This past weekend was week one of Austin City Limits, commonly known as ACL, one of the biggest music festivals here in Austin. Normally, music festivals aren't my thing. I've been to a few and enjoyed it, but I don't actively seek them out. I have a ton of other hobbies that keep my time and dollars occupied! So it was a little strange this past weekend when a lot of my friends were at Dallas Comic Con's Fan Days and I was at a music festival... who am I?!
I actually won my ACL pass through my grad program -- it was an incentive prize for an assignment that wasn't graded. I didn't expect to win, but when I found out I did, I was suddenly really excited about going to ACL! The lineup seemed pretty neat, I love Zilker park, and a few of my friends from my cohort were going too. Soon enough, the weekend was here and I was at the park!
Was it fun? A big, resounding YES! I got to hoop my little heart out (which I've barely done at all in 2013), see some of my favorites live, and hang out with lots of cool people. With ACL, it seems you can go at your own pace. Some might opt to get there early and go to the after parties later, but I took it a little slower. I arrived a little later in the afternoon, took my time in between sets, and made sure I was drinking water and applying sunscreen. I left after the last sets and made sure to sleep a lot to try and recover my sore, tired muscles. And you know, I don't feel like I missed out on anything at all!
Oddly enough, it was still hot even though it's October - Friday was in the mid-90s. I was sweating like crazy! Luckily Saturday and Sunday cooled off and it was way more tolerable. Also, I didn't expect to eat as much as we did. Turns out ACL brings in a lot of local restaurants and food trucks to make up their makeshift food court, and I got to try out lots of new eats I'd never had before. I also didn't realize my body would be as sore, achy, and downright grimy as it was. A small price to pay for good music, though!
If I ever go again, I know I'd be much more prepared for what ACL is actually like. My top 5 essentials for this ACL fest were:
- Sunglasses. But not an expensive pair, just in case they get scratched up or lost.
- A large water bottle. I brought my Camelbak and it was just barely big enough. I brought a smaller bottle one day and totally regretted it.
- A portable phone charger. I used this a lot during SDCC too. I have a charger that works in the wall but also on its own and can supply some much-needed juice when my phone's charge is running low.
- A super cute backpack. At first, I thought my bag was overkill, but it was the easiest to take through crowds, distributed weight evenly, and held whatever I needed it to hold.
- Hoops! It doesn't matter what your skill level is, hooping is just plain fun and my favorite way to celebrate live music.
Also, a bonus: someone filmed me hooping during Kings of Leon and used his phone to make it slow mo! I think I look way cooler in this video than I did in real life.