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ACL Fest scene report: Austin Kiddie Limits secret land of fun

Staff Writer
Austin 360

By Erin J. Walter

Editor’s note: This article was originally published October 12, 2013

Are you watching a grownup band on one of the main ACL Fest stages right now?

What are you, nuts?

Whether you are 8 or 108, you owe it to yourself to get over to the Austin Kiddie Limits area today. C3 organizers should rename it the “Area of Awesomeness” next year. Or maybe “Austin Kiddie Limits Secret Land of Fun.”

Here is just a sampling of all the free fun tucked-away between the Honda stage and the football bar: karaoke, pinwheels, temporary tattoos, magnet painting, stylists giving colorful mohawks to toddlers, Q Brothers leading hiphop workshops, performances by School of Rock bands, a Jackson Pollack-esque painting station, and yet another painting area where you can use tiny toy cars as paintbrushes. Mother Falcon—one of Austin’s hottest, coolest bands—is performing there at this very moment.

Grownups, we should never get too grown up for any of that!

The crowd is sparse so far today at Austin Kiddie Limits and the vibe is lowkey, coming off a cheerful, covers-laden performance by Caspar Babypants (AKA the former frontman of Presidents of the United States of America, the ’90s indie band known by many parents for wacky earworms “Lump” and “Peaches”). Moms and purple-haired babies chill and knee-dance on blankets by the stage while elementary-age kids get engrossed in their artwork. You’d never know thousands of older festival-goers were just outside the gates, exploring a bigger, less glittery version of this little wonderland.

The Kiddie Limits stage welcomes Play Date, The Ohmies, and The Verve Pipe later today. Tell you’re friends you’re headed that way for the music—and secretly stick around to chug some lemonade while you throw paint at a wall. Go crazy, Kiddie style.