Sights & Sounds From Austin City Limits Music Festival: Weekend One

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Tony Maples Photography


Fans of the Austin City Limits Music Festival know that each year the festival offers new surprises. In recent years, the festival has become so popular that it now stretches over two weekends with multiple headliners. The 2018 event featured Paul McCartney, Metalica, the National, Churches, Hozer, Greta Van Fleet, Borns, and Odesza just to name a few. We aren’t sure yet what Weekend Two has in store, but check out some of Weekend One’s memorable but perhaps missed moments.

The Weather:

Once upon a time, ACL took place in the muggy, too-hot month of September. In some parts of the world, September would be too cold. Not in Austin. After complaints from fans and bands, the festival was moved to October. This has resulted in a small dip in temperatures, and this year’s Weekend One was the most pleasant weather we can remember. On the heels of almost constant rain, the weather was cool, sunny, and came with a welcome breeze. Rains resulted in a small delay on Saturday but did not deter the fans.


Photo: Donald Minnis

Weather-Appropriate Attire: 

ACL is the place to be for people-watching and fashion-forward thinking. Style and personality are out in full form throughout the three-day event. Often, people dress to the nines despite it being an outdoor event. Bands will often perform in costume or clothes far too thick for the balmy Texas weather. We give kudos to Borns, who dressed appropriately in running shorts and a tank top. Never one to lose on style, the outfit was bedazzled in pearls and a jacket that lasted a couple of songs. Similarly, Paul McCartney shed a layer of clothes early in his set, joking about his one outfit change for the night.


Photo: Donald Minnis

Friends Being ‘Friends’:

ACL is always a time for friends to let loose and enjoy each other’s company. Crowds were taken with what appeared to be an expensive tactic to razz a friend when an airplane sported a banner that read, “Andrew Has a Bon**”. As it turns out, it appears this was a particularly effective advertising strategy for Netflix’s adult animated series Big Mouth, about a boy facing the wonders and woes of adolescents. Several bands mentioned the banner, and it flew over the festival for quite some time. Well played, Netflix.


Photo: Donald Minnis

Cityscape and Nature Collide:

Did anyone else notice the perfectly timed presentation of this cloud formation behind one of Austin’s larger than life skyscrapers? It was like smoke clouds forming after a rocket launch, and some Austinites might prefer that many of the new skyscrapers that have replaced local businesses would fly away and land safely in another city.


Photo: Donald Minnis

Millennials Everywhere:

While ACL draws people of all ages, the closer you get to many of the stages, the younger the crowd gets. As in years past, signs on poles are one way big groups of people identify themselves. The material on the sign can often age a group quickly as evidenced by these moth and lamp memes that seem very popular with millennials. These handmade signs have become a welcome staple at ACL.


Photo: Donald Minnis

We can’t wait to hear about your sightings at ACL Weekend Two, or if you saw different things at this years Weekend One event. Let us know!