Austin City Limits (ACL) is an annual music festival held in Zilker Park in Austin, Texas. The festival is produced by Austin-based company C3 Presents, which also produces Lollapalooza. The ACL Music Festival has eight stages where musical groups from genres including rock, indie, pop, hip-hop and more perform for fans. Approximately 75,000 people attend the festival each day. In addition to the music performances, there are food and drinks, an art market, a kids area for families and other activities for attendees.
As the festival was still kicking into gear, Temples was taking the stage at the Miller Lite stage around 1 p.m. The crowd at the festivals was still small, and people were lounging across the lawn in their lawn chairs, smoking cigarettes, enjoying the live music. Temples puts on a very mellow live show. Lead singer James Bagshaw bounced his afro around, while the band had a jam session on stage. They played many of their well known songs, including “Ankh” which was released just last year.
Across the park at the Samsung stage, Capitals Cities was getting ready to rock the socks off the audience. They started with their single “Tell Me How to Live” followed by “Chartreuse.” Their set seemed like the place to be at this early hour. Crowds of people were making their way to the stage, and fans were two stepping, hula hooping and dancing as far back as you could see. While their saxophone player was rocking out, they continued to play “Center Stage,” “Kangaroo Court,” “One More Minute,” “Safe and Sound” and even a cover of Madonna’s “Holiday” before closing out with a EDM remix of “Safe and Sound.”
Back at the other side of the festival, Bleachers was just taking to the Miller Lite stag. The lead singer walked around the stage, strumming his red guitar while performing their song “Shadow.” Purple lights cast over the crowd before they played “Rollercoaster” and “You’re Still a Mystery.” They closed their set with their popular song “It Get’s Better” which had the audience jumping around and singing along.
The next stage over, CHVRCHES was just beginning. Their set seemed to overpower any other show that was happening at that time. Smoke filled the stage and the bass was shaking the festival grounds. Kids were jumping up and down, waving flags, and singing along while they performed songs including “Gun” and “The Mother We Share.”
Another artist that drew a large crowd was St. Vincent. She opened with “Rattlesnake.” For the size of the stage she was playing, the crowd seemed to overpower the whole area. In the middle of her opening song, she whipped out a guitar and started performing a guitar solo for the audience. She continued to play songs including “Digital Witness” and “Cruel.” Before continuing the rest of her set, she formally introduced herself to the crowd and welcomed the freaks of the city to her show.
Back at the Miller Lite stage, Sam Smith was serenading the vast audience he drew in. There was a sea of people about to engulf the stage. He played songs including “I’m Not The Only One,” “Like I Can,” “Restart,” “La La La,” a cover of the Arctic Monkeys “Do I Wanna Know?,” “Lay Me Down,” “Money On My Mind,” “Latch,” “Make It To Me,” and of course his most popular song to date, “Stay With Me.”
Next to the Miller Light stage, Childish Gambino was getting ready to perform. Gambino draws in a very large crowd, so if you were stuck in the back it was fairly hard to see and hear. At the front of the crowd the fans were going crazy. Gambino performed “All She Needed Was Some,” “Sweatpants,” “Worldstar,” “3005,” “Heartbeat” and “Bonfire.” He is an eccentric performer, and his stage featured a wall of fire, smoke, and lots of dancing.
Not long after for The Glitch Mob’s set, the audience was basically having just one big dance party. There were lights, smoke, videos, and heavy bass. The crowd was significantly smaller than most sets that day, but as the night was preparing for the two big headliners, it was to be expected. They performed their popular songs “Our Demons” and “I Need My Memory Back.”
Lastly, Outkast put on an hour and a half performance to end the night. Words can’t really explain the craziness that this show was. The crowd had well over 15,000 people at one stage, and people were dancing everywhere you looked. They performed their popular songs including “Hey Ya!,” “Ms. Jackson,” “The Way You Move,” “Roses,” “Hootie Hoo” and many more. Towards the end of their set they sang the song “Deep In the Heart Of Texas” to show their love for the people and the festival. It was a perfect ending to day one of this crazy festival.