Austin City Limits Recap in Yo’ Ass

ACL - FeatureWelcome to Austin, Texas where “government shutdown” actually refers to the name of some local band’s song or the topic of a poem at the weekly poetry slam. Headlines this week include the ever so popular Austin City Limits Festival being extended to two weekends for the first time ever and the mass amount of butt hurt patrons experienced after the last Sunday, when week two was rained out.  You guys shouldn’t have rocked out with your cock out so hard, during that mass Lionel Richie rain dance the first weekend.  Luckily, your traveling Faux Society correspondent was able to nab a 3-day balls to the wall wristband for the first weekend and can now somewhat accurately report on the festival based on half drunken notes sloppily thumbed into my phone.

I am pleased to announce that the flower children are alive and well.  They lurk about our city’s largest festivals complete with Michael Kors wallets to go along with the flowers in their hair.  I mean, nothing says universal peace and love like Ray-Ban sunglasses and expensive camera equipment, am I right?

flower girlFirst of all, I should disclose that I am not the hugest fan of large festivals. The girl in the grandma curtain shorts and the guy holding the confederate flag all high and proud and mighty – I don’t particularly care for them either.  The gap in intimacy between musician and fan is made uncomfortably large; can you really feel the bass in your chest from the sound system 500 ft away from the stage?

ACL - austin balloonI take a swig of beer from my plastic water bottle at the bus stop waiting for the #5 bus. I’m not weird, just another ‘Austinite’ keepin’ it real. If you are a frequent festival goer you must have learned by now that you either shuttle your ass there, pedicab that shit, or ride your bicycle and add it to the racks replete with bike porn outside the entrance.

Once inside we all shift like restless cattle from one stage to the next, each stage getting more and more saturated with a douchier crowd than the last.  They’re getting beer drunk, I’m getting beer CRUNK. I’m here for the music. I’m not here for you.

There’s a continuous battle against the sedative properties of that $8 sixteen ounce can of beer you just bought, or for the yuppie crowd, that $25 plastic bottle of wine.  But it’s ACL!  Fuck your need for sleep! More importantly, fuck your wallet.

ACL Fest Arctic Monkeys

Photo Credit @griffinshot – Tim Griffin

Despite all of this we all jam out to the Silversun Pickups in this unheard of Texas breeze on the first weekend of ACL with your oversized aviators, tie dye headband, and dirty Sanchez mustache just the same. The idea of seeing titan bands like Vampire Weekend, Arctic Monkeys, Passion Pit, and The National all in one weekend strokes my musical erection just as much as yours. When my favorites like Tame Impala, Paper Diamond, and Kendrick Lamar hit the stage we all lose our shit freely and equally.  Perhaps we are not so different after all.

sunshine hairIn this space I can shamelessly smell the Eucalyptus castile soap in the hair of the girl in front of me without getting a weird look from her or others around me. Here I can eye bang every attractive human being because I’m wearing sunglasses after sundown and it’s perfectly OK.


Photo Credit @griffinshot – Tim Griffin

Ok, so not everyone can have his or her balls or tits pressed against the guard rail in the front row of every performance.  So what? Once you realize the commonality in love for music and beats and are surrounded by a few good friends, the rest of the festival’s shortcomings become increasingly irrelevant. Those little flower halos even start looking a little bit appealing.  Maybe that’s just the feeling of sobriety leaving your body.  Either way, flower power on, ladies, flower power on.

Tanya Lopez-Marin is a travel writer and adventurer, you can follow her worldly travels at