Austin City Limits
It was a great co-incidence this year that just as the weather turned the corner from summer it was time for Austin City Limits. ACL is one of the biggest and best festivals in the US, a three-day extravaganza with a line-up including Muse, The Flaming Lips, The Eagles, LCD Soundsystem, Deadmau5, The Strokes, and local heroes Spoon.
I've been to my fair share of Australian music festivals over the years, so I was keen to see how ACL stacked up. I was preparing myself for the usual over-priced Toohey's New and deep-fried food, but ended up very pleasantly surprised. Beer was $7 for a tall-boy of Bud, Bud Lite, or more importantly Heinekan or Imperial. Food was a massive selection from local restaurants and trailers with most offering a meal for around $6 to $7.
The quality of food and drink wasn't the only different thing from the Australian festivals. At ACL they have marked-off areas for chairs and blankets; and people use flags to help find each other. Even Gumby made an appearance!
It was great to see some Australian acts on the bill. Angus & Julia Stone and Temper Trap both made the trip over, and quite a few Aussies turned out to show their support. At one point I saw two Boxing Kangaroo flags, an Euraka Stockage flag, and a girl with a Southern Cross tattoo.
Perhaps the best part about ACL for us, as compared to the three-day Australian festivals like Splendour in the Grass, was the fact that we could walk home at the end of the night. The foot traffic on Barton Springs Rd was pretty intense though, but everyone was in a good mood.
All in all, ACL was a great festival. Good food, good beer, perfect weather and some of the best music the world has to offer.
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