More shopping amid the ACL stage-hopping
Austin, regional and national vendors and retailers will offer plenty of goods for this year's musical festival in Zilker Park.
Think the Austin City Limits Musical Festival is all about, well, music and dancing in the crowds?
Think again. The shopping scene is a growing part of the festival, giving music revelers and, in previous years, an artist such as Erykah Badu, a chance to do some retail therapy and shop for clothes, accessories, shoes and other goods that go beyond a concert T-shirt.
This year will be no exception, with dozens of local and national vendors setting up shop on festival grounds Zilker Park. And, as in years past, you'll also find vendors and retailers along Barton Springs Road and other traveling vendors such as Bare Escentuals, which will offer a pop-up boutique with complimentary makeup applications, samples and 20-percent-off coupons. (Bare Escentuals has plans to stop at the University of Texas on Friday and at ACL Fest on Saturday and Sunday.)
At the festival's SoCo Art Market, which adjoins the food court, there will be more than 30 retailers, including some Austin boutiques such as SoLa (women's clothing), Parts & Labour (jewelry, baby clothes, T-shirts, accessories) and Hatbox (selections for men and women).
Also, there will be other local, regional and national vendors such as Piper Sandals (handcrafted sandals: www.pipersandals.com), Sweettooth (accessories: www.sweettooth bags.com), Storyville (T-shirts: www.WearYourStory.com) and Toms Shoes (women's and men's selections: www.toms.com).
It's not all about fashion. You'll find photography from Greg Davis, artwork from Michael Babyak and Rokoko as well as a general store from Peoples Rx.
In the mix will be new official festival items such as the commemorative tee as well as jewelry. Chicago-based jewelry designer Susan Wheeler has created ACL Fest dog tags ($25), a script ACL Fest necklace ($30) and gold- and silver plated belt buckles ($60). Wheeler, who's known for her jewelry selections made from 18-karat and precious gems, was contacted by ACL Fest's producer C3 Presents to design pieces for this year's Lollapalooza, which took place in August in Chicago, and ACL Fest. The selections will be available at this weekeend at the arts market and in select VIP sections.
"It's amazing we don't have more jewelry that's fashionable for rock-'n'-roll concerts," said Wheeler of Susan Wheeler Design, an ACL Fest first-timer. "I'm so excited. The lineup is fantastic."
Also, among the colorful and often over-the-top booths in Zilker Park, you'll find Austin jewelry and accessories designer Leigh Navarro, who, if her schedule allows, will get a chance to see the Strokes and Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros.
If you talk to her, don't mention last year's ACL Fest. Like so many vendors, she has long washed away all of the Dillo Dirt that muddied last year's festival.
"It was disgusting," she recalled the other day. "The mud made for an interesting three-day weekend, to say the least. It was an enormous headache to get our booth and product out of there, but people overall seemed to be in good spirits. There was definitely (an easygoing) attitude amongst the patrons ... I am crossing my fingers for a rain-free weekend."
Five years ago when she moved to Austin, Navarro, 32, created the line Leighelena, which is sold at various Austin retailers, including Anna Gray Gift & Jewelry Boutique, Eliza Page, Solid Gold Boutique, Whole Foods Market and now at Navarro's new 250-square-foot store, Shop Leighelena (1215 Corona Drive) near Nomad Bar. (Because of its size, the store is carefully edited and offers jewelry, bags, household products, tabletop items, body care goods and some clothing and scarves.)
This ACL will be Navarro's fourth, and she's looking forward to not traveling as she has to do for other markets and festivals.
"I do it because it's a really fun way to get in front of a lot of different people here in Austin," she said. "We're at every market basically there is at the country. It's fun. I get to hear some music. I get to sleep in my bed and I don't have to travel for it."
At her booth, Navarro will sell her signature enamel cuffs, jigsaw bracelets, enamel rings, pendants and belt buckles. They will be accompanied by her new additions: the Licorice belts and double-wrap bracelets. There also will be embroidered Mexican tops and other jewelry and accessories.
While she hopes the weather holds, she's looking forward to meeting people from other parts of the country as well as some of her yearly regulars.
"There's definitely people that have come back," she said. "I'm sure I will see some people who I've seen the past few seasons, too."
Looking to do some shopping between concerts at the Austin City Limits Music Festival? In case you want to do some pre-shopping or get a feel of the goods, here's a quick list of some of the vendors and retailers at this year's festival. For a complete list of vendors, visit www.aclfestival.com.
- Drive By Press (www.drivebypress.com)
- Pomar Island (www.pomarisland.com)
- Fleur-de-Stone (www.fleurdestone.com)
- Bolsa Bonita (www.bolsabonita.com)
- Hatbox (www.hatbox.com)
- Ivy Stella (www.myspace.com/ivystella)
- Kailo Chic (www.kailochic.com)
- Leighelena (www.leighelena.com)
- Lillian Bloom Designs
- Ornamental Things (www.OrnamentalThings.com)
- Parts & Labour (www.partsandlabour.blogspot.com)
- Rubypearl Clothing (www.etsy.com/shop/rubypearl)
- Sweettooth (www.sweettoothbags.com)
- Texas Headgear Company (www.texasheadgear.com)
- Toms Shoes (www.toms.com)
Starting Friday, Marques G. Harper will join music lovers and fashionistas who flock to Zilker Park for the annual Austin City Limits Music Festival, which ends Sunday night.
As usual, he will scout for the most stylish looks of the day for our annual Fashion Festies, our awards for the style mavens and trendsetters who wear standout looks, boots, accessories and T-shirts. Check out 2010's winners at austin360.com/acl.