Rolling Stones show in Austin today: When to arrive, Mick Jagger's pop-ups and more
Today's the day: The Rolling Stones roll in to Circuit of the Americas on Saturday for a 7 p.m. concert that concludes a 13-city tour of stadium-sized venues in the United States. (One smaller show follows at a casino in Florida next week.)
The Circuit of the Americas website added a FAQ page a couple of days ago with more specific details for those attending. It includes the following schedule:
3 p.m.: Parking lots open
4:30 p.m.: Venue gates open
7 p.m.: Concert begins, with opening act Ghost Hounds
An important added note: "Please allow ample time (+1 hour) to get into the venue and to your seat. Schedule is subject to change."
Having recently spent more than an hour driving the final two miles for Billy Joel's concert during last month's Formula One race, I can vouch for the wisdom of allowing plenty of time. Saturday's crowd at COTA'S Super Stage likely won't be as large as the 100,000-plus that attended F1 — when the Stones played Zilker Park in 2006, attendance was a little shy of the 50,000 capacity — but it'll be far larger than the 15,000-size crowds typical of most concerts at the venue's amphitheater.
For ticketholders, this notation on the FAQ page also may be helpful: "To make it easier to get into your designated sections, we will be providing an additional wristband for you to wear after scanning your ticket if you are in one of the following locations: General Admission Pit, Gold Circle, Luxury Loge Box, Silver Lawn General."
The FAQ page also includes a map showing the locations of the three entry gates and box offices on the grounds, as well as 13 parking lots designated by letters. Parking is available for those who pre-purchased parking passes, with some additional spots available for purchase Saturday at the venue, per the COTA website: "On the day of the event, parking will only be sold on-site upon arrival. No online parking will be available. Use the main entrance off of FM-812 and our parking team will direct you to the designated lot. Credit card accepted."
Jagger around town
Earlier this week, we made some guesses as to where Mick Jagger might surface around Austin a day or two before the concert, as he has done in other cities along this fall's tour. We went 0-for-5 but had the right idea when guessing Mount Bonnell, following a pattern of Jagger's previous social-media posts that showed him visiting natural settings around the area.
In Austin, he instead chose McKinney Falls State Park. A post to Jagger's Instagram account Friday evening showed the Stones frontman perched on a rock just above the small waterfall. McKinney Falls is not far from Circuit of the Americas, suggesting proximity to the venue might have been a factor.
That's further borne out by another photo that showed Jagger at Taqueria El Trompo Mayor, a taco truck at 7511 Burleson Road in Southeast Austin. (We were close on this one; we'd also suggested Meanwhile Brewing and its two food trucks, just a couple of miles away.)
The Instagram photos also showed Jagger having a beer in front of historic country dance hall the Broken Spoke on South Lamar Boulevard, riding in a small boat on Lady Bird Lake, and — perhaps the most intriguing of the bunch — playing pool at an establishment that was not named and was not easily identifiable from anything in the picture.
We do have documentation of where Jagger, along with Stones guitarists Keith Richards and Ronnie Wood and drummer Steve Jordan, spent time on Thursday night when the band arrived in town a couple of days after Monday's concert in Detroit. "Guess who just fist-bumped me and said “you blokes sounded (expletive) fantastic!!”, Austin guitarist Dave Scher wrote in a public Facebook post early Friday morning, along with a photo of Scher holding a guitar pick with the Stones logo on it.
Scher apparently was playing a private party that the band members attended on Thursday. In the comments, Scher explained. "It was Mick who fist bumped me and complimented us. His bodyguard came up and gave me the picks, then Steve Jordan came up, shook my hand, and said that he dug us! During the set, Ronnie Wood was smiling and movin’ around, sort of dancing in place, just lovin’ it! Keith Richards clapped and ‘whooped’ after every song. I can’t really believe what I’m typing right now."