Tom Prince skipped his classes Friday, but he says it was worth it. Prince, junior computer science major from Round Rock, was one of many ACU students driving to Austin this weekend to soak up the vast array of musical entertainment known as the Austin City Limits Music Festival.
The annual festival sprawled across Zilker Park Friday through Sunday, with music beginning every morning at 11 a.m. and ending each evening at 10 p.m.
“I enjoyed it, and I love getting to see live music,” Prince said. “There’s always someone there that you like that’s playing, if you’re a music person, typically.”
According to the ACL Web site, www.aclfestival.com, performers included Pearl Jam, Dave Matthews Band, Beastie Boys and Asleep at the Wheel. Ticket prices ranged from $50 to $185, and proceeds went to the Austin Parks Foundation, the Lance Armstrong Foundation and the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.
The prices are high, but attendees definitely get their money’s worth, said Annika Ringle, junior art major from Springdale, Ark., who traveled with Prince and another friend to ACL. Tickets for a normal concert might cost around $30, but those tickets only pay for one show. An ACL ticket holder gains entrance to at least 25 different shows, she said.
“If you think about it that way, it was really cheap – to see that many artists at once,” Ringle said. “There’s not really any other opportunity to do that, so I think it was worth it.”
Ringle also skipped class on Friday to drive to Austin and said since she’s been back on campus comparing stories and pictures, she has realized many other ACU students did the same.
“I think I saw four people from ACU while I was there, but there was a lot more, and sometimes they were even at the same concert, close,” Ringle said.
Although Ringle hails from Arkansas, she said she was familiar with ACL from its rerun shows on PBS. She was excited to actually attend the music festival and even found a new favorite band during the many concerts. She promptly purchased music by the “pop alternative,” English-singing French band, Phoenix.
The crowd, gathered to watch more than 100 performing artists and groups, and everyone seemed eager to absorb as much music as possible, Ringle said.
“Generally, everyone there was really devoted to music,” she said. “I would assume that if you paid that much money for a ticket, then you would want to be there, so most people were really excited about it.”
And people had good reason to be excited, Ringle said.
“It’s a massive music festival of 65,000 plus people with some of the best artists throughout the country that come together to play for a weekend at one place,” she said. And, she added, a festival like that is hard to find on one tank of gas