Austin City Limits returns for 2021


ACL Festival

ACL Festival features a diverse lineup of acts every year with 8 stages and 100+ performances.

Trace St. Julian, News Editor

Many Upper School students knew exactly where they were going for the weekend by the time the final bell rang on Oct. 7: Austin City Limits.

Austin City Limits, better known by its acronym ACL, is a yearly music festival held at Zilker Park in Austin, attracting hundreds of thousands of fans each year. The festival made a triumphant return for 2021 after being canceled in 2020 due to COVID-19. 

Upper School students were excited, as many took advantage of the school’s fall break and attended the second weekend of the festival from Oct. 8-11.

With upwards of 30 performers each day, it was hard not to find a show to like. Friday’s main events consisted of George Strait and Miley Cyrus; Saturday’s was Billie Eilish and Rüfüs du Sol; and Sunday showcased Tyler, the Creator and Duran Duran. Stevie Nicks and Da Baby were expected to be main events, but worries over COVID-19 resulted in Nicks cancelling her performance, while homophobic comments led to Da Baby’s concert being dropped from the lineup.

But a myriad of other artists also interested Upper School students, including Polo G, Surfaces, Jack Harlow, Megan Thee Stallion, Machine Gun Kelly and Doja Cat. 

“My friends and I loved sitting back and listening to the calm and vibey Surfaces concert,” senior Clayton Rice said. 

As inviting as the performance offerings were, time spent with friends––in their shared hotel rooms and at the festival––was the highlight of the trip. 

Senior Tanner McNamara shared his favorite parts of the weekend. 

“Whether it be walking aimlessly through downtown trying to find the shuttles, waiting in the massive BBQ line, or walking through the Whataburger drive through, I got to get closer with old friends, meeting some new ones along the way too,” McNamara said.