My Obligatory Yearly ACL Fest Rant

And so begins the weekend when a crapload of people litter the streets, destroy our prettiest park, clog up our traffic even worse, and make downtown unbearable. A weekend of sunscreen and insufferable tourists. A weekend of avoiding arguably the coolest parts of town. A weekend of middle of the road music and thousands of spectators not listening to it.

You know, ACL weekend. Thank God it’s only a weekend.

As you may have surmised, I’m not going, as usual. If C3 would make a lineup worth seeing (thank you FunFunFun…again), I would pony up the $180. Of course, by the time they even announce, scalpers have already grabbed all the tickets and are selling them on Craigslist for $200+. Too rich for my blood for an experience as unbearable as ACL. The crowds, the lines, the heat, the general d-baggery. No thank you, I go to festivals to see bands play, not to deal with screaming children, rolling college girls, and unattended lawn chairs to trip on. I’ve bitched about all this before, of course, but something about all the undeserved hype that surrounds this weekend every year just sends me on a bit of a tangent.

Why is SXSW any better, you may ask? SXSW is a completely different animal – a downtown-wide festival with many venues, many options, and so much diversity there’s something for everyone. ACL is 80,000 people cramped in a park too small for such an event, and, frankly, the lineup is typical fest fodder. Think of it as Lollapalooza with less left-field indie and more homespun “safe” bands.

That’s not to say there isn’t some stellar shit happening, just not enough to warrant a scorching-weather weekend of my life and $200 of my precious cash. There’s enough great shows coming to town I’d rather attend – ACL afterparties included – that are more intimate and a better concert-going experience. And cheaper. And indoors/in the evening when it’s cooler. With less people and shorter lines.

But, hey, enough of me on my soapbox. You kids have fun! Let me know how Foster the People is! (don’t) Let me know if Coldplay rocks the house and burns the stage down!  (they won’t)  Let me know how many old people (probably sleeping) you trip over and then apologetically crawl off of! (tons) And maybe I’ll see you in November or March.

One Response to “My Obligatory Yearly ACL Fest Rant”

  • bryant Says:

    Lol at the Coldplay burn the stage down bit — I remember the ACL I went to a bunch of port-o-potties caught fire. I think the similarities are evident…

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