ACL Festival

In 2002, Austin City Limits Music Festival made its debut. The two-day festival, inspired by the long-running, popular PBS music performance television show, Austin City Limits, showcased 67 acts on five stages. Passes cost $25, and the event was put together in a matter of three to four months. There was no shortage of logistical hurdles that first year, but whereas only around 20,000 fans were expected to attend (with 30,000 being the goal), around 42,000 people actually showed up on Saturday. Founders of the festival, Charlie Jones and Charles Attal, knew they were on to something.


Aerial View of Zilker Park during ACL


Since then, the Austin City Limits Music Festival, or ACL Festival for short, has grown each year and in 2013 morphed into an event that now spans two weekends. Its lineup features 130 + acts representing genres from rock, indie and pop to country, folk and hip hop. In addition, attendees can shop for souvenirs such as clothing, posters and an array of other goodies at ACL’s art market; the younger set can enjoy Austin Kiddie Limits’s kid-friendly bands and activities; and foodies can feast on an array of cuisine from more than three dozen local vendors.

ACL Festival’s home base isn’t so bad, either. Since 2002, the event has taken place in beautiful Zilker Park, a 46-acre urban oasis that boasts the Austin skyline as its backdrop. C3 Presents, which puts on the festival, works closely with the City of Austin Parks and Recreation Department to ensure that the festival makes only a minimal festival footprint on the park—and C3’s partnership with the City has resulted in several renovations to Austin’s urban green spaces.

This year’s festival, which kicks off on Friday, has a terrific lineup that includes Eminem, Pearl Jam, Outkast, Skrillex, Beck, Calvin Harris, Lana del Ray, Lorde, Foster the People, The Replacements, Spoon, Broken Bells and more than 100 other musical acts. The Barton Hills Choir will even be performing a set and will be joined by Stuart Murdoch, front man for Scottish band Belle And Sebastian.

ACL stalwarts have no doubt been presented with some weather challenges over the years. From record-breaking highs to torrential downpours and hurricane warnings, ACL always seems to have a surprise in its back pocket. However, people seem to keep coming back for more. If you’re one of the lucky 75,000 daily attendees expected to be in this weekend’s crowd and are willing to weather the storm (pun intended), you will most certainly be rewarded for your efforts. So pack your sunscreen, water bottle and a collapsible chair; the friendly folks at Blairfield Realty look forward to seeing you in the park this weekend!