ACL Music Festival is a time when “Keep Austin Weird” really takes on a new meaning. It’s a time when it’s perfectly socially acceptable (and expected) to dance to your own beat, drunkenly cartwheel all over Zilker, and dress to the nines in some seriously retro fashion trends.
With temperatures reaching the upper-90s, unusual for this time of year even for Austin, it’s no surprise that things got a little wild last weekend. Blame it on the heat or blame it on Lizzo’s juice, your choice. Here are some of our favorite surprises, trends, and tips heading into Weekend Two.
Go for the glitter
The fashion at ACL is what makes people watching one of the best festival pastimes. From the garish and golden to the full-on rainbow, there are always sartorial surprises in the crowd. After all, you have to get creative to avoid getting heat stroke. This year’s festival trends included swim suit tops in a variety of colors, animal prints, head-to-toe neon (we see you, Billie Eilish), tie-dye, bandanas, and plenty of glitter. For women, braids and double buns (a la Miley Cyrus at the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards) were out in full force.
Read the signs
The sign game was on point during Weekend One and is one of the best ways to find friends during packed performances. From the T-Rex balloon to flags celebrating favorite sports teams to our personal favorite: "100 Percent That B**ch" banner. Even Moira from Schitt’s Creek made an appearance at Friday’s Guns N’ Roses set.
On Friday, you can’t go wrong with the Raconteurs, Troy Boi, RL Grime, and either Tame Impala or Guns N’ Roses, while Saturday’s one-hour Billie Eilish set is a must-attend. Yes, there will be many college students and even some pre-teens, but you gotta hand it to her, Billie sure can sing. One of the biggest entertainment disappointments of the first weekend was Cardi B. Hitting the stage 30 minutes late (what a diva!), she only played for 40 minutes and left many festival-goers wanting more. Luckily, Robyn is on the lineup for weekend two and we hear she's very prompt.
It's Lizzo's world, we're just living in it. Last Sunday, thousands and thousands lit up the night with their cell phone lights and shouted, "Why are men great till they gotta be great?" In true goddess fashion, she took to her flute for an impressive few bars and continued to preach love and body positivity. It looks like festival organizers learned from her massive crowd last week and are adding additional lighting and will be streaming the performance on additional screens across the park.
We get it. ACL is a time to let loose, have fun, and enjoy some of your favorite musicians live, but do so responsibly. Coconut water and Topo Chico were our lifelines during the first weekend. Pro tip: If you don’t have a Camelback or reusable water bottle, go get one right now. Seriously, stop reading this right now and go buy one. You don’t want to be that friend that ends up at the medical tent.