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ACL scene report: Texas-OU game playing at Barton Springs Beer Hall

Arianna Auber
aauber@statesman.com

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

“Dan Croll is playing, My Jersualem is playing, but it’s UT,” said Daniel Venek as if that was the most obvious decision in the world.

The decision being, of course, the heart-wrenching one of whether to watch the always fierce rivalry of UT and OU play out onscreen at ACL’s large Barton Springs Beer Hall, which broadcasted the game with two large screens, or see one of those popular acts instead.

For Venek and others, there was no question that they would linger in the beer hall until the Cotton Bowl - which expected loser UT was actually winning at halftime - was over.

The beer hall was packed, more than it has been during the entire festival, during the first half of the game with Longhorn fans thrilled to see their team pull off a 23-10 lead at halftime. After every UT score, they cheered just about as loudly as they would for any band (Yes, OU still sucks). And volunteers at the beer hall kept the taps flowing, some even bringing out beer to the fans instead of having them order at the long bar.

Summer Coulter, who’s worked behind that bar since the beginning of weekend 1, said it’s been busier than it normally is at that early in the afternoon.

Not all in the crowd were ACL spectators, either. Bryan Makin has been working behind the Amy’s Ice Cream booth but stepped away during a lull to catch his beloved team. He’s normally a hardcore tailgater who would be in Dallas right now if he didn’t have the Amy’s gig.

“For the record, I don’t think we’re going to win, but you never know with these games,” he said with a laugh.

UT alums Madeline Bowen and Ashley Wood pointed out that lots of people weren’t expecting the Longhorns to pull off a victory, but the two friends walked to the beer hall right after arriving at Zilker Park just in case. They’re leaving at 2 p.m. to see Haim, though.

That’s the great thing about the game playing so early, Venek said. Hardcore UT fans can watch the Red River Rivalry unfold, then go out and enjoy the remaining bands.

“This is a great idea regardless of the game,” Venek said, waving one hand around the beer hall. His other hand clutched a Left Hand Milk Stout. “All these great beers, the bigger space. You can hear the Austin Ventures stage from here.”