Austin City Limits Music Festival

Photography by Victor Hernandez

Photography by Victor Hernandez

I didn't know at the time how lucky I was. I was a 15-year-old who just found out that I was moving. As an Air Force brat, we did it too often. I was being uprooted from my high school in Albuquerque, NM and moving to Texas. I thought it was the end of the world. Little did I know. 

We moved to Austin in the summer of 1978. We parked our travel trailer in the Pecan Grove trailer park on Barton Springs road while our house was being built. Hands down, it was the best summer of my life.

With 5 people living in roughly 150 square feet, my two brothers and I spent a lot of time exploring our new city. Barton Springs became our second home. My brothers appreciated the topless sunbathing college girls. I, a wannabe hippy born a little too late, appreciated the relaxed attitude about all things.  

Back in the late 1970's, Austin was a small college town. Things have changed. Our skyline boasts condos reaching to the sky. More are popping up each day. Our traffic headaches are surpassed by only a few, much larger cities, but Austin is still an awesome place to live.

Back in the late 1970's, there were free concerts on Auditorium Shores every summer weekend. For a very reasonable $3 in advance, or $5 at the door, you could sit on the concrete at the Armadillo World Headquarters and watch talent like Marcia Ball, Willie Nelson, Double Trouble, or Asleep at the Wheel. 

This weekend and next, several hundred thousand people will flock to our little city for the ACL music festival. I went several times in the early years when the lineups leaned heavily on local bands. 2005, the infamous "Dust Bowl", was a year to remember. Then there was 2009, the weekend it rained, and rained, and rained. And who could forget the Leslie sightings? RIP Leslie. 

I won't be going to ACL festival this year. Like a lot of Austinites I will avoid the Zilker park area at all costs. But I hope our visitors have a great time and enjoy our little city for a few weekends. Only the truly fortunate call Austin home.