For many, the Austin City Limits Festival is summer’s last stand: one more opportunity for an outdoor music experience before old man winter arrives. This increasingly popular festival takes place over the course of two weekends and boasts some of the most recognized artists in the music industry, the best food Texas has to offer, various art installations, and an art market. For those who aren’t lucky enough to attend, there are plenty of ACL-related events happening around Austin all weekend: after shows, after parties, grand openings, and pre-festival brunches, to name a few. With so much to offer throughout the weekend, ACL has something that will appeal to a variety of musical palates.
To experience Janelle Monáe live should be on everyone’s bucket list, as she is the total package. Her music is fun and invigorating; one can’t help but belt out the lyrics, dance, and feel empowered. Monáe graces the ACL stage on Sunday, October 7th at 4pm.
Chicago’s own Ravyn Lenae classifies her sound as “future soul.” In addition to writing her own songs, the songstress plays the piano and the guitar; hopefully, fans will be treated to an opportunity to experience her playing both. Ravyn Lenae is scheduled for Friday, October 5th at 1:15pm.
For the hip hop enthusiasts, Topaz Jones is a must-see. Blending elements of various genres, this New Jersey-native has created a unique sound for himself. Topaz Jones plays Friday, October 5th at 11:15am.
Khalid is making true R&B music and it feels good. Having released his debut album, American Teen last year, the El Paso native will sing his way into the psyche of attendees on Friday, October 5th at 5:45pm.
There is no shortage of alt-rock bands playing at this year’s festival, yet lovelytheband and Slenderbodies are both standouts. Both bands are relatively early in the careers, yet they are making quality music – a rarity in a saturated industry. Set time for loveletheband is Friday, October 5th at 12:45pm; Slendebodies plays on October 6th at 12pm.
Finding an instrumental ensemble at a music festival such as ACL is not rare, but it’s also not common. The NY-based funk-soul band Ikebe Shakedown will have Zilker Park grooving on Saturday, October 6th at 1:45pm.
What’s a Texas-based music festival without a little country music? Asleep at the Wheel’s music career has spanned nearly five decades, numerous hits, countless awards, and legendary collaborations. Asleep at the Wheel performs on Friday, October 5th at 12pm.
Silent Disco: If the festival headliners aren’t appealing to some, attendees can cap each night of their festival experience with a silent rave. Attendees can choose from different stations – each with its own DJ – and dance and party from 8pm-10pm at the Tito’s Handmade Vodka stage.
ACL Afterhours & Band of Biscuits: For those who aren’t attending ACL, you can still get the ACL experience with the various late shows and after parties happening around the city. The LA-based event curators of Soft Power are bringing their “disco-inspired” ACL Afterhours party experience, featuring DJ Rebolledo, to Native Hostel on Saturday, October 6th. Tickets to this event can be purchased here.
For the early risers, Native Hostel will host the Band of Biscuits Boozy Brunch on Sunday, October 7th, from 10am-2pm to benefit The Birthday Party Project – an organization that hosts monthly birthday parties for homeless children and children living in transitional housing. This event is free to attend.