Austin City Limits meetup September 21, 2009 6:17 AM   Subscribe

Is anyone else going to be at Austin City Limits October 2-4? Is it possible to have an inside-the-park meetup?

I'll be depending on a friend's family for transportation to and from the show, so an after-hours meetup would be challenging. But I've never been to ACL or to Zilker Park, so I don't know what the layout is like or what the available amenities are. Can this be done?
posted by Plutor to MetaFilter Gatherings at 6:17 AM (50 comments total)

I'm not going this year, but I'll be in Austin on the 3rd for an aftershow.

You could have a traveling meet-up that goes from stage to stage - a lot of people bring flags that they mount on long poles or sticks. Just throw the Mefi flag up there and you're all set.

Or you could meet by the food-stands at some time that's not near a meal-time.

There are usually two or three places with a bar under a bunch of shady trees that's not close to a stage. Here's an old map that still shows a very typical layout. Either the Town Lake Tavern or HEB Zilker Beach stay relatively uncrowded depending on the time of day.
posted by muddgirl at 7:55 AM on September 21, 2009

I don't know if it can be done, but my claustrophobic ass is not going to ACL, so I wouldn't be able to go.

Here I go being difficult: let's meet outside the park! Maybe somewhere in South Austin that's easy to get to from Zilker? Are places on Barton Springs super-crowded during ACL? That'd be walking distance.
posted by bluishorange at 8:38 AM on September 21, 2009

The Mr and I will be there, and I'm still cranky about schedule snafus that made me miss this weekend meetup, so I'll be monitoring this thread.
posted by immlass at 9:40 AM on September 21, 2009

I am all for an ACL-concurrent meetup, and I'm saying this as someone who was just at the meetup yesterday. But I agree with bluishorange on doing it outside the park -- fontophilic and I aren't going to ACL either, but we love meetups.

I like the idea of going to a place on Barton Springs (I'm a big fan of Uncle Billy's). Any restaurant there will be relatively easy to get to from the festival but they might be really crowded. Anyone have experience with this? Last year I just completely avoided that part of town.

Does anyone know what their particular schedules (in terms of bands they want to see or whatever) are going to look like so we can try to plan around them? If muddgirl's going to be here on the 3rd, I vote sometime then.
posted by malthas at 10:28 AM on September 21, 2009

We could do an in the park meetup, but I agree with Bluish. OOP (out of park) but close would be great.

Unfortunately, places on Barton Springs ARE super crowded, especially for a large party. And there is a line to get into Barton Springs itself. If we meet at the bar at Uncle Billy's, or the deck, we may be able to force ourselves to have a space. That's far enough away from Zilker that there is a good walk for most festival goers, but still close enough to walk or bike.
posted by Pants! at 10:34 AM on September 21, 2009

I guess if there was somewhere good and un-claustrophobic that was walkable for ACL attendees, I'd be willing to leave the park for a few hours.
posted by Plutor at 10:34 AM on September 21, 2009

Would a lunchtime meetup on Saturday or Sunday be more likely to be uncrowded on Barton Springs? I'm free both days until 2pm.
posted by Plutor at 10:35 AM on September 21, 2009

We could always see how many people say they're coming and then get a noon reservation someplace along Barton Springs. Shady Grove or Uncle Billy's or what-have-you (bah, what else is there? Romeo's?). ACL people can walk, townies can walk/bike/cab/try to park like an insane person. Saturday or Sunday are fine with me, either way.

There was a meetup yesterday?
posted by bluishorange at 11:21 AM on September 21, 2009

bluishorange: There was a meetup yesterday?

Yeah. Sorry you missed it.

It also seems like, according to the ACL webpage, there might be some kind of shuttle service to and from Republic Square @ 4th and Guadalupe. So maybe it might be possible to do something on West 6th or the Warehouse District if Barton Springs is going to be crazy crowded? I have no idea if the shuttle thing is actually happening and I don't know what its schedule is like.
posted by malthas at 11:33 AM on September 21, 2009

"The shuttles begin at Republic Square at 10 am and make their final return from the park at 11 pm, Friday-Sunday." Nothing about how frequent they run. It's a short route, though, so I'd be surprised if they weren't pretty frequent.

I really liked The Ginger Man last time I was in Austin. The beer list was broad, and I can't recall hating the food. And it's right there.
posted by Plutor at 12:27 PM on September 21, 2009

I've used the shuttle before. It runs pretty consistently, although sometimes there's a line-up to get to the park from Republic Square.

One word of caution: Do not plan to take the shuttle from the Park at the end of Friday or Saturday night. There is always a huge line-up (I'm talking like a mile) and it's faster to just walk.
posted by muddgirl at 1:10 PM on September 21, 2009

But middle of the day? The shuttle sounds workable.

As for leaving at the end of the day, the absolutely only good way is to leave by bicycle.
posted by Pants! at 1:44 PM on September 21, 2009

Oh, I should probably mention that a lunch-ish meet-up on Sunday would also work for me, if that fits Plutor's schedule better.
posted by muddgirl at 1:52 PM on September 21, 2009

Saturday evening's packed. Somehow I've got to decide between Bon Iver, Mos Def, John Vanderslice, STS9, and The Decemberists. And then Dave Matthews Band. So lunch Sunday would certainly be better for me.
posted by Plutor at 6:35 AM on September 22, 2009

I agree. Sunday lunch. Saturday afternoon and evening is for music, right?
posted by Pants! at 11:08 AM on September 22, 2009

Not to be cynical, but when i was growing up, saturday nights Austin City limits was a set program date in our house, and i was not a fan of country (still not), so ACL and it's "I wanna go home with the armadillo" theme song signaled 1 hour of music i couldn't stand, which for a hyperactive young child, painful boredom.

Then the festival started, and only after the festival started did they start booking the kind of bands that play the festival. ACL of the late 80's early 90's would have never had the pixies, modest mouse or the decemberist (and the pixies were a viable fource at the time).

I guess cynical poor, and slightly agoraphobic me seems to think that this festival has nothing to do with austin city limits other than the name and is really just a stop on that bigger scale tour that the promo company that runs it (i don't know there name and i am being a little lazy in not looking) has going on. I mean, it's pretty much the same as lolopalooza in chi-town, voodoo in nola, coachella, bumpershoot etc. Does austin even need that? We have plenty of cool small venues and one midsize major venue. All of these bands would come here without this festival, it just seems redundant and pointless.

Of coruse I can admit that the green eyed monster is saying some of that.

Anyway, as long as i am not at the shop i would definatly meet-up. South side (far south) has doc's, which some people like. I can't think of anything too zilker near that would be good for a meet-up (less going to see a movie at draft house(oh, if there were enough austin mefites that would be sick, to just all vote on a movie and rent the space and we could talk and BS through it or something))
posted by djduckie at 3:29 PM on September 22, 2009

Bands don't want to do their own shows any more, if they don't have to. Festivals are the wave of the future. Submit.

And honestly, the headlining bands at ACL and Coachella don't play Austin. They'd play a huge arena show in Houston and/or Dallas (and/or at the AT&T Center in San Antonio depending on the genre). The lower-ticket bands can and do play in Austin all the time. Even when they also play ACL.

One more thing: I've been to both ACL and Coachella and the lower-ticket line-up is significantly different, with ACL playing a whole stage of country and folk acts, and a whole stage of gospel and world music. Coachella, on the other hand, has a DJ tent and a whole block of stand-up.
posted by muddgirl at 3:34 PM on September 22, 2009

Like i said, there is some jealousy there, i guess i didn't know that only the big acts are the one out of the actual original ACL line-up. You have a great point, you really do, but at the same time i think every ACL headliner has headlined a sxsw show in the recent future (or atleast i know that REM has done both in the last 4 or 5 years).

I guess it just seems redundant (decemberist playing their new record in it's entirety at sxsw in march and a headline slot at acl in sept).

I guess i'll just stick to my back rooms. Get up kids in november at emo's. Hell yes!
posted by djduckie at 4:01 PM on September 22, 2009

djduckie: "I guess it just seems redundant"

I wasn't at SXSW. I will be at ACL. Thus: not redundant! QED

Are you suggesting each band should play each city exactly once? Or maybe exactly once per major album release?

Thirdly, we're not asking you to go to ACL. We're asking you to be somewhere near Republic Square (we still haven't decided where, despite the fact I mentioned the one bar I've been to in downtownish Austin) around lunchtime on Sunday. Is that so hard?
posted by Plutor at 3:08 AM on September 23, 2009

Plutor: somewhere near Republic Square (we still haven't decided where, despite the fact I mentioned the one bar I've been to in downtownish Austin)

I like Gingerman, but I'm not sure that they really have all that much food (I've only been there for beer). The menu indicates that they have a few snacky-type things and a couple of sandwiches.

If that sounds cool to everyone, then we should go there. If we decide more food is necessary, then I propose Opal Divine's (which is a few blocks from the bus stop but not too far).
posted by malthas at 11:08 AM on September 23, 2009

Not hard at all, except I don't think the Ginger Man serves lunch. Also, Plutor, they moved a few blocks since last time you were here, so check the location on the interwebs if you plan to go again.

I have come up with three Republic-Square-adjacent lunch options:

Jackalope: awesome burgers & veggie burgers, punk rock-y. Gets loud at night but I dunno about during the day. Plenty of seating.

Fado: Irish pub chain, decent food, some seating, may be crowded with soccer fans on a Sunday lunch.

Opal Divine's: good food, lotsa seats. I think they take reservations.

I think Opal's or Jackalope would be easiest. Opinions?
posted by bluishorange at 11:13 AM on September 23, 2009

Ooh, jinx.
posted by bluishorange at 11:14 AM on September 23, 2009

I think that's as close as we're gonna get to a consensus. Opal Divine's Freehouse looks awesome. Too bad we'll miss Go Texas Beer week.
posted by Plutor at 11:33 AM on September 23, 2009

YOU'll miss it. I'll get to go. Ha!

What time, 11:30 maybe?
posted by bluishorange at 12:18 PM on September 23, 2009

I'm not saying that bands should only play each city once per release, i guess austin having two large music festivals seems redundant.

But i guess we can duke this out in person because,barring having to be at the glass shop, i'll be there (otherwise everyone is welcome to come and bug me at the glass shop).

I guess i didn't mean to hijack the thread i just wanted a forum to voice my obnoxious opinion on the matter.
posted by djduckie at 3:21 PM on September 23, 2009

Let's stamp this plan with the seal of approval:

Opal Divine's Freehouse, 700 W 6th St
Sunday, October 4 at 11:30am
posted by Plutor at 5:27 AM on September 24, 2009

(I myself may be there a little early or a little late, depending on the particular group dynamics of my ride.)
posted by Plutor at 5:29 AM on September 24, 2009

We'll try to be there!
posted by immlass at 9:12 AM on September 24, 2009

Plutor, if you need a ride, I can help you out. MeFi mail or email me if you want me to pick you up or anything.
posted by bluishorange at 1:51 PM on September 24, 2009

Sounds good. I think their Sunday drink special is a $1 off pints.

Also, for any out of towners, the Cap Metro Trip Planner is more accurate than google maps, if you're planing a bus trip. Looks like the 30 will take you from Zilker to Congress and 6th, then its just 7 blocks west.
posted by fontophilic at 11:20 AM on September 25, 2009

I'm a first time attendee going solo, and I'd really appreciate any tips about getting the most out of the festival. I'm unsure about the logistics involved in getting from IH-35 to a garage with spaces available near the shuttle departure point in Republic Square, but I'm counting on signage geared towards idiots like me and will follow the crowd. What should I bring / not bring, in your experience? Thanks, and count me in for the meetup!
posted by woodway at 6:59 PM on September 27, 2009

woodway - there's a lot of parking available downtown - it's on a weekend so most of the businesses there will have their garages open. I think I usually park at the Chase Tower because it's easy to access from the freeway - just get off at 6th street (one way) and drive west till you see the entrance. Then it's just two blocks to Republic Square.

I usually bring a hat or shade umbrella, a blanket to sit on between sets and at the food court, and a bandana in case it gets really dusty (like it did last year).

At the biggest stages and the biggest shows, a weird phenomenon happens where there's a "crust" of standing people surrounding all the people sitting down around the chair-free zone. If you don't want to wait around all day to get a decent view of a show, then make sure you break through that outer crust to find a spot.
posted by muddgirl at 9:15 AM on September 28, 2009

Oh, and the park allows full un-opened water bottles (up to two 1-liter bottles), so definitely bring those in.
posted by muddgirl at 10:42 AM on September 28, 2009

Muddgirl, you're a heroess. Thanks for the suggestions!
posted by woodway at 4:24 PM on September 28, 2009

Unless I come up with a subsequent commitment, I'm in.
posted by adamrice at 8:41 AM on September 29, 2009

Longtime lurker, seldom poster--just saw this and very excited about coming! And hey, if anyone has a spare ticket...
posted by laconic titan at 6:24 PM on September 29, 2009

There are a lot of ACL tickets for sale on craigslist. If you search for $2-100, a bunch of the results are single-day passes. eBay, too.

I'm psyched to see everyone (and just psyched in general to visit Austin again).
posted by Plutor at 6:04 AM on September 30, 2009

Hey! I'm going to attempt to make this one.
Hope to see you all there.
posted by fnord at 6:59 AM on October 1, 2009

A late word of planning advice - this year you can't leave the park and go back in unless you have the three-day pass.
posted by dirtdirt at 8:06 AM on October 2, 2009

ok i love ACL now. Just met Sixto Rodriguez (and his daughter i presume) at an exxon a block from my work.

I shook his hand and thanked him for existing, but didn't really have time to talk.
posted by djduckie at 8:35 AM on October 3, 2009

Whoaaaaa I almost missed this. Lemme do some dishes and mop some floors, and then I'll join ya'll for a pint.
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 7:00 AM on October 4, 2009

I, uh, overdid it a bit yesterday helping some friends move and then drinking the free beer that was my payment. So I'm going to have to skip out on today. Sorry about that. Have fun, everyone!
posted by bluishorange at 7:48 AM on October 4, 2009

I'm not going to make it, either. My drop out rate is alarmingly high, but hopefully I'll break the trend next time. Sorry.
posted by woodway at 8:01 AM on October 4, 2009

I'm going to have to pass too. I think I had food poisoning yesterday and while I'm mobile today, I'm not sure I'm ready to leave the house. (And if that sounds like I missed the festival, well, I did see some stuff Friday.)

Next time!
posted by immlass at 9:23 AM on October 4, 2009

I just left a little early to try to catch the end of the B-52s. We had like a dozen people there, which is 4 times more than my last Austin meetup. It was fun, and it was nice meeting you folks. This will not be my last visit to your fine city.
posted by Plutor at 11:58 AM on October 4, 2009

That was fun. Met some new people. I like Opal Divine's well enough, but they seem to have a seating problem with groups of >8.
posted by adamrice at 3:14 PM on October 4, 2009

'Dude and I had a great time. We left soon after Plutor for the long drive back to San Antonio, and it looked like y'all were still going strong as we drove away :)
posted by muddgirl at 9:23 AM on October 5, 2009

Nah, we split up shortly after you left. That was short and sweet; I'd like to do this more often. Who was the LA transplant at the end of the table? MeFiMail me if you'd like a recommendation on a kickass real estate agent (and welcome to Austin).
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 9:49 AM on October 5, 2009

laconic titan was the Germany transplant at one end of a table. Was she previously from LA? Can't remember.

I took one photo that I'll post as soon as CVS gets around to developing it.

Sorry we missed out on you, bluishorange. It's always nice to see a familiar face in a strange city (it's also nice to meet unfamiliar faces).

Anecdote: Sunday night after the end of the third night of the show, we went to the Amy's on 6th for some delicious ice cream. I was sort of the main attraction, I guess, it being my first trip to that particular desert vendor. So the guy behind the counter (is there a term for a person who serves ice cream?) told me to go across the street. And he threw my ice cream over traffic to me. I'm sad to say I did poorly. But I got free ice cream because I "let him throw ice cream at my chest".
posted by Plutor at 6:19 PM on October 5, 2009

free ice cream! best vacation ever!
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 5:58 AM on October 6, 2009

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