The flags, faces and frogs above ACL crowds
The flags, balloons and signs that are such a common sight at ACL Fest weren’t out in large numbers yesterday — maybe for fear they might act as lightning rods — but elevated landmarks of all sorts were back in abundance on the final day of ACL 2014’s second weekend as the sun broke through the clouds late in the afternoon. The most popular streamers were the flags of various countries, yellow Gadsden “Don’t Tread on Me” flags, black-and-white “Come and Take It” banners and burnt orange Longhorn flags dancing in the breeze. But there were also some other… odder landmarks in the air Sunday.
It was ACL number two for Sean Leonard of Austin and his elevated sign, a massive photo of his face with the Twitter hashtag “#SeansinTown.”
“It let’s people know I’m here. I’m in town. I’m at ACL, at this exact spot,” Leonard said.
While Sean is kind of always in town now — he moved to Austin from Dallas — the sign is an inside joke from when he would visit. Sean said having the hashtag to check in on is an added bonus, and he’s seen everything from people posting pictures of the sign to using his blown-up face as a landmark to just having a little fun with it. When his face made a cameo on the big screen during Kendrick Lamar’s ACL set last year, he said, “Someone tweeted ‘#SeanDontKillMyVibe’ [a nod to the Kendrick Lamar song] during it.”
Nearby, Nick Perry of Dallas also has a sign with a photo of someone’s face, a less than flattering image of his friend Brittany Marr below a Dallas Cowboys flag. “I did it to torment my friend. We have a group of 20, and we needed a landmark to find each other. So, I looked for the worst picture I could find of her,” he said, pointing to Brittany.
Adrian and Crystal Cruz of Austin flew a more traditional banner, a flag on a telescoping pole featuring a gorgeous photo of a sliced avocado on blue gradient background — the cover of Pearl Jam’s self-titled eighth album. It’s Adrian’s 12th ACL, but his first time with a flag, which was a custom-made anniversary gift. “You have to lug more around, but it’s been well worth it,” he said. “We’re both huge Pearl Jam fans. The Pearl Jam fans come up and get it and others don’t realize what it is and just think it’s an avocado.”
Rather than a flag or sign, Joey Moody of Austin has a Kermit the Frog puppet on a stick who is with him for their second ACL Fest. “His arms and legs are good for dancing to the music,” Moody said, wiggling the pole and instantly making Kermit show off some signature Muppet moves. Besides serving as a landmark for friends and something to amuse fellow festival-goers, Moody’s Kermit has also had a brush with celebrity. “A$AP Ferg grabbed him for a minute at JMBYLA and then threw him back in the crowd,” Moody said.