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ACL Fest Gameplan: Avoid Your Parents

Eric Webb

The Playlist: Avoid Your Parents

The strategy: Ugh, Moooooooom. Get your own music festival. Well, to be fair, until the past few years, ACL Fest probably was your mom’s music festival. But now, it’s more of an equal opportunity jam. You want to make sure you and your friends are nowhere near the ‘rents or anyone with a pension fund — and it’s not as simple as just ditching Pearl Jam’s set.

Essential gear:

  • Dollars – You are self-sufficient today. No withdrawals from the family bank.
  • Earplugs – The best way to avoid anyone over 30 is to get as close as possible to the stage. Stay in school, hugs not drugs, avoid premature hearing loss.

Non-essential gear:

  • Your phone charger – It’s off-the-grid time.

The Gameplan


Sphynx (noon, Miller Lite). Austin’s very own electrohedonists. Lots of neon, lots of losing your dang mind.

Moats (1:15 p.m., weekend one, RetailMeNot). Above all else, the best way to avoid your parents is to see dreamboat British indie bands they haven’t heard of.

Bleachers (3:15 p.m., Miller Lite). This isn’t a safe bet, but hope that not many casual listeners know that Jack Antonoff is also in Fun.

CHVRCHES (4:15 p.m., Honda). Shroud yourself in kaleidoscopic light shows and synthpop.

St. Vincent (5:15 p.m., RetailMeNot). Your mom is going to see Sam Smith. If your mom is going to St. Vincent, you should be hanging out with her anyway.

Childish Gambino (6:15 p.m., Honda). It’s in the name.

The Glitch Mob (7:15 p.m., Miller Lite). Screechy, scratchy, bleepy, bloopy.


Mac DeMarco (1:30 p.m., RetailMeNot). The “Salad Days” singer is the province of those actually in their salad days.

Tune-Yards (3:30 p.m., RetailMeNot). The sound of a marching band in a food processor, in the right ways. Sweet, sweet noise.

My Brightest Diamond (4:30 p.m., Sculpture/Zilker). This Sufjan Stevens collaborator will be safe ground between the tender folk of The Head and the Heart and the dad-friendly rock of Interpol.

Icona Pop (5:30 p.m., Miller Lite). Aunt Kathy just loves that one song she heard on the radio, you the know the one, about being “Fancy”? She’ll be all Iggy’s.

Lana del Rey (6:30 p.m., Samsung Galaxy). Kim Kardashian’s favorite singer herself.

Major Lazer (7:30 p.m., RetailMeNot). Even if your parents show up, they’ll leave in the first five minutes.

Skrillex (8:30, Honda). The patron saint of this gameplan.


HAERTS (11:30 a.m., Miller Lite). Darkly dance-ready, mystic-futuristic electronic pop.

MØ (12:15 p.m., Honda). Her ACL bio describes her music as a mix of “indie, pop, hip-hop, electro and soul” and shows her holding a jungle cat’s taxidermied head in front of her crotch. Her time slot mates, MODOC and The Districts, are described as “gritty, swaggering rock music” and “jangly indie Americana and blues-inspired rock,” respectively. You do the math.

Vic Mensa (1:00 p.m., RetailMeNot). Peer of Chance the Rapper, 19 years old, a sure bet.

AFI (2:00 p.m., Honda). We said avoid your parents, not avoid your older sister who was really into goth rock in the 2000s.

Jhené Aiko (weekend one, 3 p.m. RetailMeNot). Spacey R&B, and if you’re good, maybe Drake will show up.

Phantogram (5:00 p.m., Miller Lite). See “CHVRCHES.”

**You’re not safe from 6-7 p.m. Your parents have an equal chance of seeing Spoon or The Replacements. This is not a drill. Go get a snack.**

Zedd (7 p.m., Miller Lite). Or get to the front of the stage for the “Clarity” DJ. (You could see Chromeo on weekend one, too, but don’t go near Lorde on weekend two. It’s a trap.)

Calvin Harris (8 p.m., Honda). The age spread between Calvin and Pearl Jam will be so stark, it’ll look like a Venn diagram with no overlap. (So … two circles.)