Listen to Austin 360 Radio

Austin 9-year-old has grown up with ACL

Staff Writer
Austin 360

While Wilco and Los Lobos rocked Zilker Park at the inaugural Austin City Limits Music Festival in 2002, 10-month-old Cash Robinson crawled and toddled from blanket to blanket, curling up from time to time to take it all in.

"Cash loved being outside," says his mother, Carolyn Robinson. "His first word was ‘outside.' We were looking for things to do outside."

So, outside they went, rockin' the baby all day long at ACL. They did the same the next year, and, in fact, every single year of the festival. Cash, now 9, hasn't known a year without ACL.

"I like that it's so big, and they have a ton of stuff everywhere," he says. Like many other savvy fans, Cash, his mom and his dad, Rhett, have biked to the festival in recent years.

"We sort of put our blanket in the middle of it so we can go everywhere," he says. His family likes to hear a little of one band's set, then move on, he says.

"The only time we listened to one whole band was last year at the Eagles," he says. He's a big fan of the Eagles, he says. This year, he's especially looking forward to Stevie Wonder and Arcade Fire.

When Cash was a tot, his parents brought along ear plugs so that his hearing wouldn't suffer from too much loud music. And, Carolyn Robinson says, "When he was little, we never had him with us at night, except for the Willie Nelson show." Now, Cash is at ACL day and night. He had to miss the Friday lineup this year because of school commitments, but the family plans to be at Zilker today.

In nine years of ACL, Cash has endured searing heat, blowing dust and rainstorms. It's the rain he remembers most.

"There was the mud, and that was probably the worst," he says. He might be the only one in Austin who is hoping nothing comes out of the sky this weekend.

Cash became a musician three weeks ago when his parents bought him an electric guitar. He's been taking lessons and can already play "Back in Black."

"I really got interested in it because a guy at (Hillcrest Baptist) church plays the guitar," he says, "and my uncle and cousins can play really well."

He shakes his head when asked if he sees himself playing at ACL someday.

"I just like the sound," he says.

He'll have plenty of that sound to drink in this weekend. But the music isn't all he likes.

"I like getting a mohawk in the kids' area," he says. That should amuse his teachers at Acton Academy. He says he also enjoys eating nachos, drinking huge glasses of iced tea and, at the behest of his mom, entering kids' contests, which he says he's won so many times he often doesn't even bother to collect the prizes.

"I did once, though," he says, "when I won a harmonica."

Cash's very favorite activity at ACL? He doesn't hesitate for a second.

"Just throwing the football with my dad," he says.

handers@statesman.com; 912-2590

For kids about to rock ...