Early into Saturday of Austin City Limits’ 2016’s second weekend, the crowds are noticeably less dense. Whether this is because much of the audience is recovering from a post-Radiohead bender following Friday’s stellar headlining performance or because people are looking for ways to avoid the heat beaming down square on Zilker Park is unclear. But those who made the time to come to ACL early on Saturday are rewarded with a wealth of fine performances. Sure, there’s a lot of humid heat to bear, but this is Austin: sweat is part of the price of admission.
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The Austin City Limits music festival isn’t far from the heart of Austin’s downtown, but getting there isn’t a matter of simply walking through the front door. With no official parking adjacent to or near Zilker Park—that is, unless one wants to fork over several hundred dollars for a VIP parking pass—festivalgoers must either walk two to three miles to Zilker Park from downtown, or take a free but highly congested shuttle line from Republic Square downtown to ACL. There’s also a drop-off area in the north end of the park. Every day, the festival starts off with a small journey on the part of festivalgoers. This move to reduce vehicle traffic in this popular area of Austin’s south side is smart on the part of the festival conveners, though as I walked back downtown after the festival a steady line of cars on both lanes inched forward. On this weekend, all roads seem to lead to ACL.
It has become something of a cliché to say that Austin is heating up. Whether it’s in reference to Austin’s booming tech sector, its increasingly unwieldy population, or its scorching summer temperatures, the phrase “heating up” encapsulates numerous aspects of where Austin is in 2016. Of those “heating” features, the most relevant for attendees of the 2016 Austin City Limits (ACL) music festival—the 15th year of the event—is temperature. Austin is one of the fastest heating cities in America, and despite the wave of listicles about autumnal garb and pumpkin spice lattes that has followed its predictable course online, Austin continues to sting of summer. The thousands upon thousands of festivalgoers that will stampede South Austin’s Zilker Park for the final weekend of ACL will have to contend with lingering heat to keep alert and energized throughout each of the festival’s three days.
Grouplove‘s founders Hannah Hooper and Christian Zucconi recently became parents. The band has been around for over seven years and had released two albums prior to the life-changing status that is parenthood. Zucconi has spoken about the effects impending fatherhood and the rigors of touring had on song craft for the band’s third album Big Mess.
Documentaries consist of a very small slice of total consumer entertainment. After a comment was made on the subject, Bill Hader joked about how he, Fred Armisen and Seth Meyers approached IFC, “You know those movies not a lot of people watch? We want to celebrate those.”