Rocks Off Explains Austin City Limits' "Survival Guide"

Mark C. Austin
One day Austin City Limits will live down last year's "Dillo Dirt" debacle. That day is not today.
This year marks the fourth year that Craig's Hlist will be covering the Austin City Limits Music Festival for the Houston Press and Rocks Off. Each year we get more acclimated to the walking and the heat, which should not be a big issue this year with the hoodie weather that has been going down lately.

We don't remember our first go-round in September 2007, because we drank a lot. But we do remember seeing a fire onstage at the Bjork show, Queens Of The Stone Age making us shake our hips, Arcade Fire nearly making us weep in ecstasy, and LCD Soundsystem's James Murphy asking us what time Muse was playing, and we probably made out with someone's intern in the media tent. Or at least kissed her cheek or something.

That year Wilco and My Morning Jacket played at the same time on opposite sides of the park. Imagine the turmoil the Rocks Off team was in. We ended up splitting the difference and taking time with both, though.

It was the first time we were let loose to write and blog about things that we loved, and get paid for it. This was before Twitter was a journalistic tool, so we uploaded our thoughts onto MySpace as we went along. If we had Twitter back then, it would no doubt have been sad-sack crap, since we were still bruised from a busted engagement.

That first year we went, we thought we needed to dress the rocker part, and so we wore black jeans and a black T-shirt. This fashion choice nearly destroyed us in the upper-'90s heat wave, and no amount of Lone Star could cool us down. The next day we came back in jorts.

But that's how you learn at festivals - trial and hilarious error. The importance of cold water, light snacks, limited booze intake and appropriate clothing all play a big part. It's not like we met anyone because we were wearing tight black girl-pants that year, so it was all for naught. There is no shame in looking and feeling comfortable.

ACL's organizers sent out a top ten list a few days ago, full of tips on how to survive the festival. It's a little too preachy and geared towards you buying shit, so we decided to give you the seamier side of each tip.

acl mudman oct6.JPG
Guess who missed the "Go Green" memo last year?

After you get your wristbands and whatnot, you then get patted down like you are going on a jet plane to London to be tried for war crimes. Don't bring any knives, tasers, shotguns, bongs or crack pipes, Joe Walsh of the Eagles. You have been warned.


Go green, huh? No one picks up their own trash, you leave your beer cans on the ground, cigarette butts are as prevalent as ants, the grass gets torn up by tripping hippies. (And this is if it doesn't rain.) Going green is for the organizers, not Joe ACL, who just wants to see some bare hipster titty during M.I.A.'s set.


This chair-free zone is really just where the magic happens. You can smoke pot, swill off your snuck-in flask, make out with random folks you meet and watch music too.

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