Though the second weekend of the Austin City Limits music festival was cut short by unexpected flooding at Zilker Park, the event was filled with local food, loud music and thousands of dedicated fans.
The festival’s second weekend kick-off featured performances by Vampire Weekend, Fun. and Arctic Monkeys last Friday. The Zilker park grounds did not start filling up with guests until around 7 p.m. that night.
“It’s just too damn hot to get here while the sun is out and about,” said one late-arriving patron in the crowd.
Arctic Monkeys, who took the stage as the sun began to set over Zilker, were met with a crowd that stretched halfway through the park. Alex Turner, the band’s frontman, remarked that Austin’s sense of hospitality was one of the reasons the group enjoyed playing at ACL.
“You’re very kind, you Texans,” Turner told the audience Friday, combing his hair off his head, greaser-style, as the women in the crowd screamed.
ACL patron Jabari Dabney said he was so impressed by Arctic Monkeys’ upbeat and animated show that he wanted to buy their album when he got home that night.
When the park closed for the evening following Muse’s performance, many headed downtown to take in ACL-sponsored after shows that took place in various bars and music clubs. Wilco, Junip and Savages all played late-night concerts, though tickets were sold out long before the performances.
Saturday saw the weekend’s biggest crowd of around 75,000 guests. In addition to the 43 acts performing that day, art exhibits and merchandise stalls were set up along the park’s perimeter for guests to peruse between shows.
Several band members, including WALK THE MOON and Portugal. The Man, signed autographs and took photos with fans in a booth sponsored by Austin-based Waterloo Records.
WALK THE MOON frontman Nicholas Petricca said one of his favorite parts of ACL was getting to meet the band’s fans, adding that he would love to meet everyone personally if he could.
Electro-indie pop band Passion Pit took the stage at sunset to the excitement of the large crowd. Homemade flags and banners poked through the top of the crowd, bearing logos of bands, college mascots and inscrutable messages like “Poke-a-hot-ass.”
After their set, the Passion Pit crowd merged seamlessly with the group waiting to see rapper Kendrick Lamar. Lamar’s show was host to some of the most excitable fans at the festival. Many fans in the crowd sang along loudly to hits such as “Swimming Pools” and “Bitch Don’t Kill My Vibe.”
Lamar looked notably happy to be performing, an energy not lost on his devoted fans. An interpreter took the stage alongside Lamar, signing his lyrics so that hearing impaired concert-goers could enjoy the music too.