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Austin City Limits Music Festival: A Reflection

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at TAMU chapter.

The time I had been waiting for since May has officially come and gone. Austin City Limits Music Festival was seriously a dream come true in so many ways. I got to see bands I NEVER thought I would get to see, enjoyed some beautiful fall weather (in Texas, who would have thought!?), and got to share every moment with the people who mean the most to me.
I’ve been going to concerts longer than I can even remember, but ACL is quite literally a whole new beast. So here is just a quick summary of some lessons and takeaways that I learned from my first time at the festival.

Get your sleep and recharge when needed

I’m not going to lie, I left my first day of ACL feeling like I just got hit by a bus. The dust in the air combined with the long-standing and waiting for sets was pretty killer, not to mention that so far, day one was the hottest of the weekend. If you’re like me and desperately need your beauty rest, know there is no shame in returning to your hotel room after the last set of the night to get some much-needed Z’s.
No matter where you are, a day full of standing and walking in the sun can take a lot out of you. Many people like to go out after the last band finishes, but not enough sleep could result in feeling pretty slumped for the rest of the weekend. So don’t be afraid to get that Uber back to your hotel and tuck in before midnight – you’ll thank me later!

layer up, hydrate, and wear sunscreen always

My group and I were not expecting the cool weather that we got for our ACL weekend. For days two and three, the highs were in the upper 70s, meaning we were starting out the day and ending it with temperatures around 55-60 degrees. Therefore, if you know you may experience some cooler weather, definitely pack a flannel or light sweater in your Camelbak. OR you can do what my friend did and take a hotel towel with you for some extra warmth (and they’re great for sitting on the grass)!

Also, PLEASE bring plenty of sunscreen and a water pack. Even in the cooler weather, we were still feeling the effects of the bright sun. I honestly don’t think I would have survived without my Camelbak water pouch, so I would say that is definitely a worthy investment if you’re looking to attend next year.

definitely save more than you think you’ll need

I am so happy that I was able to save up a bit before my ACL weekend. Of course many people expect the high prices in food and beverages, and everyone wants to buy a t-shirt, right?! But what a lot of people don’t realize is that what you save in getting a hotel far away, you make up for paying in Uber rides.

There were many times throughout the weekend where my group and I simply had to bite the bullet and get a pretty expensive Uber ride back to our hotel. However, I would say that this is a great perk of going with a group of friends – it’s much easier to agree to pay for a $50+ Uber when you can split it up several ways.

bad view? that’s ok!

I’m not going to lie – this was the biggest pill I had to swallow all weekend long. Some of the artists that I saw at ACL were people who I have listened to for almost 10+ years. It’s so hard to not want to camp out or fight to get a spot up front.

However, I believe that if you truly want to get the most out of your weekend, then this is a sacrifice you’re going to have to make. My group and I did camp out and got a super close spot for The Lumineers (since I’ve literally been listening to them since the 5th grade), but otherwise we really wanted to be able to walk around and check out all the bands that were playing throughout the weekend.

By the end of Sunday, I understood that I couldn’t/wouldn’t want to be front and center for Niall or Hozier, and that’s okay. You still get to hear their amazing performance and see them as little ants on the stage, but overall still get the amazing experience of sharing that moment with the ones you love most.

post-festival slump – we’ve all been there


I’m sure most people have experienced post-concert depression once or twice in their lives. I feel like this really happens when you go to see someone you really, really love to listen to. Well, jokes on me, because that was almost EVERY ACT I SAW AT ACL!!

Now it’s so hard to be skipping through my playlist and think about the fact that I saw each person just a few weeks ago. Of course, there are definitely opportunities to see them again in the future (I’m seeing Noah Kahan again in June), but how can a simple song in your earbuds live up to the thrill of seeing them live??

The best way that I have found to combat this feeling is by falling back into my love for podcasts. TMG has always been a staple for me, but I now have a new obsession with The Broski Report by Brittany Broski. She is seriously one of the funniest people on the planet and also an Aggie so call me biased :)

All in all, ACL was unforgettable. I can’t wait for next year!!

Hannah Morris is the Public Relations Executive for the Her Campus at Texas A&M University chapter. She oversees the PR committee to ensure that each member meets their requirements for merchandise designs and press releases every semester. She also leads her team in dispersing products and brand samples to the rest of the chapter. Beyond Her Campus, Hannah is a junior at Texas A&M University, majoring in Political Science with minors in Journalism and Psychology. She works as a Student Assistant in TV and Digital Content at KAMU Broadcasting, where she assists at production shoots while also writing and creating content for KAMU Marketing and Communications. Hannah is also a freelance proofreader, with a proofreading and editing certification from the Proofread Anywhere training program. In her free time, Hannah enjoys spending time with her dog, Emmylou. She loves to go on new adventures, read fun books, or attend concerts with friends. She is a music and film connoisseur, and hopes to one day work in PR in either industry.