Why I may not go to ACL next year

1 Oct

A couple weeks ago I attended the Austin City Limits Music Festival for the fourth year in a row. Like always I enjoyed myself seeing some of my favorite bands like Arcade Fire and Iron & Wine and some other very good shows like Kanye West and Empire of the Sun. However at some point over that weekend I decided that I would not likely be returning for another round of ACL next year and there are numerous reasons why.

First I feel that the time of year ACL is hosted is not ideal for the Texas climate. They should hold the festival in late October- to early November ever year because the heat is just killer and I mean that literally. This last ACL was rather lucky in that it could have been a lot hotter had the clouds not been so accommodating and that the only rain I can remember in the past six months just happened to fall on Friday and Saturday. All things considered it was a relatively comfortable ACL, I mean it could have been much worse.

My Second qualm about ACL is the crowd size. I think ACL has gotten to big for it’s own good, cramming 75,000 people into Zilker park is far too many. At one point during Foster the People’s show it was nearly impossible to walk from one side of the field to the other because their crowd was impeding any steady movement. This is not an issue at most other major music festivals where the grounds are much more expansive. Perhaps ACL should consider moving the festival to a bigger field just right outside the city. This would be ideal for a couple reasons. It would keep the music from other stages bleeding into other artists performances and second it would help reduce traffic congestion within Austin.

My third issue is the scheduling conflicts that ACL produces. Decide between Kanye West or Coldplay, My Morning Jacket or Stevie Wonder, and the list goes on and on. Other festivals don’t really have this issue. You are paying good money to come to this festival as a costumer you want to be able to see all the artist’s you pay for. Which leads me to my last issue with ACL.

The ticket prices are finally getting to expensive for a poor college kid like me to feel comfortable spending the money on. The first year I came to ACL, a 3 day pass was 145 dollars , as of next year  a 3 day pass will cost you 200 dollars. When will it stop, the price has consistently increased by 20 dollars every year. 20 dollars might not be much for some people but ACL producers C3 are definitely alienating a large group of people by consistently increasing the price of tickets. Perhaps if they continue to raise the price, it will at least solve one of the issues I have with this festival and that is the crowd because I know for one I won’t be returning next year unless someone buys me a ticket.

ACL crowds have reached new highs in recent years.


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