tupac hologram from the weekend before on YouTube, right?
Need a refresher on surviving the madness? Check out these top tips, courtesy of the ACL Fest website. My two cents: Bring cash, hand sanitizer, an empty water bottle, an umbrella (in case of rain and to block the sun’s harshest rays) and a little bit of toilet paper, because inevitably, the porta-potties will run out. And leave the aerosol sunblock at home or they’ll make you throw it out before you go in the park.
Who are you most excited to see play ACL Fest this year? What are your ACL survival strategies? And what do you think about the two-weekend split for 2013?