Thursday, October 3, 2013

ACL Festival 2013 Preview: Day 1, Weekend 1

So, here we are Thursday. It's the unofficial launch of ACL Festival Part 1 of 2. The first Official Late Night Shows kick-off this evening and tomorrow we start the big show. Hopefully you've been listening to this Spotify Playlist I made for you, featuring 50 of my favorite artists playing this year's festival. Well, it's go time kids. Let's get right down to it. Below the break, I've planned Friday for you. Then I've rambled on about things. Enjoy.

Dana Falconberry - NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert video via YouTube

Friday, 4 October 2013

Ok, so here's the deal. If you look above you'll notice a lot of overlap. There are several strategies here. Read the crowd, if it feel like you can easily traverse the park and see several bands within an hour or two hour block. Go for it. On Friday, this is especially easy before 4pm. The other strategy, which is what I recommend, is you choose a side of the park and sort of pick a spot in the field that's somewhat between the two largest stages. If you look closely to the schedule of artists above, the stages in bold are are on the West side. That's toward the left after you walk through the gates. The stages listed in italics are on the East side of the park, which is toward the right. The stage that is underlined, is closer to the west stages but it's closest to the food. So, it might be a good idea to plan your eating in a way that allows you to hear some of the sets from the Austin Ventures stage.

Not taking into account the artists performing on the stages themselves, the West side stages are definitely more advantageous. The west stages are closer to the gates, the main stages themselves are closer to each other and are placed in a way that is more parallel than the major stages on the east side. I also think it's easier to get to the water refill station on the west side of the park and the access to porta-potties is handier. Also, let's get real, the headliner on the East stage is always harder to hear than the headliner on the West stage. The big stage on the East side is on a lower plane than the big stage on the West side so, the sound naturally drifts from the west toward the east. If you're planning to bring a folding chair, it's easy to find a spot that is situated between the two West side stages, you'll be able to see and hear both stages with little to no shifting of your chair. That is not the case on the east side. With that all being said, there are obviously some great artists playing on both sides of the park.

Regardless of which side you choose, or whether you decide to move throughout the park without a real plan, make sure the first place you walk once you get through the gates is the water station. There are stations to the right or the left but the closest one once you walk through the gate is sort of straight and to the left. Grab a paper festival guide from a volunteer, there will be a map there. If you have a child with you, make sure to get them geo-tagged or whatever they do. You'll see that on the map as well.

Oh, and one last thing. Be prepared to have giant, ridiculous "flags" obstructing your view of the stage. It's annoying but if we prepare ourselves maybe it will be a bit more tolerable. Happy Festing!