The weekend cold front that hit Texas brought Friday morning rain upon the city of Austin. For Austin City Limit attendees, the rain could either make or break their weekend at the festival. As the clouds moved away, and the sun shined, the gates opened to an unforgettable experience. From the music, to food & drinks, to the fashion, and most importantly the vibes— ACL successfully took on the challenge of putting together an action-packed and memorable festival experience.
Every year, thousands of people travel to the city of Austin to experience a nationally recognized music festival that puts recognizes the creative arts and fulfills the need for a weekend of fun and excitement. From little kids playing in front of the ACL Fest sign, to college students reuniting with their friends after exams, to families basking and appreciating the good weather; ACL really does cater to a diverse pool of people.
Friday evening, the Honda Stage was filled with anxious fans curious to see whether Lil Uzi Vert would show up after failing to show up Weekend One. Better late than never, Lil Uzi Vert took the stage 20 minutes late with a thrilling and smoke-filled entrance opening with “Sanguine Paradise”. His passion throughout his performance truly empowered his fans to see his true intentions behind making music. During his final song, Lil Uzi chose to put the mic down and smile as he watched his fans sing his song for him. This really showed the deep appreciation he has for his fans.
On Friday, as the sun set and the night rose, the festival came to life as Guns N’ Roses took the stage at 7:30pm electrifying the crowd with their captivating performance. They performed hits like “Sweet Child O’ Mine”, “November Rain”, “Knocking on Heaven’s Door”, and “Welcome to the Jungle”. They finished off their 90-minute set with fireworks.
With the free spirit of dancing and singing around ACL, Tame Impala wowed a crowd of passionate and lively fans with his Australian charm and thrilling light show. His most notable song performance was “The Less I Know The Better” where the entire venue sang along. As the vivid rainbow lights streamed across the park, attendees sought to capture these moments through his unforgettable set.
Saturday morning fans rushed through the gates to return to yet another day filled with even more action than the first day. There were many things to look forward to on Saturday, including Billie Eilish, Gary Clark Jr, and Childish Gambino. People waited for upwards of 6-8 hours to claim front row seats to Saturday night’s premiere of Childish Gambino.
Saturday afternoon started with heartbreak as Megan Thee Stallion failed to show up for her set. Fans eager to see her perform, some even attending ACL only to see Megan were truly heartbroken at the news that Megan was not performing. Megan quickly took to Twitter to apologize for her shortcoming, but fans angrily refused to accept her apology. “I apologize to my Austin hotties for not performing at my 1pm set at ACL today. Megan tweeted: “I did not make it in time from my show in another state the night before. I tried to still perform and they just told me my set was cancelled. I will do a make up show for my atx hotties soon.”
The somber mood of ACL was at the mercy of Billie Eilish to help fans reignite the energy back into the weekend. Being the youngest performer at ACL did not take away from her being the most creative and energetic stage performer during that day. The crowd sang their hearts out to hits including “Bad Guy”, “Lovely”, and “When the Party’s Over”. As she utilized the stage to its maximum potential, she took a moment to recognize her fans for enabling her career to takeoff so quickly at such a young age.
21 Savage quickly took the stage immediately after Billie Eilish. Fans ran across to park to secure a spot close to the front of the stage. Despite a few hiccups and technical issues during his set, the crowd continued to sing along and appreciate his setlist.
With the night still young, the main event of the weekend took the stage – Childish Gambino. Fans faced the stage, waiting for his entrance, only to be surprised when Gambino entered from behind on a raising platform. Gambino’s performance was brilliantly choreographed, with moments where he run through the crowd, embracing fans, taking selfies, and signing memorabilia. Gambino’s 90-minute set was filled with great music, dancing, finishing off with a spectacular fireworks show to end the night.
Sunday was a slow wind-down from an action-packed weekend full of great music. Great food, and great people. Lizzo and Mumford & Sons were the highlights of the day.
As the ACL weekend came to an end, attendees made sure to appreciate the good weather and atmosphere. Yet another weekend of memories in the books as fulfilled fans exited the venue with smiles on their faces.
Featured image of the Austin skyline and ACL stage by Ahmed Gul. Check out more of Ahmed Gul’s photography work on Instagram.