2019 ACL: Our Top Picks for Your Bottom Line

by Brian Maass on October 1, 2019 in Entertainment, Music, Austin,
00 10.07 Food By Katrina Barber ACL2018 DSC 2166 e1569881752889

In Austin, Texas, summer doesn’t end until ACL Fest returns to Zilker Park. 

The festival, which has grown into a Texas-sized two-weekend experience, attracts some of music’s biggest acts. This year is no exception, with headliners like Guns N’ Roses, Cardi B, Mumford & Sons, Childish Gambino and more. With so many great acts in the line-up and bands from every genre, deciding who to see can feel like a tall order. Here are a few suggestions you should add to the top of your 2019 ACL Fest Wish List.

ACL Music Festival 2019 runs October 4-6 & October 11-13.

ACL 2018. Photo Charles Reagan Hackleman

Guns N’ Roses

One of the biggest bands during the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, Guns N’ Roses quickly shot to rock star status with their hit album “Appetite for Destruction.” Their follow-up album “Use Your Illusion 1 and 2” continued to push the band to greater heights. However, by the mid ‘90s, the band’s dysfunction caused mass departures, with Axl Rose as their only remaining member. After a hiatus and reforming the band with various new lineups, Rose, Slash, and other original members of the band reunited in 2015. All they needed was a little patience. Now we get one more chance to hear the sounds of their guitars fill the air where the grass is green and the girls are pretty…deep in the heart of ATX.

ACL 2018. Photo Roger Ho

Chris Shiflett

Chris Shiflett’s name may not be recognized by many people, but he is the guitarist for one of rock’s greatest modern bands, the Foo Fighters. Now Shiflett is touring in support of his second solo album, “Hard Lessons,” released in June. His first solo album, “West Coast Town,” is a collection of honky-tonk originals, but “Hard Lessons” is more in the vein of a different Chris, better known as “Stapleton.” 

Gary Clark Jr.

Rolling Stone described Gary Clark Jr. as one of the  world’s greatest living guitar players.” Last March, Clark released his third album entitled “This Land.” Here you will find the Austin native’s trademark blues mixed with rock and a little reggae. The album also covers topics such as racism and other topics which Clark may have avoided on other albums. “I think it’s only right at this point in time, if you have a microphone louder than others, to speak out about that anger…But if I can do anything with my opportunity, and say thank you to Dr. Martin Luther King for sacrificing (his) life so that I can have a microphone … that’s the least I can do.”

ACL is for fans of all ages. Photo Sydney Gawlik

Childish Gambino

Last year, Childish Gambino was set to headline the ACL music festival but had to pull out due to injury. The artist, aka Donald Glover, returns this year to take the American Express stage at 8:00pm on both Saturdays of the festival. In January of 2018, Glover released the critically acclaimed “This is America,” which touched on numerous subjects including gun control, and which is still a hot button topic. “This is America” went on to be Glover’s first number one and top ten single in the United States.


Lizzo has long been an up-and-coming star and has shared the stage with numerous acts including St Paul and the Broken Bones. Her new album “Cuz I Love You,” released last April, has received very positive reviews from music critics. Lizzo, an advocate for being body positive, posed nude on the cover of the album. “I had to really look myself in the mirror and say, this is it,” she said. “This is the person I am going to be for the rest of my life, and it is not going to change.” The first two singles, “Juice” and “Tempo,” which feature Missy Elliot have gone on to be huge hits for Lizzo.  

ACL Fest takes over the world Oct 4-6 and Oct 11-13. While enjoying all the great music be sure to stop by and try some local food favorites like Amy’s Ice Cream, Good Pop, and many more. See you at the festival!

Cover photo ACL 2018, Katrina Barber

Native Austinite Brian Maass has long had a passion for music and is now bringing that same passion to the world of photography. @maass_brian and brian_maass_photographer