Austin City Limits: A Foolproof Guide

Posted by on October 12, 2012


This weekend, Fresh New Tracks will get back in touch with its indie side at the 11th edition of the Austin City Limits Music Festival. ACL primarily focuses on folk and indie music, but this year’s much-talked about lineup features icons from every generation and genre, including Red Hot Chili Peppers, Neil Young and Crazy Horse, Avicii, The Black Keys, BASSNECTAR, Alabama Shakes, and more. The three-day festival, showcasing over 130 bands at eight different stages, will be a significantly more laidback atmosphere in comparison to the earlier 2012 festival season, but after some of the outrageous, mind-blowing shows we’ve seen this year, this might be exactly what we need.


Below, I’ve armed you with a day-by-day breakdown of which acts not to miss. Yes, there will be some pretty exciting artists on deck, but take advantage of all the up and coming, one-of-a-kind bands that you won’t get a chance to see anywhere else.

Should you find yourself not completely submerged in a crowd at the front of the stage, remember that music isn’t all ACL has to offer. Zilker Park will be full of Austin’s finest food and artwork as well as a drafthouse, farmers market and the Austin Kiddie Limits stage for all those bite-sized music lovers. Fans will even be able to get their weekend football fix at the Rock Island Hideaway, where they’ll be showing all the must see college and NFL games, including TX vs. OU on Saturday! Don’t forget to download the free official ACL app for a customizable schedule, live Instagram feed, and grounds map.

For a full schedule and additional info, click here.

Can’t make down in time this year? Don’t worry; thanks to the magic of live broadcast, you’ll be able to catch the Webcast, powered by DELL here.



Start your weekend off right by arriving early on Friday. The park will be fresh and clean in addition to pretty bare until later on in the evening. If you’re in the mood for something upbeat, stop by the Wombats, Los Campesinos!, or Alabama Shakes. For something more soulful, aim for the Delta Spirit, Esperanza Spalding, or the Black Lips. But if you’re willing to see bigger acts back-to-back, allow me to recommend, A-Trak, Tegan and Sara, Florence + The Machine, followed by Thievery Corporation, M83, and then the ultimate decision: Avicii or the Black Keys? If you attended Lollapalooza, then you’ve got it easy here. If not, well, choose wisely.



If you’re not too tired from the Late Night Shows, then plan to be at the park around 11:30 am for Caveman, followed by Dev, Bombay Bicycle Club, and the Whigs. If you’re feeling more laidback, stop by Andew Bird, Michael Kiwanuka, and Metric. Otherwise, plan on getting rowdy with Big K.R.I.T., Space Capone, Big Gigantic and BASSNECTAR. Other alternative must-sees include Band of Skulls, The Shins, The Roots and 2012’s favorite, Gotye. Top it all off with ACL’s signature throwback act, this year starring Neil Young and Crazy Horse at the Bud Light Stage.



Sunday goes out with a bang from start to finish. Pick up whatever delicious food you have yet to try and head over to Kimbra, Gary Clark Jr., and Tennis. Once you’re all revitalized, get ready to go wild at Die Antwoord, Childish Gambino and Crystal Castles. Fan favorites of the day also include Two Door Cinema Club, The Weeknd, and the Avett Brothers. And what could be better way to finish off the weekend than by singing the rest of the night away with Red Hot Chili Peppers. If that doesn’t do it for ya folks, then I don’t know what will.


Hope to see you there! Otherwise check back in after the weekend for a recap good enough for you to be able to convince everyone you know that you were front row at all the right acts.

Tags: , , , ,