In true Texas style, the 18th edition of Austin City Limits Music Festival went big.
The annual festival, spread over weekends Oct. 4-6 and 11-13, this year saw one of its hottest weekends ever (the first three days, when sweltering temperatures stayed in the mid- to upper-90s), as well as its coldest ever (the first day of Weekend Two, which started with 48 degrees on the thermometer). Weekend One was all about mesh tops and shorts; Weekend Two kicked off with down jackets and gloves.
In another record, chart-topping rapper and former Houstonian Lizzo drew such a large crowd to the Miller Lite stage Weekend One that her fans also took up the space in front of the next-door Honda stage. She was booked before her hit single "Truth Hurts" hit No. 1 on the Billboard charts. On Instagram, Lizzo said that the audience clocked in at around 60,000 fans. The festival responded to the massive crowd Weekend Two by simulcasting the rapper's set to the Honda stage.
An unfortunate trend at this year's ACL Fest: no-shows. During Weekend One, rapper Lil Uzi Vert failed to show up for his set, thought he did perform for Weekend Two. A Weekend Two set from Houston up-and-comer Megan Thee Stallion was canceled because she did not leave her hotel in time, according to the festival. Rap sensation Cardi B also took the stage 30 minutes late for her Weekend One-only headliner set, but she still performed an almost hourlong set of hits.
More positive trends: Western style abounded, with many festivalgoers showing up in their best cowgirl and cowboy hats for country star and former Austinite Kacey Musgraves and masked desperado Orville Peck. The clothes made the fans; it wasn't hard to find shirts dedicated to headliners Guns N' Roses and the Cure.
Speaking of headliners, hip-hop polymath Childish Gambino (aka Donald Glover) turned in two inspiring, sweaty nighttime sets both weekends on the American Express stage. Glover has said in interviews that his ACL Fest stands would be his last before retiring the Childish Gambino moniker, and he repeated that from the stage during his Weekend Two set.
As always, the festival showcased popular acts from around the world. International stars taking the stage in Zilker Park over the two weekends included Swedish pop star Robyn, Spanish flamenco-pop innovator Rosalía, Norwegian singer Sigrid, Colombian group Monsieur Periné and British country-soul artist Yola.
Locals got their time in the spotlight, too, with Gary Clark Jr. leading the way on the festival's largest stage both Saturdays. Clark brought up several hometown friends to join him each weekend, including the Peterson Brothers, Phranchyze and Zeale. Other Austin acts who had big moments at the fest included Pike & Sutton, Kady Rain, Jane Ellen Bryant, Abhi the Nomad, Otis the Destroyer and Ley Line.