ACL Fest Day 4.1: One weekenders
Haven’t met anyone yet — outside media and fest workers — who is doing both ACL weekends.
UPDATE: According to Michael Corcoran’s report, “87 percent of the 75,000 fans who bought three-day wristbands for the second weekend of ACL Fest did not attend the first weekend.”
Texas A&M students Mariel Fontaine (animal science) and John Laue (international studies/psychology) purchased all-access passes. They like the fact that ACL stays pretty clean and safe, partly because they don’t allow camping. “It’s a little more standardized and business-oriented than other festivals,” Laue says. “That makes everything easier to navigate.” Fontaine is just trying to take everything in during her first ACL and is looking forward to Muse (this time, without equipment problems) and Fun. They aren’t worried about predicted rain. “As long as it doesn’t shut down the fest,” Laue says. “Part of the point is to put up with the weather. And maybe if it does rain, there will be more elbow room for us.”
Trent Thurman, director of the evening MBA program at the University of Texas, was hanging out with his son, Sam, whose twin, Ben got to see the festival last week. “Selfishly,” Trent says, “I like that it isn’t that crowded today.” Sam: “At first I didn’t like the idea of two weekends. It didnt seem as special.” What if it rains? Trent: “We plan to stick it out. We were here a few years ago when it rained the entire weekend. We just bought a poncho and a hat.”
David Calvert flew in from California. His friend and former Sarah Lawrence classmate Chelsea Sanchez came from the opposite direction in Washington D.C. It’s Calvert’s eighth ACL, Chelsea’s second. “All the important things stay the same and all the changres are, for all intents and purposes, improvements,” Calvert says. “In part, the city adapted to the festival. It always attracted a higher caliber of music, food and drink. And the park is perfect.” Sanchez agrees. “They get the logistics just right,” she says. “It’s the best musical festival I’ve ever been to.” The pair admire producer C3’s careful stage management. “At other fest, they just plop a stage out,” Calvert says. “And that is that. This is very Austin.” Sanchez: “You get a real taste of Austin culture.”