Austin greets rock’s sixth return home

Austin greets rocks sixth return home

As the sun covers 360 acres of green oasis in the “Live Music Capital of the World,” anxious music lovers will flock together to satisfy their ears and catch a close glimpse of their favorite bands.One hundred and thirty bands will treat about 200,000 music fanatics to a weekend of musical satisfaction in the Austin City Limits Music Festival. There, eight stages and three days are all a part of the pandemonium and organized chaos in Austin.

ACL, which attracts rock, indie, blues and every other kind of music fan, is marking its sixth year, Sept. 14-16, at Zilker Park with the most diverse and powerful lineup yet, according to a press release from the ACL producer C3 Presents.

Cultural deity Bob Dylan and his band lead the weekend festival. Artists such as The White Stripes, Bjork, The Killers and Queens of the Stone Age are also among the anticipated bands that will be headlining.

Even though they aren’t receiving national attention, some bands, like One Mississippi, are earning respect from the local Austin music scene.

Ron Byrd, the band’s vocalist, said he considers his group “the best band no one has ever heard of.”

ACL originated in 1976 as a TV show on PBS. The show showcased music and songwriting in Austin that allowed music lovers a chance to discover new local artists.

From B.B. King to Willie Nelson, more than 500 artists have performed live on the TV show. Twenty-five years after the show aired, the first ACL festival was launched with 51 bands in two days.

Six years later, the festival is sold out.

Phillip Nitch of Front Gate Tickets, ACL’s ticket distributor, said the three-day weekend passes sold out at the beginning of May and the last one-day passes sold out Tuesday.

Brett Major, a sophomore psychology and English major, said he snagged his one-day passes in early July and will be attending ACL for the first time.

“I love going to concerts and a lot of my favorite bands that I have not seen live are playing at ACL,” he said. “I cannot think of anything better than seeing so many great performances on the same day at the same event.”

Also making an appearance for the first time at ACL is a project called Green Initiative, an effort to create a more environmentally friendly future for the planet, said Charlie McCabe, executive director of the Austin Parks Foundation.

ACL is making an effort to educate the public by exploring ecologically sound methods for producing the festival through food services, production and merchandise, McCabe said.

McCabe also said a percentage of ticket sales will go directly to the Austin Parks Foundation, a private non-profit organization that benefits local parks.

In addition, vendors will display and offer select products to create opportunities for fans to learn how they can make a positive difference from their homes.

“Just being at the Zilker Park venue makes this concert special,” McCabe said. “ACL celebrates the park, music and the arts while being in the heart and soul of Austin.