After an extremely successful inaugural year, plans are set to make the second annual Austin City Limits Festival bigger, better and louder the weekend of September 19-21. Last year's festival spanned two days with about 70 bands performing, but this year's version boasts a third day of music, not to mention an additional stage and an extra slew of artists – more than 130 acts performing between Friday and Sunday.
Taking its name from the longest running music program on television, the concept behind the festival has been to capture the diversity of the musicians that have been featured on Austin City Limits since it debuted in 1974 while also showcasing some of the elements that make the hosting city such a unique place. With artists such as Al Green, R.E.M., String Cheese Incident and Dwight Yokam headlining throughout the weekend, the festival will combine the roots of music that have always been so prevalent on the show with newer sounds that have emerged in its wake. In doing so, the event offers a little taste of almost everything that's out there in American music.
Many of last year’s performers are back again this year including Robert Randolph, Soulive, Nickel Creek, G Love and Karl Denson, as well as local acts like South Austin Jug Band, Spacetruck, Patty Griffin, Bob Schneider and Lucinda Williams. But this year's festival also will feature a lot of fresh faces – not the least of which are Galactic, Leftover Salmon, Steve Winwood, Ween, Keller Williams, North Mississippi All Stars, Charlie Hunter, Michael Franti and Spearhead, Drive-By Truckers, Yonder Mountain String Band and Polyphonic Spree. The festival also features a lot of regional talent, an area for kids and a daily performance of The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) at the Hillside Theater.
Promoters also expect the festival's logistics to run more smoothly than last year, as they have made substantial efforts to reduce lines, increase amenities and add more shuttles to the show. Tickets to the festival are currently available at $75 for a 3-day pass or $30 for individual day passes. Be sure to check the festival's homepage for specifics about parking and preparations for the festival, as well as a complete schedule and additional information.
As with last year, the influx of musicians in town for the festival will carry into the night long after the festival grounds close each day, and clubs like La Zona Rosa, Stubb's BBQ and The Vibe are booked up with late night shows allowing some of the bands to stretch out a little more and presumably bring about some interesting collaborations. Check the venues for bands and show times.
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