Woah. What a crazy weekend. Last week, I found out that I would be going to the Austin City Limits Festival. Well, not just going–I received a fancy three-day pass and a backstage pass to the RetailMeNot stage. Ho. Ly. Cow.
Since I didn’t know very far in advance, I hadn’t planned any outfits for the weekend or bought anything festive for the occasion! Luckily, I ended up loving what I came up with each day of the fest.
Festivals aren’t usually my scene, with all the people, smoke, loud noises, and sweat, but it definitely helps to be going for free and having backstage access! I actually ended up running into my new co-workers (I know, Austin is a small world even in a crowd of 75,000 people!) on the first day and spent the rest of the weekend bonding with them to the sounds of the ACL line up.
After a weekend like ACL, everyone wants to know what the best parts were, so I’ll share my highlights of the fest.
1. The whole Jenny Lewis experience. Upon finding out that I would be going to ACL this year, I was most excited about seeing Jenny Lewis (of Rilo Kiley and The Postal Service fame). She’s been one of my very favorite artists since high school, and I love her new solo album Voyager. I decided to get to the fest around 4 on Sunday, knowing she’d go on at 5. I camped out at her stage beforehand to make sure I got a close spot. I ended up being like four people deep, so it was like an intimate show with Jenny Lewis! She opened with Silver Linings, the first Rilo Kiley song I ever heard, and proceeded to play a mix of new and old favorites, including With Arms Outstretched, Better Son/Daughter, and Just One of the Guys. Tl;dr: she was spectacular.
2. Jammin’ with The Avett Brothers. I wouldn’t say I’m a big Avett Brothers fan, but I listened to their music when I was in college and put some of their more well-known songs on mixtapes for my car. One of my new co-workers loves them the way I love Jenny Lewis, so we went together to their show. Wow, these guys (and the lady fiddler!) are crazy-talented! They all love playing their instruments and performing live so much. It was a really sweet, fun show, and it definitely made me a fan.
3. Being backstage for St. Vincent. Having backstage passes at ACL has its perks: clean bathroom stalls (as opposed to port-a-potties), endless free snacks and beverages, and, oh yeah, being backstage for the acts. When I found out St. Vincent was playing on the RetailMeNot stage, I knew I needed to see her. Most of my friends, including Dago, are obsessed with St. Vincent, and I felt like I really needed to see her live to fully understand her whole style. Y’all, she’s amazing. There was a time when I didn’t really get her music, but seeing her live was a total experience. I even heard people saying things like “that performance must have been what it was like to see Jimi Hendrix play at Woodstock.”
Seeing CHVRCHES live (she’s so tiny!), Outkast singing The Eyes of Texas are Upon You (how cool is that!?), and dancing backstage to Iggy Azalea (she’s even prettier in person).
Were you at ACL this weekend, or have you been before? Are you a festival person?