Travel

Austin City Limits Pt. 1

October 16, 2015

I am officially able to cross another item off my 30 Before 30 list—attend a multi-day music festival in another city! Earlier this year (maybe last year?) Tim and I decided that we were going to attend ACL this fall. It was a bucket list item for both of us and the second weekend of the festival coordinated with our wedding anniversary. So we booked our plane tickets and hotel (using travel points!) and waited for the lineup and 3-day passes to be released. Neither one of us had been to Austin, TX before and we had heard a lot of good things about the city, so I think we were both pretty excited to go. Luckily for us, Southwest had just started booking direct flights from STL to Austin, too.

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DAY 1
I went into the festival without many expectations. I’ve been to other festivals before (LouFest & SweetStock), just not one of this size. The weather on Friday turned out to be awesome—mid-80’s and overcast. Since it was a work day, the crowd wasn’t at max capacity either. We used Friday as our day to scope everything out and plan for the next two days. I would also say that we took a more laid-back approach to the festival as a whole. Not rushing from stage to stage, hanging out towards the rear of the crowd (with a couple exceptions), and of course people watching.

One (of many) really great things about this festival is that they allow chairs. There are “no chair” zones near the stage, which is really nice for those who want to be close up. We took a blanket with us and used it several times throughout the weekend.

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Acts We Saw/Listened to:
Royal Blood, Billy Idol, Moon Taxi, Gary Clark Jr., Disclosure, Foo Fighters (favorite act of the day)

Food Stands We Tried:
– Scallywag taco from Torchy’s Tacos (delicious)
– Jalapeño brisket tacos from Stubb’s BBQ
– Falafel wrap from Tinos Greek Cafe
– Personal pepperoni pizza from Austin’s Pizza (not impressed)

Nightcap (after the festival):
Little Woodrow’s on West 6th Street. This was a nice sports bar with an open bar, great patio and taco trailer.

DAY 2
We started our day by getting brunch at a local eatery. I did some Googling and we decided on Counter Cafe in downtown. We had no idea that it was a Triple D joint! When I think of a diner, Counter Cafe is what comes to mind—24 seats, comfort food and people belly up to the counter watching the cooks work.

After breakfast we headed to Mellow Johnny’s where I had to keep Tim from spending an entire paycheck. The bike store is pretty much legendary because of its ties with Lance Armstrong. We talked with one of the sales associates for a minute and he knew of Big Shark here in St. Louis, so that was neat.

ACL_10The festival was much more crowded on Saturday, and the weather got up to about 90 degrees. We were also more excited about the lineup for that day. Echosmith sounded great live, Twenty One Pilots just killed it and should have been made headliners, and Drake was a total letdown. Our picture even made the big display!

There was one point when we were trying to weave our way through the crowd and I felt like we were getting nowhere, so I got really crabby. When there’s close to 75,000 people in one park, you’re bound to have some troubles getting to where you want to go.

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Acts We Saw/Listened to:
Echosmith, Ryn Weaver, Shakey Graves, Twenty One Pilots, Walk the Moon, Modest Mouse, José Gonzáles, Bassnectar, Deadmau5, Drake

Food Stands We Tried:
– Mini avocados stuffed with chicken & fish tacos from Trudy’s
– Hibiscus mint & Strawberry-lemonade popsicles from Goodpop Popsicles
– The O.G. & Via 206 grilled cheese sandwhiches from Burro Cheese Kitchen (I loved the Via 206)

Nightcap (after the festival):
Rainey Street / We wandered down to this hyped-up part of town, and I’m glad we did. It’s a street lined with old houses that have been converted into bars. The backyards have been “removed” and patio seating has been put in. There was one house that was torn down and then replaced with a multi-level building made of old shipping containers. It was really neat. There was a line to get into almost every bar, but we managed to stop into Bar 96 and Bungalow.

The first two days were a great start to our extended weekend in Austin, and Sunday was looking like our fullest day at the festival. Part 2 coming next!

—m.

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