We're less than two months out from the Austin City Limits Music Festival. On Friday, festival organizers dropped the hourly schedule for the massive music event that is set to go down Oct. 4-6 and Oct. 11-13 in Zilker Park. To view the schedule, you have to download the official ACL Festival app for Android or iPhone. We're still processing (and navigating the somewhat irritating horizontal scroll), but here are some first impressions on how the 2019 grid shakes out.
That's a lot of Guns 'n' Roses. Last year's Friday night headliner, Sir Paul McCartney, began his set at 7:45 p.m., 15 minutes earlier than the traditional 8 p.m. headliner start time. Considering the colossal size of Macca's catalog, which spans over 50 years and includes a long run in one of the most popular rock bands in history, it made sense. Team Austin360's Peter Blackstock called the set a "marathon to remember forever." Well this year's Friday headliner, Guns 'n' Roses, is poised to go even longer, with a set starting at 7:30 p.m. G'n'R have released six studio albums over the years and they have a total of 13 songs in the Billboard Hot 100 and just six that cracked the top 10. So if you're a casual G'n'R fan who's in it for "Sweet Child o' Mine" and "November Rain," prepare to sit through a lot of, we don't know, "Chinese Democracy" deep cuts? Phish covers? Just, we hope, not this.
That Sunday night Lizzo to Cardi B transition should be epic. Holy flutes and booty moves, Austin! We're in for a serious Sunday night shakedown. America's foremost preacher of self-love and hater shaking, Lizzo has been having a spectacular year and she lands on the Miller Lite stage at 8 p.m. with a set that wraps at 9 p.m. That is exactly when red hot rapper and unexpectedly astute political pundit Cardi B hits the Honda stage a few feet to the left. Excuse us, while we slip out and do a few squats. Gotta get those glutes ready.
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Kacey Musgraves at the golden hour should be positively sublime. Unless you're a Third Eye Blind or Bruce Hornsby fan, we'll see you at the American Express stage Sunday at 6 p.m., when modern country badass Kacey Musgraves will perform with the city skyline at her back as the sun begins to sink below the horizon. If you're a fan of banjos, it will be a nice lead-in to Mumford and Sons headline set. Otherwise, if you cut out early, you should be able to sprint across the field and catch the Lizzo, Cardi B turn up.
You can catch Childish Gambino's headline set and still close your night with the Cure. The Venn diagram of fans of modern R&B innovator Childish Gambino and '80s angst rock icons the Cure might not have a ton of overlap, but if you want to experience the spectacular set that took Coachella to church earlier this year, and you want to remember the songs you cried to in high school, you're in luck. Gambino's Saturday night set ends at 9:30 p.m. while the Cure plays til 10, so you should be able to get your Donald Glover on and still have the "Last Dance" with Robert Smith.
Sorry fans of Latina leading ladies, Kali Uchis and Natalia Lafourcade play the same slot. We've been critical of ACL Fest in the past for under representing Latino acts and a lack of female artists at the top of the bill. The good news is this year's lineup makes huge strides on both fronts. The bad news for fans of Latina pop stars is both Colombian American breakout Kali Uchis and Mexican pop rocker Natalia Lafourcade are playing the same 5 p.m. slot on Saturday. Having to choose which Latina pop star you want to see is arguably a good problem to have, but we reckon there are probably some folks who hoped to see both.
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