Listen to Austin 360 Radio

ACL Fest 2013: Come join us in the sun

Michael Corcoran

Though historians have not been able to definitively pinpoint the route through Texas taken roughly 500 years ago by Spanish treasure-seeker Cabeza de Vaca, it is believed that he and his men camped for a few days at what is now Zilker Park. The indigenous people called these explorers “children of the sun” and viewed them as having the power to both heal and destroy.

And thus the roots for Austin’s neighborhood associations were born.

With the addition of a second, nearly identical weekend, the 12th annual Austin City Limits Music Festival is expected to “heal” the Austin economy to the tune of $175 million. But the price to Zilker area residents is the crowds, the traffic, the noise, the drunks and the fences that keep them out of Austin’s jewel for about a month.

But if Austin is going to bill itself as a music capital, it needs a world-class event like ACL Fest, presented against a city backdrop the namesake TV show can only imagine. South by Southwest is a celebration of Austin’s clubs, but ACL Fest features the city’s natural beauty. The Sun Children, about half from Austin and half from elsewhere, will descend upon the eight stages twice again, Friday through Sunday and then Oct. 11 through Oct. 13. As always, the ACL lineup is a mix of up-and-coming acts and time-tested veterans who can fill the fields with one hit after another and use up their time without playing them all.

Historians aren’t sure, but it’s believed that Cabeza de Vaca is really kicking himself for missing the Cure.

With more than 140 acts playing the fest each weekend, there’s no way to feature them all. But our critics offer a nice cross section, from R&B legend Lionel Richie to 11-piece experimental folk band Typhoon. This’ll get you started. You’ll find your own stories when the music starts.

@austin360.com/acl