ACL Fest: 2023

Bill and I attended the first day of the 2023 Austin City Limits Music Festival. The weather was warm with mostly sunny skies and temperatures in the high 80s. We were hoping for more clouds, but the weather wasn’t bad for early October.

We’ve always liked ACL Fest Fridays because they are the least crowded days. This is what the festival grounds looked like around 1 PM on Friday, Weekend 1. That first photo in this blog entry was taken later in the day when the place was filling up.

Finally, ACL Fest has expanded the number of food booths. Options included vegan, BBQ, burgers, pizza, tacos, and much more. No Hot ‘N Crunchy Chicken Cone from The Mighty Cone though. (Their website even has an apology for not being there!) In memory, I had chicken nuggets from Flyrite Chicken. The sweeter options were lined up across the field near the ACL Kiddie Limits. Bill and I enjoyed milkshakes from the Mister Softee truck over there. This same truck stops on our street every Monday around suppertime, but we’ve never ordered anything. A bad precedent may have been set.

Here’s the bands we watched:

Asleep at the Wheel

The National Parks


Nessa Barrett


Portugal. The Man

Brittney Spencer

The Tesky Brothers

Bass Drum of Death

My surprise favorite was Half.Alive. That guy was obviously a Musical Theater kid. I typically like Portugal. The Man, but their sound quality on the big Honda stage was muffled. We saw Brittney Spencer’s ACL TV taping the previous week. She’s certainly talented, but we thought she was better suited to an indoor venue instead of a festival setting.

Bill and I missed the Friday headliners, The Lumineers and Kendrick Lamar, because we had tickets to see Alanis Morissette’s taping for the Austin City Limits TV show. Alanis sang through her entire Little Jagged Pill album (plus other songs) as she walked back-and-forth across the stage. Her voice may even be better since she released that memorable album in 1995. The next day we learned that Kendrick arrived late and only performed for 20 minutes before his mic was cut off due to the local sound ordinance. We were glad that we had decided to attend the taping instead.

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