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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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One step away
June 8, 2024

Aggies take on Austin City Limits

Austin+City+Limits
Photo by Graphic by Melanie McBride
Austin City Limits

After a year of silence, the Austin City Limits music festival has returned, featuring diverse headliners and over one hundred performances.
The multi-colored flags of Austin City Limits, or ACL, premiered in Zilker Park on Oct. 1, making a reappearance after the hiatus caused by COVID-19. The festival takes place over two weekends, Oct. 1 through Oct. 3 and Oct. 8 through Oct. 10, offering tickets per day and per weekend.
In addition to live music, ACL offers food and drinks from Austin’s favorite restaurants, photo opportunities, various merchandise shops and a mini-fest for kids. Headliners for this year include Miley Cyrus, George Strait, Doja Cat, Billie Eilish, Tyler the Creator and Silent Disco.
Second-time ACL attendee biomedical sciences junior Maddie Maves said she has high expectations for Weekend Two, especially considering she had strep throat the first time she attended.
“It was such a long day,” Maves said. “I still had fun, but it was hard to stand while not feeling 100 percent. I’m excited to go to ACL this year because I haven’t been to a festival in a while, and I’m ready for the festival atmosphere and meeting all these people. My favorite thing to do is run into people, so it will be a lot of fun to meet people and see what people wear.”
Of all the artists, Maves said she is most looking forward to performances by Cyrus and Jack Harlow, and is hopeful for good weather.
“I heard a lot of good things about [Cyrus and Harlow],” Maves said. “Also, the weather is a lot better this weekend, so I’m looking forward to that, rather than the rain [delaying performances at] Weekend One.”
As soon as he saw the final lineup, marketing freshman Jase Powell said he purchased tickets for Weekend One.
“Even if it had just been some artists that I had no interest in, I probably still would have gone because I’ve heard such good things about the experience, but as soon as I saw those headliners, I knew that I had to go,” Powell said. “I love Austin. I love what Austin does and embraces.”
Regarding the festival’s COVID-19 policies, Powell said he felt the safety measures were not well enforced.
“ACL had a vaccine and negative test requirement, but I think that it was performative on their end,” Powell said. “There was no one that was actually checking your ID or checking your vaccine cards or test results. I feel like it was put on social media to appease people.”
Despite the lack of follow-through on safety measures, Powell said it was surreal to be back in the concert atmosphere.
“It was amazing to see Miley Cyrus, Doja Cat and the other artists that I thought would never share the same stage,” Powell said. “I was hoping to see Stevie Nicks as well, but I respect her reasoning for why she dropped. Once Sunday hit, I was just ready to go home and relax, and then Monday, I just slept the whole day, recovering.”
Powell said he got to see friends in a new light, and was glad to have created memories with them.
“I feel so much closer to them, just sharing those experiences,” Powell said. “We probably spent like 12 hours at the festival, and right when we got back home, we would all sit back and talk and order DoorDash and laugh the whole entire night, leading to the next morning.”
Long-time ACL attendee and finance junior Sydney Franklin said she would recommend checking the bag policy beforehand and bringing plenty of water.
“Staying hydrated would be my best piece of advice,” Franklin said. “Drinking water pretty much the whole time you’re there is super important, at least for me. Also, have minimal items because they can get taken or lost.”
Excited to see performances by Cyrus and Eilish in particular, Franklin said she has long anticipated the return of live music.
“My parents actually have been taking me to ACL since I was in sixth grade,” Franklin said. “I’ve always gone just because it’s been something that I’ve done pretty much my whole life, and being from Austin, it’s something that I’ve always loved doing and love attending, because it’s a great time. If people can go to ACL and have an opportunity to go, I would definitely suggest it.”

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