Keep Austin Weird

Earlier this month I went to Austin City Limits, and it was wonderful. But before I wax poetic about Austin, I have to mention NOLA, the birthplace of my love affair with the music festival. It all started back in 2009 when my best friend Lindsey and I went to Jazz Fest in New Orleans, LA. The food, the art, the people, the music. Jazz Fest set the bar HIGH, but ACL passed with flying colors.

Lindsey, Tim and I had a blast at ACL. And let me tell you, that festival is one tight ship. There was a fleet of buses taking everyone to and from the festival grounds, we didn’t see one drunk idiot the whole time, and they even had volunteers cleaning beer cans off the ground. Overall, a sublime experience. Each day we woke, ate brunch, walked to the bus fleet and then basked in the glow of music well into the night. It’s basically the best way to spend your days. Also, Uber. Wherever we couldn’t walk, we Ubered, and the Uber drivers in Austin are the shit.

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The incredible thing about ACL is that all types of bands play it. From Trombone Shorty to Chromeo and Ozomatli to Pearl Jam. Your ears will thank you. 

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 Flags. Need to find friends at ACL? Just fly your freak flag high. They’ll find you.

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 This mural.

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 The food. We ate deliciously in Austin: southern comfort (read: cheese grits) and lots o’ Tex-Mex. This charming brunch spot is called Hillside Farmacy. It’s medicinal all right.

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 See what I mean about the flags! That’s Prison Mike from The Office!

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The best crew: Lins, me, Tim and our beer-soaked blanket. We’re already making flag plans.

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Ok, so ACL was amazing. But it was HOT. Like, my-pale-Irish-skin-is-going-to-burn-off-from-this-unrelenting-sun hot. Luckily, they had this nifty misting station. It was heavenly.

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ACL is most special at dusk. The blazing sun lets up, the stages glow, and music is all around you.

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Funny story: I thought the “Retail Me Not” tent was pronounced Retail Menoit, as in with a French accent. My thought process is sometimes questionable.

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The main attraction: Pearl Jam. The energy emitted from this stage was surpassed by no other. Here’s to 20+ more years of rocking. If only to get a sip of Eddie’s show wine.

Bands (in order of appearance, by day)*
*Not including music absorbed while walking to and from beer stand, food stand, porta potty

Lake Street Drive
Chvrches
Ozomatli
Sam Smith (overheard while on line for beer)
Outkast

***
Trombone Shorty (Oh, and we got his autograph! He also said we could hang with him in New Orleans…)
Tune-Yards
The Head and The Heart
Iggy Azalea/Lana Del Ray
The Avett Brothers
Juanes
Eminen

***
Jamestown Revival
Cults
Real Estate
Chromeo
Pearl Jam

Restaurants/Bars

Hillside Farmacy
Blue Dahlia
Pelon’s
Mohawk
Container Bar (and nearby food trucks)
Apothecary Wine Bar

This trip wouldn’t have been complete without a little mishap. It’s what makes our music festival trips so memorable. Here’s what happened: Tim got on his California-bound flight without delay, while Lindsey and I discovered our flight had been cancelled. Cue the hysteria. Delta actually classified us as “Distressed Passengers” for hotel-booking purpose, but it actually turned out to be a blessing in disguise, as we got to spend one more night in Austin, drinking wine and eating cheese at Apothecary Wine Bar. A Perfect trip.

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