What do you get when you combine 130 incredible musical acts, 3 days of phenomenal Central Texas Fall weather, 75,000 enthusiastic music fans per day, and a picturesque 351 acre park located in the heart of the “Live Music Capital of the World?” The only possible answer to this question: The 12th annual Austin City Limits Music Festival.
Once again, the highly acclaimed Austin City Limits television show – created and produced by KLRU-TV, Austin PBS – joined forces with C3 Presents to put together a diverse showcase of talented artists for this year’s mega-festival. And what could possibly be better than experiencing 3 fun-filled days of extraordinary music performed on the Great Lawn of Austin’s crown jewel, Zilker Park? This year the festival tried something new, with all of the acts appearing two weekends in a row; October 4th, 5th, and 6th as well as October 11th, 12th, and 13th. Limelight Imaging was thrilled to be on the scene to cover the first weekend of this exciting event for All Access Magazine.
The festival occupied 8 stages spread across Zilker Park and included an Art Market selling fine art and iconic souvenirs, a Farmers Market with homegrown treats including vegetarian and gluten-free items, a 20,000 square foot Beer Hall equipped with big screen televisions broadcasting sporting events, and a food court featuring popular choices from many local food trucks and eateries. Children attending the festival with their parents were welcomed to enjoy age appropriate music and fun activities at the Austin Kiddie Limits stage sponsored by Rosetta Stone. Following the ACL tradition of working to impact Austin in a positive way, ACL Cares also showed those attending the festival ways to support the local musical community, how to register to save lives, and how to preserve Texas’ natural resources.
The festival kicked off at 11:15 AM on Friday, October 4, 2013 with The Orwells on the Honda stage and Wild Nothing taking to the Samsung Galaxy stage. At noon, Austin based and multiple Grammy Award winners, Ray Benson and Asleep At The Wheel brought their Texas Swing sounds to the AMD stage. From then on there was no turning back. As the Austin temperature rose to near 90 degrees, band after band found fans anxiously awaiting their appearances on stage. Groups as diverse as Country Music’s Court Yard Hounds, Gospel’s Blind Boys Of Alabama, Indie Pop’s fun., Rock’s Queens of the Stone Age, and Electronica’s Depeche Mode all found enthusiastic crowds at their performances. And they weren’t the only ones. Others performing on Friday included: Savages, Shovels and Rope, Smith Westerns, Local Natives, Vampire Weekend, Jake Bugg, Artic Monkeys, Kaskade, and the closer for the night, Muse.
Weather reports were calling for the afternoon passing of a cold front and possible rain as the gates opened on Saturday morning, but the sometimes hard to forecast Central Texas weather behaved itself this time, and the crowds were treated to an amazing day of mild temperatures and hot music for day two of ACL Fest 2013. As in years past, the musical acts were made up of well known local group as well as world renowned acts. Some of the groups appearing on Saturday, October 5, 2013 included: Parquet Courts, Dan Croll, Mona, Reignwolf, Haim, Portugal. The Man, Passion Pit, Wilco, The Mavericks, and Kings of Leon. Rock fans of all ages were thrilled to experience The Cure closing out the night on the AMD stage. In all, 43 acts appeared throughout the park before the day was over.
After the overnight passing of thunderstorms, festival attendees were met by clear skies and cool (for Austin) temperatures on Sunday morning, October 6, as day three of week one of the ACL Fest got underway. Once again a great variety of musical genres were represented in Zilker Park. Some of the acts performing in the morning and afternoon included Foxygen, Bear Mountain, Kodaline, The Mowgli’s, Ms Mr, and Noah and The Whale. They were later joined by Grouplove, Paper Diamond, Divine Fits, White Denim, The National, Franz Ferdinand, and Toro Y Moi. Early evening performances included Tame Impala, Neko Case, Phoenix and country music star Eric Church. Closing out the night on the AMD stage on the west side of the park was Atoms for Peace with front man, Thom York of Radiohead and Bassist, Flea of the Red Hot Chili Peppers. On the east side of the park, and closing out an incredible weekend of music, fans were treated to the sounds of Motown as Lionel Richie graced the Samsung Galaxy stage.
Once again the Austin City Limits Music Festival brought together an amazing array of gifted individuals to produce an incredible weekend of music in Austin, Texas. If you were not able to attend this year’s fest, start planning now for a trip to Austin the weekend of October 3, 4, and 5 or October 10, 11, and 12, 2014, so you too can experience why Austin is called the “Live Music Capital of the World.”
Review by Margy Moore
Photographs by Scott Moore / Limelight Imaging