Until next year ACL: Weekend 2 encapsulates treasured memories, love of music


Austin City Limits rang in its 41st year of beloved music festival

It’s the most wonderful time of the year– Austin City Limits season, that is. The second and final weekend of the festival kicked off on Friday the 13th and lasted until Sunday night. Thousands of music lovers ventured to Zilker park in pursuit of authentic live music.

This year’s lineup was monumental, to say the least, with headliners including JAY-Z, Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Killers, Gorillaz and Chance the Rapper. These big-name artists attracted the largest of crowds; however, smaller artists contributed to the continuous cycle of talent as well.

For instance, Xavier Omär, an R&B singer/songwriter who hails from San Antonio, Texas. “Thank you, guys, for allowing me to take chances. I try to do the opposite of the overall climate.” Omär expressed to the crowd. He has stated that he wants to be remembered as a risk taker, a classic voice and an artist who blurs musical lines. This goal is in the works of being achieved, as his performance deeply resonated with the crowd.

Other performers with similar hopes showcased their unique entertainment style, including Long Island’s The Lemon Twigs. The duo combined singing with energized theatricality, outrageous moves and elaborate outfits; which made for quite a memorable show. All in all, undeniable talent reverberated in the atmosphere.

One notable observation from this weekend was the prevalent musical diversity across the park, made evident through the vast spectrum of artists and genres featured. As JAY-Z fans gathered at the American Express stage in anticipation on Friday night, fans sang along to The XX on the opposite side of Zilker. A similar phenomenon occurred the following night, as fans debated between seeing Chance the Rapper or the Red Hot Chili Peppers. It is quite remarkable to witness such contrasting sounds bring together thousands upon thousands of individuals, which deems music as a binding force. Zilker Park became an oasis of diversity on all fronts. This particular weekend was a time during which worries seized to exist, and all that mattered was the music.

There is much to be gained from attending a music festival like Austin City Limits. Beyond the obvious joys of music, food, and amusement, there are special takeaways—such as the cultivation of priceless memories, or perhaps music’s enduring power to inspire unity and healing. Many artists used their platform as an opportunity to voice out words of hope and encouragement.

Foster the People’s front man, Mark Foster, ridiculed racism of all forms during the band’s Friday afternoon set, proceeding to hold up a T-shirt with a bold and direct statement against it, then tying it to his microphone stand. Many artists encouraged progression, and a coalition against hate.

“I need you all to work together” shouted Run the Jewels’ Killer Mike. “Look out for each other out there!” There are countless messages beyond the music; music just so happens to be an effective outlet through which such messages are projected.

Overall, the past two weekends at Zilker Park have proven the fact that music is a powerful, unifying force which strengthens us as individuals and as a community. Austin City Limits is one of the events that has defined the Austin area for years, and truly justifies its title as the Live Music Capital of the World.