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ACL Fest 2021 lineup: George Strait, Stevie Nicks, Billie Eilish, Miley Cyrus, DaBaby, more

The Austin City Limits Music Festival is back in 2021.

ACL Fest, returning after a pandemic year off from in-person performance, on Thursday morning announced the artists coming for its two October weekends in Zilker Park.

Stevie Nicks performs during the 24 Karat Gold Tour 2017 at the Frank Erwin Center in Austin on March 12, 2017. The rock & roll legend is an ACL Fest headliner for 2021.

This year's ACL Fest lineup

It's an impressively varied bunch, ranging from the first-ever appearance of Texas country legend George Strait at the fest, to young pop phenoms Billie Eilish (a standout from 2019's fest) and Miley Cyrus, to Grammy-winning Houston hip-hop act Megan Thee Stallion (who infamously was a no-show for her 2019 set), to Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Stevie Nicks.

Musician, fan reaction:Stevie Nicks, Megan Thee Stallion, George Strait fans 'can't wait' for Austin City Limits Music Festival

Rounding out the names in the lineup's biggest letters: Dallas neo-soul queen Erykah Badu, hot hip-hop artist DaBaby and electronic dance act Rüfüs Du Sol.

Review from 2019:It’s Billie Eilish’s world; ACL Fest is just livin’ in it

Other popular music artists set to rock ACL Fest include Texas-bred alt-rocker St. Vincent (Weekend One only), "Say So" viral hitmaker Doja Cat, pop-punk heartthrob Machine Gun Kelly, classic rock revivalists Greta Van Fleet, "Float On" indie fave Modest Mouse and ascendant indie singer-songwriter Phoebe Bridgers.

Top Austin acts in the mix this year include Grammy nominees Black Pumas (playing a five-night run at Stubb's next week), fast-rising pop act Dayglow, electronic duo Missio, country traditionalist Charley Crockett and eclectic artist Nané (a recent Austin360 Artist of the Month). Western swing outfit Asleep at the Wheel returns on Weekend One to keep intact its perfect ACL Fest attendance record.

George Strait will play the Austin City Limits Music Festival for the first time ever when the event returns to Zilker Park in October after a one-year pandemic absence.

Further down the lineup, music fans will find hip-hop from Grammy-nominated emcee Freddie Gibbs, inventive wordsmith Tierra Whack and rising rapper/TikTok sensation Jack Harlow; alt-rock from Seattle-born Band of Horses, Jack Antonoff solo project Bleachers and expressive Future Islands; indie vibes from Billie Eilish bro Finneas and critically acclaimed alternative singer Moses Sumney; and country crooning from grande dame Tanya Tucker (Weekend One only) and drag queen/music artist Trixie Mattel (Weekend Two only).

More:15 most memorable ACL Fest moments through the years

Pay close attention to the acts not playing both weekends, by the way, which also include Louisiana bandleader Jon Batiste (Weekend Two only), French DJ Madeon (Weekend Two only), Australian Chet Faker (Weekend One only) and retro-soul act  Durand Jones & the Indications (Weekend Two only).

Most local acts also are booked for just one weekend. Kelsey Wilson's Wild Child offshoot Sir Woman plays Weekend One only, along with rapper Deezie Brown, soulful singer Aaron Stephens and synth-poppers TC Superstar. Appearing only on Weekend Two are indie bands Heartless Bastards and Tender Things, as well as hip-hop acts Riders Against the Storm, Mike Melinoe and Sam Houston & Blk Odyssy.

Set for Oct. 1-3 and Oct. 8-10 on eight stages in Zilker Park, the fest will be held at full capacity. In a press release accompanying the announcement, festival organizers noted that they "are in regular communication with local health and public safety officials and will follow current recommendations and guidelines at the time of the festival. As the weekends approach, ACL Fest patrons will receive regular updates with important information regarding safety policies and procedures before entering Zilker Park." 

Megan Thee Stallion, seen here during South by Southwest on March 15, 2019, will come to Austin for ACL Fest 2021.

How to get ACL tickets

Three-day tickets for each weekend went on sale at noon Thursday via the festival's website, along with VIP and platinum tickets and hotel packages (three-day tickets for Weekend One and Two sold out almost immediately on Thursday). Ages 10 and under will be admitted free with a ticketed adult. Single-day tickets will be available later, after the day-by-day schedule is announced. 

Here's the official lineup poster:

ACL Fest 2021 lineup

COVID-19 safety at ACL Fest

“The return of Austin City Limits as an in-person festival celebrates that our efforts as a community to become vaccinated are working," Austin Mayor Steve Adler said as part of the announcement. "Health and safety remain our top priority, and we will work closely with the organizers and Austin Public Health to ensure ACL Fest is in line with our health standards.”

The announcement also quoted Austin-Travis County interim health authority Mark Escott, in connection to the festival's partnership with the city and Austin Public Health to encourage vaccinations via AustinTexas.gov/Covid19-vaccines.

“Austin City Limits 2021 is a result of successful vaccine efforts and more than a year’s worth of protection measures,” Escott said. “Taking the shot is our shot at getting things back to normal, and we envision this happening before October if we stay the course as a community.”