Ready, set, fest.
To the familiar tune of the "Star Wars" theme, the first mass of revelers poured into Zilker Park at 11:04 a.m. Friday for the first day of Austin City Limits Music Festival 2014. Four minutes of extra waiting never hurt anyone, after all.
There was a healthy crowd surrounding the gates, not packed tight but not sparse. About ten minutes before the 11 a.m. opening time, festival staff gave the customary "no open containers" spiel as the crowd stood up and began to line up at the gate entrance. One man in the crowd: "Let’s get this ball rolling!"
Among the festgoers, Austinite Amy Ramirez said she gets to Zilker before the gates open because "I just wanna be here and get it started." Ramirez said she’s here for headliners like OutKast tonight and Eminem on Saturday, but that she’s discovered smaller acts in the past, like blues metal artist Reignwolf last year.
The weather for the fest’s opening salvo likely caused celebration for event organizers; sunshine, clear skies and a cool breeze greeted fans at the gate. The high today is 86 degrees, with a low of 57.
Signs of Austin’s new normal for the next two weekends were apparent within the radius of the fest: scalpers at the intersection of Barton Springs Road and South Lamar Boulevard, as well as many scalpers canvassing the former street; a loose caravan of festgoers clad in sunglasses and hats and toting Camelbaks and camping chairs; signs for $30 parking lots; restaurants and trailers selling tacos. The booming sound system from the park could be heard from Shady Grove.
Jazzy electronic indie act Arum Rae and the Barton Hills Choir kick things off with the first sets of the day at 11:15 a.m. The headline draws tonight are Atlanta rap gods OutKast and musical chameleon Beck.