After 3 days of marvelous music, mud, and madness, my friends and I successfully survived Austin City Limits 2014. I am no festival newbie, but this was my first ACL adventure. And what an adventure it was. Here are 21 lessons learned from my first ACL excursion.
1. Austin evokes the weirdness inside us all.
2. Rain + Zilker Metropolitan Park = mud. Embrace it.
3. Toilet paper and external phone chargers double as currency.
4. You can either stay posted at one stage for a front row spot or stage hop and stand from afar. Either way, music enthusiasts find a way to get lost in the music.
5. Capital Cities = impromptu dance party.
6. The youth of America are uncomfortable with silence. I endured non-stop conversations from concert-goers 22 and younger. Most dialogue involved capturing the perfect selfie and halloween costume options.
7. Everyone has their interpretation of festival fashion. Flash Tattoos and flower crowns are often part of that interpretation.
8. Sign language interpreters can bust a flow.
9. Austin has THE best festival food selection I’ve ever seen. Peachy Green from Juice Land, yes please!
10. Eminem still has it.
11. 50,000+ people leaving Zilker Metropolitan Park at one time resembles that of a Walking Dead episode.
12. Uber was our post-concert transportation lifeline.
13. Most frequently heard phrases: “I was so close.” and “My phone is dying.”
14. Iggy Azalea is a calculated blend of Miley and Nikki with a dash of Kreayshawn. #Unfancy
15. Finding an outlet was as good as finding the golden treasure.
16. Collecting free swag took dedication, patience, and an unreasonable desire for comped goods.
17. Conversations with strangers made lingering lines tolerable.
18. Food trucks were our post-concert appetite lifeline.
19. Childish Gambino exhibits similar characteristics to that of “Crazy Eyes”…they may or may not be the same person.
20. Outkast still has it.
21. ACL is more then a lineup of diverse musical acts. ACL is about the people, spanning all ages and locations, coming together for a common love of music.