ACL Festival 2011
Front Row at ACL

Isn't she crazy (I mean, lovely)? One fan endures one hell of a day to be front and center at Stevie Wonder

Isn't she crazy (I mean, lovely)? One fan endures one hell of a day to be front and center at Stevie Wonder

Austin Photo Set_News_Front Row ACL Fans_September 2011
Veronica Castelo
Austin Photo Set_News_Front Row ACL Fans_September 2011
Veronica Castelo
Austin Photo Set_News_Front Row ACL Fans_September 2011
Gray checked out all the vantage points before committing. Veronica Castelo
Austin Photo Set_News_Front Row ACL Fans_September 2011
It's an all out sprint for people wanting to secure a shaddy spot at ACL. Veronica Castelo
Austin Photo Set_News_Front Row ACL Fans_September 2011
Veronica Castelo
Aust
These fans scored one of the best seats in the house for all performances on the Bud Light stage.
Austin Photo Set_News_Front Row ACL Fans_September 2011
Austin Photo Set_News_Front Row ACL Fans_September 2011
Austin Photo Set_News_Front Row ACL Fans_September 2011
Austin Photo Set_News_Front Row ACL Fans_September 2011
Austin Photo Set_News_Front Row ACL Fans_September 2011
Aust

At 11 am every morning during the Austin City Limits Music Festival, the Star Wars theme song is blasted across Zilker Park, signaling the start of another day of music. While most people ease their way onto the field, others enter into an all-out sprint for dear life, with the finish line being one of two things: a sweet spot under a huge, shady tree or front row at the stage where their favorite band will perform. Debbie Gray falls into the second category. 

Saturday, when the gates opened, Gray bolted through the park with her brown blanket in tow, heading straight toward the Bud Light stage. There is one person Gray wants to see during ACL: Stevie Wonder.

"I've been listening to him my whole life, " Gray says. Saturday night, Gray will be close enough to possibly catch a little of this legend's sweat. Of course, it will come at a price; her sprint to the front row was only half the battle. Gray got to the stage at 11:05 am, and Stevie Wonder hits the stage at 8 pm.

"I figured I'd make the ultimate sacrifice and plot myself here all damn day."

Yikes! That's eight hours of of heat, sweat and crowds. Granted,  she gets a front row seat to Allison Krauss and Cee Lo too (I hope she likes them), but eight hours is a long time to stand anywhere. Fortunately, she won't be alone. Gray was smart enough to bring along another Stevie Wonder fan to tag team this daunting effort that I hope (for her sake) proves to be the most amazing musical experiences of her life.