Students Give ACL First-Timers Advice

By Elizabeth Stewart

The Austin City Limits Music Festival is just around the corner, with Jack White,
“The Red Hot Chili Peppers”, “The Black Keys”, and “Avicii” headlining with one hundred other
artists.
ACL 2012 is a huge musical experience, but with live music comes the challenge of navigating through massive crowds and spending an entire day without air conditioning. For any Austin City Limits newcomers, Southwestern veterans offer some advice and strategies for beating the heat and getting the most out of the ACL experience.
“Wear comfortable shoes or be prepared to take off your shoes,” senior Kate Steinbach said.
“I’ve seen lots of girls wear heels. I don’t understand that. Also, wear something that you’re cool with sitting on the ground in.” Along with proper attire, keeping hydrated will help to keep cool.
“Invest in sunscreen and a nalgene,” junior Jacob Brown said. “You’ll thank yourself
when you’re hot and thirsty.” A water bottle saves the ACL goer from paying for drinks, but all other food must be purchased inside Zilker Park.
“Bring food money,” junior Kyrie Cassin said. “You can’t bring snacks, because security will search your bag.” Multiple businesses will provide a variety of food options inside the festival.
“The Mighty Cone food trailer is really good,” Steinbach said. “There’s also a place that has really good green chili pork tacos. The food trailers are totally worth it.”
A smartphone app can help ACL attendees to navigate through the crowds and find their way around the multiple stages..
“Check out the official ACL app!,” junior Edward Yu said. “It has the schedule for all three days, as well as a map of Zilker park. It’s really useful.”
Even after locating the correct stage, students express concern about dealing with another potential difficulty: pushing through the crowd to the front.
“There’s definitely a strategy, elbows up, keep jumping, and don’t let people walk all
over you, because they will do that,” Cassin said.
Festival goers can choose to see a favorite band up close, or hang on the outskirts of
the crowd to take a break after hours of hiking from one stage to another.
“There’s nothing wrong with sitting at the back of an audience and just taking it all
in,” junior Nicole Ross said. “Sometimes that’s even more fun than struggling and pushing your way to the front to stand in a mass of sweaty, smelly, people you’ve never met.”

ACL offers a chance to see not only familiar artists, but also a whole host of new acts and performers.
“See bands you’ve never seen before,” Brown said. “I saw Rosehill Drive in
2008 and they were amazing, they were right up my alley, and that’s a band that I never
would have experienced had I not just gone off the schedule and explored a little bit.”

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