Austin City Limits music festival is just around the corner, kicking off its first weekend this Friday and running through Sunday. With eight stages, two weekends and over 150 acts, ACL is one of the largest music festivals in the country. Lucky for us, it's practically in our backyard. Sure, you can makes excuses, but if you've never been to ACL, or any music festival for that matter, it's time to pull the ripcord. For those still on the fence, here are 10 reasons to rethink not going to ACL 2014.[jump]
1. You're Getting Old
Do you have kids? A 401k? Shoe inserts? Just turn 25? If you answered yes to any of the above, then face it: You're old as hell. It's time to start minding that bucket list. If you ever want your future kids to believe you when you tell them "I used to be cool," then you're going to need a festival experience under your belt. Trust me, they'll ask. Plus, you don't want to look back on your youth with a sense of regret because you never had the courage to take the plunge. You will never be younger than you are today. It will never be easier than now. Watering the plants can wait. Keeping your career on track can wait. But the slow, inevitable march of death waits for no one and nothing. Just do it already.
2. You Can Make Your Friends Jealous
Let's get real here for a second. Festivals aren't about live music; they're not even about having a good time. They're about making other people think you're having a good time. Which means ACL is the perfect chance to accrue some serious social media cool points. Selfies, tweets, wholly inaccurate status updates -- this is your time to shine. With most of your friends miles away, stuck in their mundane workaday lives, there's no way they'll know that you aren't really backstage partying with Big Boi, or locking tongues with Iggy Azalea in her tour bus. (Okay, they'll still know better.) Sure, in reality you'll be lost in a fit of dehydration, moments away from shitting your pants, but they won't know that, because they didn't go. But you did, so shoot for the stars.
3. Live Music.
Okay, we lied. You totally actually do go to festivals for the live music. That's it. Seeing every band you like (plus hundreds of others you're sure to love) play only the best songs in the world is what makes festivals like ACL essential memory-makers. If you live close enough and love music, why abstain?
4. You Need An Escape.
Kids, family, jobs, endlessly refreshing your email inbox; these are all prisons. You need out, at least long enough to recharge your "don't-kill-yourself" batteries. Hell, you can even be someone else for a weekend if you like. Nothing refreshes a bland existence quite like a music festival, and ACL is one of the best around.
5. It's A Chance to Go Back in Time.
Beck, Pearl Jam, Outkast, Eminem, Belle and Sebastian, The Replacements. all the bands you likely lost your second-base virginity to will be at ACL. Remember when those groups still mattered? Mmmm, felt good, didn't it? Bottom line: ACL is the perfect opportunity to use music-triggered nostalgia to revisit all the great moments in life when you still had dreams and the world wasn't such a soul-crushing, hope-obliterating asshole.
6. Iggy Azalea's Accent.
Is it as painful in person as it is on record? Surely not, right? Is it possible that it's even worse? Well, you'll likely never know unless you hightail it down to Austin for this year's ACL. Youtube doesn't count.
Returning from that great hip-hop beyond, Big Boi and Andre 3000 are back to grace us with their presence. "Miss Jackson," "So Fresh, So Clean" and that song about shaking a Polaroid picture, yeah, they made all those! Don't you want to see them perform live? Of course you do. And Texans, ACL could be your last shot. Truthfully, I don't see them being at this reunion thing for very long, especially not with Andre 3000' defeatist attitude. Better strike while the iron's hot.
8. You Can Pretend You're Not So Boring.
There's no better time than the present to break out of your comfort zone. Meet new people, have new experiences, drink your body weight in alcohol. You know, whatever it takes to prove that you aren't as vanilla as you think. And, yeah, the truth is that you are boring -- really, really boring. You get excited about recipes you find online, and a new sandwich shop opening down the street makes your month. Even though binge watching Netflix is the highlight of your weekends, for one weekend (or two) it doesn't have to be.
9. Because, Austin.
Coffee shops, craft beer bars, record shops, kick-ass dives, whatever else sounds cool to you, all of that's in Austin. We promise. At ACL, you can take in one of the nation's raddest cities while locked in the midst of festival fever. For coffee, check out Houndstooth, Medici, Brew & Brew and Figure 8. Banger's Sausage House & Beer Garden, Craft Pride and Draught House are the places to be if you're a beer-head. And, of course, Austin is a record shop paradise; End Of An Ear, Waterloo and Breakaway are all essential stops.
10. The Drop
Skrillex is all set for some dubstep bro-stepping at this year's ACL. Aren't you just a bit curious what this feels like?