Austin City Limits, or ACL Music Festival, is a massive music festival that is held annually in Austin, Texas for two consecutive three-day weekends. The festival is produced by Austin-based C3 Presents, the organizer of Chicago's Lollapalooza. This epic music event takes place at Zilker Park presenting multiple genres to the attendees. On two consecutive Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, the performances usually run from about 11 AM to 10 PM on different stages positioned all over the park.
Usually, ACL Music Festival presents nine stages where musical acts play 100+ performances. All sorts of music genres are featured, including rock, indie, country, folk, electronic, and hip-hop music for festival goers. Every year, the average number of people who visit the festival is around 450,000. (Crazy!) Aside from the main musical performances, you can also grab some food and drinks in the park. You can also find art displays and plenty of fun activities to enjoy. If you have little ones, you should definitely consider bringing them. There’s a kid-friendly area in the park called Austin Kiddie Limits, and kids 8 and under can attend ACL Festival for free.
Austin became even more recognized as the "Live Music Capital of the World” by being home to this worldwide-renowned music festival.
How Old Is Austin City Limits Music Festival?
A Brief History of Austin City Limits
Austin City Limits originally started as a TV show. (And it’s still running!) Under the supervision of the Capital of Texas Public Telecommunications Council, Austin PBS produced Austin City Limits in the 1970s. This show was one of the primary reasons Austin is called the Live Music Capital of the World.
Austin City Limits is inspired by the PBS show.
Austin City Limits music festival is named after the PBS Show. Being one of the most influential music programs of all time, it was the only musical show to receive the Presidential Medal of the Arts recognition.
ACL Fest is the only kid-friendly music festival.
The only music fest that is actually catering to little ones is the ACL fest! Kids 8 and under can enter the park for free! Even better, they also offer Austin Kiddie Limits, where kids can play different games, dance to music, and enjoy the festival ambiance.
Tickets run out fast!
Tickets for ACL are typically sold out pretty quickly, so be sure to snag yours quickly. People tend to buy them up and then try to resell them for an upcharge, so if you look for them on Craigslist closer to the festival date, you’ll end up paying a lot more. es for weekend passes. (It sometimes cost around $1,000!)
How Old is Austin City Limits Music Festival?
Although the original TV music program began in 1974 and started airing in Dolby Surround in 1990, Austin City Limits Music Festival started on September 28, 2002. That means it’s been celebrated for 20 years. That’s how old Austin City Limits Musical Festival is! And still rocking and will definitely be rocking for many years.
Who Performed At The Very First Austin City Limits Music Festival?
The festival was founded in 2002 and continued to be a one-weekend event through its 2012 date. Some of the performers in the first Austin City Limits Music included Austin native Gary Clark Jr., Pearl Jam, Radiohead, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Arcade Fire, Depeche Mode, Foo Fighters, Nick Cave, Robyn, Tame Impala, Arctic Monkeys, Bad Seeds, Metallica, Guns N' Roses, Muse, The Cure, The Flaming Lips, and Vampire Weekend.
How Many People Attend ACL Festival Each Year?
Each year, the approximate number of people who attend the ACL Festival reaches 450,000. Each year, more than 130 musicians have performed at Zilker Park in Austin as part of the ACL Music Festival.
During its first year, 42,000 people showed up. (The expected attendees were only 25,000, and tickets were just $25/day!) Since then, the festival has grown every year. In 2004, 75,000 attended..
The Austin City Limits Festival in 2005 is known as the infamous "Dust Bowl" year. It was sooo dusty that attendees couldn’t breathe. Dust was stirred up from the remnants of Hurricane Rita, and temps got up to a record-breaking 107 degrees.
In 2021, after being postponed due to the COVID-19 outbreak in 2020, the Austin City Limits Music Festival (ACL) welcomed 75,000 music enthusiasts each day back to Zilker Park.
When did ACL Fest Split Into 2 Weekends?
The Austin City Council unanimously approved the festival's expansion to two consecutive weekends on August 16, 2012. Since then, the ACL music fest has been celebrated for two weeks instead of one.