By Matthew Girard, The Belton Journal
From the young to the old, on and off the stage, the first weekend of the 2015 Austin City Limits Festival at Zilker Park brought together nearly 80,000 people for three days of music, art and culture.
This year’s festival had numerous new acts showcasing their talents to the masses, while ACL veterans gave fans what they were expecting and more. Headliners such as Drake, the Foo Fighters and the Alabama Shakes performed in front of thousands of excited fans.
With the weather cooperating and basking everyone in sunshine for the three-day event, this year’s festival gave many the experience of a lifetime.
Along with the music filling the park, festival goers were treated to food from all Austin and had the opportunity to gaze at or purchase creative works from all around the world.
First-time festival goers took the three days to explore the park and take in all the sights and sounds, while festival veterans picked out their favorite spot in front of a stage or under a tree and relishing in the excitement of the anticipation of their favorite band or artist.
“It was a modern day Woodstock,” first-time ACL goer and Austin native, Pedro Serrano said. “The weather was perfect, everyone had a good vibe just enjoying the music and being outside in the beautiful clear skies was perfect.”
Like in years past, this year’s festival also featured many accommodations for the tech-savvy festival goer. Along with free phone battery switch-out stations and multiple stations to “tag” oneself while in the park, festival goers were also able to go “cashless” by syncing their wristbands with a debit or credit card.
Even those not in attendance at Zilker Park could enjoy the festival by streaming live concerts through the official ACL Fest app. People could also connect with friends and family and share their experiences by posting pictures and status updates to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram through the app.
The festival also featured its trademark landmarks like the replica State Capitol building complete with a guitar on the top, the giant “photo frame” and the signature stages set up around the park. A new landmark for this year’s festival was the array of brightly colored flags that offered festival goers a place to meet up or even a place to find some shade.
“The overall lineup was great, but the people and atmosphere really made it great this year,” said Whitney Fenzel, who was in attendance for the festival for the third consecutive year. “The weather was perfect and everybody was overjoyed to be in such a beautiful city enjoying awesome music.”
Although the first weekend of the festival will be hard to top according to some, weekend No. 2 (Oct. 9-11) will offer its own unique experience for the thousands that will make the trip to Zilker Park.
For more information about the 2015 Austin City Limits Festival, visit www.aclfestival.com.