In what has become a suitable rival for Austin, Texas’ other music festival, SXSW, the Austin City Limits music festival –- now in its 15th year –- has put together an incredibly diverse lineup for 2016.
Showcasing more than 110 bands over eight stages; the festival has taken a cue from Coachella and is now spread out over two consecutive weekends in Austin’s Zilker Park.
Headliners like Radiohead, Major Lazer, The Chainsmokers, Kendrick Lamar, Mumford & Sons and LCD Soundsystem will likely bring in the majority of fans, but that’s where the similarities between ACL and that other mega-fest from the California desert end.
What makes ACL different is that it pays attention to its geographical roots, featuring an infusion of country and regional Texas acts — like hometown hero Willie Nelson — alongside EDM, retro-soul, alternative and up-and-coming hip-hop acts.
The genesis of the music fest was inspired by the PBS concert series, and the ACL fest brings on many of the televised series past spotlight artists who are generously mixed in with new and niche artists. The result? There’s no other place where else you can watch Austin’s Western Swing revivalists Asleep at the Wheel and South African sex-crunk EDM rap group Die Antwoord share the same stage.
In addition to the diverse lineup of artists at the festival, ACL also looks to create an engaging and exciting experience away from the stage. Food and drink vendors from around the Austin area will recharge and refresh concertgoers so that they can stay energized throughout their stay. Even better, you can leave the credit cards and cash at home as there is option to link your accounts to a high tech wristband, making getting in and out with your BBQ and brew on your way from Flying Lotus to Flume all that much easier (and cleaner).
If you’re headed down to the Texas capitol, here’s a handy guide we’ve built of what else you can do in the city that prides itself on being weird.
And, here’s a peek from last year’s festival.