You can almost hear it, if you listen closely. Carrying in on the breeze, there’s a song in the air. Maybe it’s haunting, saying “I cannot remember anything you said…” It could be whispering, “You can get lost in the music for hours…” There might even be a subtle bounce that says, “today was a good day…” It’s coming from everywhere, and the point of origin, with increasing volume, is Zilker Park. It’s that time of year and whether you are a one-day ticket kind of person or a three-day, both-weekend wristband kind of person, the Austin City Limits Music Festival is almost here.
This year’s lineup was the most buzz worthy in a good while, as the festival announced a solid headliner lineup for the two-weekend music extravaganza, complete with crowd-pleasers like Red Hot Chili Peppers, Chance the Rapper, The Killers and Ryan Adams. Pair this with the brilliance that Austin City Limits Music Festival programmers have had for selecting rich middle-tier bands that are bound for superstardom – The Head and the Heart played every size of stage offered by ACL Fest, over the years – and the attraction only improves. This year is no different, bringing the likes of Middle Kids, Revivalists, Coin, Joseph, Miss and Rainbow Kitten Surprise to the park stages, to draw music-lovers like sirens to the Lady Bird Lake shore.
Austin City Limits Music Festival, now in its 16th year of operation, was and remains poised to throw another two weekends full of music, food and entertainment for all ages. Friday to Sunday, October 6-8 and 13-15, and at all points between, with ACL Fest’s Late Night Shows, were going to fill the city with music that could be heard from across the city and in venues, big and small. And, with that plan, it looked like just another day or six at the park for Austin City Limits Music Festival, until their social media channel asked a simple question.
And, suddenly, a good way to close out the major music festival season became the crown jewel of the concert-going year, with just a snippet of lyric. Moments later, organizers announced that their lineup would be headlined by Jay-Z, who will venture inside the Austin City Limits for the first time since his ultra-exclusive set with Kanye West, during SXSW 2014. Instead of a curated crowd of 3000, Jay-Z will have tens of thousands of fans begging for an encore. Yes, ACL Fest, Austin does want more, and the best festival in the nation is providing it.
Additionally, this year marks another significant change to the festival itself. After years of having sonic overlap from the big stages to some of its smaller stages, the festival changed the landscape. The Barton Springs Entrance, the most utilized in years past, has been split to provide easier access to the grounds. The dedicated festival boundary moved across Barton Springs road to accommodate.
With the new entrance and increased festival grounds footprint, it meant that stages facing one another and having competing sounds could be remedied. No longer is the HomeAway stage subject to the crush of a festival boundary, as the stage opens up to the middle of the grounds. Additionally, the BMI stage, always a place to discover new and emerging talent, no longer has to compete with the overwhelming sound from a main stage. Additionally, an additional food installation has been added for convenience, as well as to alleviate foot traffic and crowding near stages. ACL Festival planners are finally letting a little more air in, and making it ever more comfortable for music lovers from within and without the Austin City Limits.
That being said, plans need to be made for you to be a part of it, should you decide you want to attend. Weekend One has only sold out of their Friday tickets, and weekend two has both 3-day wristbands and all three single-day tickets still available. In the event that you want your encore to be fantastic, VIP and Platinum tickets are still in ready supply, as well.
But, regardless, if that song on the wind demands that you answer its call, the first step is buying your ticket. Visit aclfestival.com/tickets to make sure you get in to an Austin tradition that never gets old, and after 16 years of operation is only getting better.
Stay tuned as we countdown and provide tips, tricks, playlists and more, regarding Austin City Limits Music Festival 2017 (our very own encore, in case you want more); and we’ll see you in Zilker very very soon!