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Disappointment over canceled day at ACL

Staff Writer
Austin 360

By Michael Corcoran

Editor’s note: This article was originally published October 13, 2013

Rob Avera got a text this morning from a friend and yelled “NO!” The final day of the Austin City Limits Music Festival had been canceled due to heavy rains that flooded parts of Zilker Park. “I bought this wristband yesterday just to see Atoms For Peace,” he said of the artist wristband he bought for $80 from one of the bands that left town yesterday. “It’s such a drag.”

A couple of young women, Blair and Kayla, who didn’t want their last names used, came all the way from Baton Rouge to see Sunday band Noah and the Whale. That ACL promoter C3 is refunding $75 of the $225 they paid for three-day wristbands was little consolation. “I want to cry,” said Blair. The pair said they’re hoping the band will play a club show since they’re already in town. “They never play Baton Rouge.”

C3 will end up refunding more than $5 million for the canceled date.Also taking a financial hit are food and beer vendors. But seeing the festival grounds, under inches of water in some spots, with a river running from the Bud Light stage to the food court, there was simply no way the music could go on.

On the Bud Light stage Sunday morning, a production member, helping to break down the stage that had been scheduled to host Phoenix and other bands later in the day, was not in a good mood. “We made it five days out of six, but this really sucks,” he was overheard saying. This is the first year ACL Fest extended to a second weekend in October. Next year’s dates are Oct. 3-5 and 10-12, C3 partner Charlie Jones confirmed last week.

David and Dianne Turner were packing up their RV at Pecan Grove RV Park at around noon Sunday, a day earlier than planned. “I really, really wanted to see Lionel Richie,” Dianne said, while her husband said, “It was Atoms For Peace for me.” Those two acts were to be twin headliners Sunday. The Turners, who live in Buda, had planned to spend the day in Zilker with their old friends Paul and Marge Smith, who flew in from England for this second weekend of ACL.

“We’re disappointed, for sure,” said David Turner, “but we’ve decided to make the best of it and take our friends out to Salt Lick.” It’s not Lionel Richie, but it’ll have to do.