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ACL Day 1.0 Outdoor Bazaar

Michael Barnes

Editor’s note: This article was originally published October 4, 2013

The unofficial ACL Festival Outdoor Bazaar starts in earnest at Barton Springs Road and South First Street. A pert, well-spoken man — 40ish, wearing sparkly glasses — offered 3-day passes for $150. Further down the road, parking had begun at Peso and Bucks for $30, but only $20 closer at Park Terrace on Dawson Road. Touts guided drivers to the “charity” parking at the Elks Lodge — $25 a day or $60 for three days. “We’ve got lighting and security,” says “just Bo.” “It’s all good and all goes to charity.” Which? “The Elks Lodge of course.” Hmmm. Bright-faced young folks pointed out the TimeWarner WiFi spots from a sleek trailer at the Peter Pan Mini Golf. They promised hot spots on the ACL Fest field, too. An enormous Jarritos encampment under orange tents stacked bottled drinks like stones in a vast fortress on the other side of South Lamar Boulevard. Here the products grew dense: T-shirts, jewelry, pork ribs, breakfast tacos, carnitas, empanadas, pizza slices, Frito pie, gumbo, Real Ale, beer to go (really?) at Uncle Billy’s. Originally from Canada, now in Austin, Betty Loo sells gorgeous leather goods, including my next satchel with a curly clasp for $220. Funny panhandler sign: “Need funding for extensive alcohol research.” Parking gets more expensive the closer to the field: $40 at Barton Place, for instance. Funny vendor sign: “P. Terry’s: Now serving 75,000.” Took me a while to get it. Last wristband seller, shadier with a handlebar moustache, glances at my media badge and says “Uh, $125?” Burma Shave-style segmented sign on Barton Creek bridge: “Hey you. With the bike. Don’t park. Here. I’m serious. Plus. I said please.” Rumored sign behind press area: “No smoking here. That means you, Andy Langer.”