Archive for Austin City Limits festival 2011

Austin City Limits Festival: Day One

Posted in News with tags , on September 17, 2011 by 30daysout

Surprise. We still haven’t gone to Austin for the big ol’ Austin City Limits festival, but we’re watchin’ the highlights on the cool webcast page. You can do it too – go to the ACL Fest webcast channel and catch sets today by My Morning Jacket, Alison Krauss, Iron and Wine and many others. Here are a few highlights from Friday:

Coldplay “Viva La Vida”

Foster the People “Pumped Up Kicks”

The Smith Westerns “All Die Young”

Austin City Limits music festival official website

Preview: Austin City Limits Festival 2011

Posted in Rock Moment with tags on September 15, 2011 by 30daysout

The crowd at the 2010 ACL Fest, under a big Texas sky. (Photo by Ashley Garmon/ACL Festival)

At this very moment, thousands of people are likely making their way to Austin, Texas, to attend this weekend’s big ol’ Austin City Limits Music Festival. It’s the 10th anniversary of the revered event, which is now regarded as one of the Big Four U.S. music festivals alongside Bonnaroo, Coachella and Lollapalooza.

Besides being easier to pronounce, Austin City Limits festival is perhaps the most idiosyncratic: just take a look at this year’s roster – Coldplay, Kanye West, Stevie Wonder, Arcade Fire, and about 130 others ranging from indie darlings (Fleet Foxes, The Head and the Heart, My Morning Jacket) to classics (Randy Newman, Wanda Jackson, Mavis Staples, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Del McCoury Band) to good ol’ Texas favorites (Ryan Bingham, Hayes Carll, Asleep at the Wheel).

Unlike most other festivals, ACL puts its three-day passes (about $185 per ticket) on sale before any acts are announced. And even though tickets usually sell out in a short time, there was a bit of grumbling this year about how the headliners lacked a bit of “wow” factor for the 10th anniversary year. I don’t know how you could say that about Stevie Wonder or even Kanye West, but point taken on Arcade Fire (although after their Grammy win earlier this year for The Suburbs, they’re still pretty hot).

Speaking of hot, that’s another thing this year’s festival-goers have to look forward to. Texas has suffered its hottest summer ever, and although there are not likely to be 100-degree temperatures this weekend it’s still gonna be pretty warm. The state is still in a historic drought, and a number of communities just outside of Austin are still on fire.

So ACL Fest organizers have taken the unusual step of announcing there won’t be any smoking allowed this year, because of the extreme fire danger. Good luck enforcing that one. And there are going to be fundraisers for wildfire victims, more water stations, “green” promotions – so, good for everyone.

Our intrepid Austin correspondent made a last-minute decision to sell (not scalp) her two 3-day passes and purchase a one-day ticket for Sunday ($90) so she can worship at the feet of Arcade Fire. So we won’t be providing daily updates – maybe just Sunday if we have any coverage at all. We will instead be watching the first-ever ACL fest webcast, which promises live video of selected performances including Coldplay, My Morning Jacket, etc.

Austin City Limits festival official website

ACL festival webcast channel (with complete webcast schedule)

KGSR radio in Austin (will feature live backstage interviews and performances – you can listen online)

Download free ACL 2011 sampler from iTunes

Austin City Limits Festival lineup announced, griping begins

Posted in Rock Rant with tags , , , , on May 17, 2011 by 30daysout

Performers have been announced for the 10th annual Austin City Limits music festival, scheduled for Sept. 16-18 in Austin’s Zilker Park. Headliners include Stevie Wonder, Kanye West, Coldplay, My Morning Jacket, Arcade Fire, Alison Krauss & Union Station and Fleet Foxes. You can see the whole lineup here.

Before the announcement fans speculated on artists that included Radiohead, the Foo Fighters, Pearl Jam, Paul Simon and maybe even the reformed Buffalo Springfield. All of those acts are booked at other festivals this summer and at first glance the ACL lineup seems in line with the other three major U.S. festivals – Bonnaroo, Coachella and Lollapalooza. But truth to be told, the Austin lineup also feels a little off, when you consider it’s the 10th anniversary of the festival and all. You would expect something a little more spectacular, you know?

The middle part of the roster includes diverse acts like Randy Newman, Iron & Wine, Chromeo, TV On The Radio (didn’t one of its members just die?), Airborne Toxic Event, Big Boi, etc. which may be fine to see for free at SXSW but a little harder to get enthused about when you’re paying $185 for a three-day entry. The middle part of the lineup seems light on hometown heroes this year, even though it includes staples Asleep at the Wheel, Jack Ingram, Ryan Bingham, Hayes Carll and Courtyard Hounds (two-thirds of the Dixie Chicks). And Fleet Foxes just played Austin a few weeks ago, Bright Eyes had a free full show during SXSW – you can nitpick this one to death.

Stevie Wonder set for ACL Fest.

But on the other hand: Arcade Fire is the biggest band in the world after its Grammy Award for Best Album, Kanye West may be a dick but he’s also backing an acclaimed current album, and Stevie Wonder is a stone legend. So if any of these interest you, go to the ACL festival website sooner than later and purchase a one-day ticket for $90. Three-day passes sold out a long time ago, but they are easy to find (particularly a few days before the event) on StubHub and Craigslist.

The fest, with a capacity of 75,000 a day, grossed just over $15 million in ticket sales last year but it’s the cheapest ticket of the four major U.S. festivals. Three-day passes to Lollapalooza are $215, Coachella and Bonnaroo multidays also top $200. But one weird thing about ACL is that it’s the only one that puts three-day passes on sale before it announces headliners or any part of its lineup.

This year, the limited amount of three-day passes sold out within a few hours and now all that’s left are one-day tickets at 90 bucks apiece – if you want to go all three days, do the math … it’s more expensive than any other festival. So it’s no wonder ACL has so many complainers. Maybe they should use a more conventional ticketing system and not let fans’ expectations run wild.

Well, if you’re in Texas and want to do some outdoor music before September, by all means check out the Free Press Summerfest, slated for June 4-5 in Houston’s Eleanor Tinsley Park. This one has as headliners Weezer, Cut Copy, Ween, Big Boi, Beirut, Yeasayer and many others. General admission weekend passes are $45 and are still on sale!

Austin City Limits festival website

Free Press Summerfest website