This past weekend, I went to ACL. Before I start getting into depth about this wonderful event, you may be asking, “What is ACL?”
ACL stands for Austin City Limits. It’s a festival held in Zilker Park in Austin, TX. The festival was inspired by the popular PBS series also called by the same name. If there were no ACL Live, there would be no ACL festival. The festival began in 2002. It’s a great time and you should definitely try to attend it one year. Like Christmas, ACL takes forever to get here and is over like a flash in a pan. The weekend was so amazing. There were a lot of Buffalo friends in town and we all had a ball. As I was there, listening to all the great music, I thought about what makes music festivals so popular. Why are people drawn to them like moths to a flame? What makes 75,000 people want to hang out with each other in a muddy field?
All the Music for the AMAZING Price-tag:
This is the obvious reason. Where else can you see OutKast, Lana Del Rey, Pearl Jam, Eminem, Icona Pop, Iggy Azelia, Foster the People, The Replacements, Fitz and the Tantrums, and many more for the mere price of $220 over three days? It’s a great deal. SO much bang for your buck.
All the Feels:
I’m going to start pouring on the cheese now. The first day of any festival you stroll through those gates with this incredibly happy feeling of bliss and euphoria. It’s like your floating on clouds. Music makes people feel alive. Music makes people escape their worries. Music makes people happy! Watching you favorite band perform your favorite song is so powerful and really can bring out an emotional response. You can’t describe the feeling you get but when it hits you, there is nothing like it. The fact that you can do this for 2 or three days is such a wonderful break from reality.
Music is Universal & Unites Everyone:
OutKast said something SO perfect on Friday night. Andres 3000 said, “we don’t make music for just black people. We just don’t make music for white people. We don’t just make music for Hispanic people…We make music for everybody.” After that moment, he went into the song, “The Whole World.” Festivals give an outlet for all different types of people to come together and unit on the common bond of loving music. As you look around any festival, you’ll see every demographic and race. It’s really a beautiful thing to see all these different types of people coming together and enjoying each other company because they love the same music. Music is a beautiful and universal language. Everyone understands it.
As long as I am alive, I will love festivals. If you need to find me at one of these in my old age , I’ll be in the seating only zone with my fold up chair. I may not be able to be in the front row, but I will enjoy the music from afar!
One year ago today, my mother and I rolled into Alana & Jeremiah’s driveway. My new life in Texas began. The year has flown by and I’m so happy I took my leap of faith to the state where everything is bigger!
Before I began this momentous journey, I remember conversations with my parents. They thought I was crazy. Here were some of the questions or statements I heard from them…
- Mom : “ I can’t believe I have a daughter moving to Texas.”
- Dad: “Do don’t have a job yet! How are you going to support yourself?”
- Mom: “Are you going to take Dale? Please take him.”
- Dad: “You better not take Dale to Texas with you. Peanuts will be lonely. I will miss him too”
- Dad: “You are going to be so far away! How will I be able to give you all my wise and FREE advice??”
- Mom: “Of course I’ll drive down to Texas with you! It will be a fun mother/daughter road trip!” (BTW- That road trip was amazing!)
I miss my parents (and my Dad’s free advice a lot.) It is hard to be away from my family. Most of the family lives in Buffalo or the New York City area. I always miss my friends from home. They were the people who really knew my weird ways. Despite those facts, it was one of the best decisions I have made for myself. Some people are happy where they grew up, some are not. Some want more then what they were birthed into. I wanted more and I got more.
So, what did I want that home couldn’t give me?
Texas has a lot of jobs. It probably has to do with the fact that they don’t tax she sh*t out of business like NYS. Texas is booming in job growth. When I moved here, I interviewed at so many places that I never would have dreamed interviewing at in NY. I went through a string of eh and ugh jobs for about 6 months here. In February, I finally found the job I wanted to keep for the long haul and I couldn’t be happier.
I was freezing. No more winters for me! I narrowly escaped the coldest winter ever. People ask me, “aren’t you hot there?!” YES and I love it. I never have to dig my car out of snow ever again. It’s so sunny here too. I’m obsessed with 300 days of sun. I’m in heaven! #Hallelujah
The Chance to Start Over:
I lost a lot of confidence over the years. I wasn’t happy. I didn’t think was capable of anything great. I would do all I could to kick ass and I’d fail time and time again. I needed a change. I tried so hard for years to make it work and I did not feel that where I was would allow me to be successful. It was time for something different. I needed to go where I knew little to no people and nobody knew my past. I needed to transform my confidence to prove I COULD be successful. Being here has given me so much confidence that I can take on so much more than I ever thought possible. I’m grateful for all the tears, anxious thoughts, and the perseverance to move through those dark days in the beginning of my stay here in Austin. I had to be strong because I wanted to be successful and happy here. I achieved that. I know I can do so much more now. I’m so grateful for the second chance.
The move from Buffalo to the South West was a huge one for me. It is scary going into the unknown, not knowing what the hell will happen to you. As scary as it was, it has been such a rewarding experience to try something so out of the box. Don’t be afraid to go after what you want. If this once cowardly lioness can overcome so much, I know you can too.
With ACL around the bend, I started to think about the different people you see a festival. With the over 70,000 people that are about to embark on Zilker in the next 2 weeks, I wanted to give you the low down about some of characters and personalities you may run into…
I know you’ve seen ‘em. Whether it’s a fast paced up tempo band or a slow jam, these two can’t keep their hand off each other. Usually they place themselves in the middle of the crowded group actually trying to watch the show. They will make out for minutes at a time. Watch out for the flying saliva and their grabby hands!
The Over-did-it guy/girl:
They came to party HARD like Andrew W.K. and boy did they rage on into the day! They partied so much that you notice them wandering around in a drunken stuper. They look pretty dirty because they probably toppled over at some point during the day into the dirt. They miss the bands they wanted to see all day becasuse they chugged too many 13 dollars beers. They eventually end up passed out on in a random patch of grass. Earlier in the day, you over heard them screaming, “pearl jammmm is soon…YESSSS!” Welp, obviously that’s not going to happen.
They’ve seen every show of all the bands before they hit the trendy festival circuit. They go to all the after shows and have traveled to at least 7 festivals alone this summer. You can identify then by their incessant bragging about how they saw them “before they were big” and their 10 wristbands from previous festivals from the year. The wristbands look dirty and all you want to do is cut them off. A very possible sentence out of their mouth sounds something like…” oh I saw (insert band name here) at (insert festival name here) and they were SO much better than right now!”
The Parent-Child Group:
This is an interesting combo. While I admire their idea to expose their children to quality music, a festival is probably not the safest place for kids under the age of 10. When I go to festivals, I see a lot of people under the influence, lack of shady/cool areas, extremely loud noises, and I’m afraid they’re going to get lost in a sea of people!!! It’s not well suited for small kids. They always look like they are having fun but I would have probably opted for the babysitter option.
The Schedule Nazi:
I am guilty of this. I love festivals because I can organize my days by all the bands I want to see at specific times. I think it’s amazing. We are the people constantly checking the times and trying to figure what time is the best time to go check out Lana so we don’t get trapped all the way in the back! Yes, we’re annoying., but you need us. In the organized mess of the festival, you need one person like this to keep people on track!
They are trendy and look pretty flawless for an outdoor show all day. They usually rocking crop tops, high-waist jeans, floral crowns, neon, rocking the boho style, and midi-boots. They look like they are ready for their close-up with the photographers or working on their fashion blogs. They travel in packs and love takings pics. You can also ALWAYS trust them to take a good picture of you. They are pros.
The Tall Person:
I’m sorry tall people. I don’t mean to pick on you. It’s not your fault you are so tall and I’m so short. I always get trapped behind you and I can never see. I’ll always be jealous that you never have anyone blocking your view.
The Concert Photographer:
They always get the best views of the show. They got in for free. AND …They get to skip the major crowds and get up close and personal with your favorite bands. They never get shoved and tossed like a rag doll. I’m jealous of you concert photogs. You are the chosen ones! Oh, you are so lucky!!!
The Weed Guy:
(If you DO NOT like to smoke, he is NOT your cup to tea.) In my opinion, this person isn’t the worst person to be next to in a crowd if you want a puff puff pass. If you become show friends for that brief hour, you’ll find he’s probably laid back, into the organic lifestyle, most likely friendly, and he just might offer you a bit of his stuff. These people are cool in my book.
HAVE FUN! BE SAFE! BE A NICE CONCERT GO-ER! 🙂