Since 2002, one of the most consistently anticipated — and laid-back — of all the shows on the U.S. music festival circuit has been taking place every autumn in Austin, Texas, aptly self-monikered the “live music capital of the world.”
Held as a single-day show prior to 2002, enjoying one year as a two-day event and blossoming into its current three-day-weekend incarnation beginning in 2003, the Austin City Limits Music Festival has rocked the heart of Texas through dust storms, thunderstorms and dry Texas heat, introducing up-and-coming bands and celebrating those who’ve already made their mark.
The festival’s 2012 lineup is standard ACL fare: rock tours de force such as Red Hot Chili Peppers, Neil Young, The Black Keys and Jack White top this year’s lineup, rounded out by up-and-comers Gotye, Kimbra, Esperanza Spalding, Alabama Shakes, Quiet Company, The Civil Wars and dozens more. Past headliners include Stevie Wonder, Bob Dylan, Pearl Jam, Van Morrison, The Eagles, Tom Petty, Kanye West and John Mayer, among others.
Named after the long-running PBS show of the same title, Austin City Limits is produced by c3 Presents, which produces Lollapalooza as well. The festival typically draws a crowd of 70,000 per day.
Although this year’s passes are sold out, spares are often placed for private sale at cost in the days leading up to the event. The 2012 Austin City Limits Music Festival takes place at Zilker Park in Austin, Texas on October 12-14.