Monday, October 11, 2010

Feelings Re:ACL Fest 2010 (TLDR)

This was my first year attending Austin City Limits Festival proper. In years previous I had always just attended lots of pre-shows and after-shows at the clubs around town. However, this year I was (somehow) granted media credentials to the festival giving me access for all 3 days at no charge. Of course, I was very excited about this and I truly appreciate the opportunity. With that being said, it made me realize I am not cut-out for the music festival scene. I realized music festivals are for fans of festivals not, necessarily, fans of music.

With that, I did learn a few things from my experience this year that will change the way I attend next year, assuming I'm invited back that is. The first thing I learned is an old cliche, if you can't beat 'em, join 'em. In this case I'm referring to the chair people. I'm focusing more on my personal comfort than the show and I think I'll have a better time.

Next year I'm picking a side a day. I'm going to plant a chair between two stages and watch the bands on the screens and I'm gonna love it. I'm going to have a cooler with sandwiches and if I do any interviews the bands will have to find my ridiculous flag. We'll snack, we'll chat about their latest album and maybe play a round of Boggle.

This strategy will also help me to get downtown after the fest more often. This year I only went to one show downtown, during the fest. I saw Amanda Blank at the Scoot Inn thanks to my friends over at Knuckle Rumbler.

Amanda Blank - I'm a Lady video via YouTube

Also, I've got a list after the break.

While this post may get me blacklisted in the city of Austin, as C3 Presents pretty much runs this town, I feel like I have to be myself and share with you the 50 things that bothered me the most at the fest. Also, as a true music fan I effing love lists and if you're reading this blog, you too love lists.

I also want to say that this list isn't exclusive to ACL, not by a LOOOOONG shot, these complaints would be valid at Stubb's, Coachella, or any other mass gathering of people for that matter.

So those are my disclaimers, hopefully there were enough of them.

1. Bros.
2. Shirtless, sweaty bros.
3. Shirtless, sweaty bros with terrible tattoos.
4. Tiny, bitchy girls who <3 said bros.
5. Excessive cigarette smoking.
6. Excessive pot smoking.
7. People who don't really enjoy music.
8. People who won't STFU.
9. People who get bent out of shape if you step on or near their blanket.
10. Chair-icade zone maze at the edge of the crowd
11. Capmetro not running extra busses throughout the city.
12. People constantly bumping into me while I'm watching a performance.
13. Sound-bleeding.
14. People taking terrible cellphone videos/pictures.
15. My personal lack of power and influence at such a large event.
16. Standing in a field with thousands of people to stare at a performance on a screen.
17. The Eagles are a headlining act in 2010?
18. The lack of intimacy (I'm spoiled my club shows).
19. Expensive-ass food.
20. Security people not knowing festival info.
21. Dangerously drunk people.
22. Spotty to non-existent cell service.
23. Corporate stage names.
24. The cost of Budweiser next to the Budweiser stage.
25. Trekking from stage to stage.
26. Hoards of casual music listeners jockeying to see the most bands.
27. Andy Langer/Jason Dick <--This one's a tie.
28. Who invited VH1?
29. People who thought M.I.A.'s set was "awesome".
30. Making me choose between two good artists playing at the same time.
31. Port-a-Johns marinating in the sun.
32. Port-a-Johns w/out toilet paper.
33. Clever flags obstructing my view.
34. Shoeless people.
35. Bootleg T-shirt salesmen who won't stop shouting.
36. Why is your grandpa here?
37. People who bring their babies.
38. Toddlers w/out ear protection.
39. Inconsiderate people.
40. People who litter despite the excessive number of proper receptacles.
41. People who try to run through the crowd.
42. People who try to talk on their cell phone in a loud-ass field.
43. People who throw cigarette butts on the ground.
44. Traffic.
45. Lack of cabs.
46. Too many days. Two days is plenty. I'm tired
47. I'm too misanthropic to enjoy a festival.
48. I'm too much of a hipster to enjoy an event, which allows so many people to attend.
49. Drunken security bros drunk on power and alcohol.
50. This post ruined any chance I had of ever getting a media pass again.