austin city limits: a photo essay for the university star

Posted on October 26, 2009


As seen in The University Star.

Signaled by the Star Wars theme song, music fans from around the world rushed to the open gates of the Austin City Limits Music Festival.

Every year in the beginning of fall, music lovers flock to Zilker Park in Austin for three days of sun, fun and what Austin has made its reputation on — live music. This year’s festival, held Friday through Sunday, included headliners such as Pearl Jam, Girl Talk, Dave Matthews Band, Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Ghostland Observatory.

ACL has done more than bring in musicians from around the world — it unites fans and friends alike.

“I (liked) the whole experience of being here for three days, seeing all of your old friends come back into town and of course, the music,” said Casey Wilson, undecided sophomore.

ACL brings in a variety of musicians of all genres, from country to rock, electro to rap and everything in between. It was not uncommon for hip-hop acts such The Knux to share the stage with hard rock act like Them Crooked Vultures.

A few noticeable changes were made to the festival this year, one of which was the new grass laid throughout the park. People walked barefoot and sat without laying down blankets. Previously ACL was held in mid September, but this year the early October dates held hopes for cool, comfortable weather.

However, this year festival attendees received a little more than they bargained for. Friday’s sunshine and heat did not last long. Saturday brought dark skies, clouds and pouring rain, leaving Zilker covered in mud for Sunday pass-holders. However, festival-goers were not discouraged.

“I think people are really going to enjoy dancing in the rain. It’s going to get muddy — Girl Talk, The Toadies, and Ghostland Observatory are going to be really fun,” Wilson said Saturday.

Despite the mud, rain and humidity, the spirits of first time ACL attendees were not dampened.

“It is so much more than I thought it would be … it exceeded my expectations,” said Michelle Rohmer, advertising sophomore. “Even though it is really muddy, I think it adds to the vibe.”