Music-Lovers Gather at ACL

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  • The sun sets on the Chainsmokers concert.

  • Flume uses the bright decorations to add energy to the concert.

  • The fog combined with the lights creats a mysterious and cool atmosphere.

  • The colorful flashes of light timed to the music makes Flume’s concert very energetic and exciting.

  • Spotlights illuminate the ACL Fest sign.

  • An explosion of light and color complements the upbeat music at the Flume concert.

  • Flume dances in the bright lights of his concert.

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For two weekends each year, all music-lovers and Austinites come together at Zilker Park for the annual Austin City Limits (ACL) music festival, which features over 130 bands playing at eight different stages around the park.

The festival has become such a widely known tradition in Austin that the massive crowds can be an issue when listening to popular bands.

“It depends on where you are at the concert,” Asha Rao ‘17 said. “My friend and I accidentally camped out too close for The Chainsmokers, so we were pretty much swallowed by a bunch of people for that.”

Although there are many exciting aspects to the festival, such as a variety of food and art vendors and even opportunities to get autographs from the artists, Rao concludes that at the end of the day, her favorite part of the festival as a whole was the performance by the band Oh Wonder.

“They came out on stage and [my friend and I] just started crying,” Rao said. “I felt like such a fool, but it was really sweet. They’re my favorite band.”

Armand Topcubasi ‘17, who has attended the festival for the past two years, agreed that seeing his favorite band was the most special part of the ACL experience.

“Me and two other friends, Mark Harrist ‘17 and Nathan Kranz ‘17, waited against the rail for 10 hours for [LCD Soundsystem] and it was worth it.” Topcubasi said.

According to Jeanne Gentot ‘17, what makes ACL most memorable is the people it’s spent with.

“ACL allows people to share great moments with their friends but also to meet new people from different places,” Gentot said.

Some ACL fans — Gentot included — enjoy the festival so much that it’s impossible to choose one exciting feature over another. In her opinion, all the components work together to make the whole experience as fun as possible.

“Good food plus good music plus good people equals a perfect weekend,” Gentot said.

Though the crowds can be a hassle, there is a rightful reason for the masses of people: they all share a love for the good vibes and good music that inevitably come along with Austin’s culture.

“I love the entire ACL vibe,” Gentot said. “People there are just so relaxed and all share the same love for music so it creates an awesome atmosphere. ACL is very unique because it unites people from all around the country and artists from around the world in order to create a very welcoming and accepting atmosphere.”

ACL will be returning to Zilker Park next year with fresh new bands to be announced in the spring, so be on the lookout for the lineup.