Tuesday, June 03, 2008

ACL Fest 2008 - seriously ACL Fest?

The ACL Fest has already released their schedule for this year's Festival. And... its looking a little bleak for The League.

Last year there were some conflicts on the schedule. This year, it seems like more than half of the bands I was planning to see are playing at the same time, which means half the money I spent on a ticket is going to waste.

I just saw Austin Super Music Geek Andy Langer on News8 essentially making fun of anybody who would take exception to the schedule, and... well... suck it Andy Langer. Not all of us get paid to go to shows, and some of us have to take days off work to go to this thing.

Andy Langer also fails to note that unless you get to the good shows early, you're way in the back, and... bleah. So even when, say, Jenny Lewis starts a little before David Byrne, and, technically you can see both... you're going to miss a good part of David Byrne AND you're going to wind up closer to the beer booths than the stage.

Day 1
Jenny Lewis plays at the same time as David Byrne
And the headliner that night is somebody I've literally never heard of.

Day 2
Black Joe Louis, Robert Earl Keen and Erykah Badu play at the same time
Duffy and Spiritualized play at the same time
But... really... Beck and Robert Plant/ Allison Krause play at the same time. Seriously... wtf?

Day 3
Heartless Bastards, Raconteurs, and Gnarls Barkley at the same time. 3 of the big reasons for me to show up, and... seriously? Does the ACL Fest staff really think there's no conflict for the audience here? When there are so many holes in the schedule for hours at a time?
And the big closing act? The Foo Fighters. A pop band for frat dudes. Well done, ACL Fest. Didn't you guys land Dylan last year?

I am deeply disappointed. There are a few points of minimal conflict in the schedule, such as Gillian Welch and Vampire Weekend playing against nobody else I'd care to see. But, honestly, this is putting a pretty big cloud over the whole thing for me.

I don't really care if it costs more. Next year, I'm not buying tickets until I've seen the line-up and schedule. I've already spent the money for this year, so I'm locked in. But that Raconteurs/ Heartless Bastards/ Gnarls Barkley trifecta is particularly bothersome. As is the lack of big, headlining shows this year (that I care about). And while I'm glad I saw so many new acts last year (and subsequently picked up albums), those were interspersed with bands that I was already happy to see. Less so this year.

I know, I know... I'm old. I may not even be in the right demographic anymore to be who the festival is aimed at. And I don't want to spoil it for Jason before we've even shown up, so I'm going to quit complaining. And I'm not sure I wouldn't have gone to the festival with this info. But I will say I'm not even half as excited about this year's schedule than I was about last year's...


J.S. said...

Ahhhh.... your wounded cries are but the echoed rantings of my own blogging about ACL Fest schedules from years past. It's almost always this way (last year, the My Morning Jacket/Wilco conflict was my biggest complaint, but there have been many, many others- and that's not even counting the cancellation of the White Stripes last year). It's kind of screwed up, since they have an all day festival for three days, but then none of the bands want to go on too early, and then they want to save the later spots for "headliners", so you get a whole lot of the good, interesting bands overlapping during time slots in the middle of the afternoon/early evening.
You've got to just hope for nice weather, resign yourself to the fact that you're not going to get to see everything that you want to see, and hope you'll see some new, cool stuff that you didn't expect. As Sigmund would point out, it's better to be going to a festival that has too many bands that you want to see rather than not enough. I agree that The Foo Fighters was a surprisingly weak and very un-ACL Fest-like choice for a closing band, though. But we'll have fun.

The League said...

Yup. I'm kind of glad I know this early on so i can just get used to the idea. But now I really wish I'd bit the bullet and paid to see Raconteurs a few weeks back so it could free up my schedule...

Anonymous said...

The Heartless what? The what bastards? The what what?

Anonymous said...

I saw this today and was completely underwhelmed. Not even close to being whelmed. After the Radiohead fiasco (of which we will never speak again...) I'd have to be really motivated to travel for a show again. This isn't motivation.

Although it would be cool to see Foo Fighters with some of my Beta Theta Pi bros! And drink some Everclear punch! Best damn pledge class ever!

The League said...

The Heartless Bastards

Yeah, Pope... I was hoping to be a little more whelmed as well. There are just so many damn festivals, and its easier to get to fests in the East or in California, so I kind of understand how people continue to think of Austin as "fly-over country".

J.S. said...

Well, probably not our best year for a lineup. Here's the thing, though. Out of most of the music festivals across the country (including Bonnaroo, Coachella, Lollapalooza, etc.), ACL Fest probably does market itself toward more of an adult crowd than any other festival (with the possible exception of Jazzfest in New Orleans). Also, it seems like ACL had some of its best lineups in its earliest years, but that was before there were so many other festivals that had sprung up across the country (which ACL now has to compete with in order to draw bands). Lollapalooza has had a pretty good lineup for the last few years, and since it's in Chicago, I'd like to check it out some time (I'm guessing you don't have to camp).

The League said...

Yeah, Lollapalooza has a really nice line-up (Love & Rockets?). Perhaps next year we should just wait and see what each festival puts out there before buying tickets...

Anonymous said...

If you guys ever decide to Bonnaroo, you can crash at our house. Our rates are very reasonable.

The League said...

But I am afraid of the Mysterious M and her Murderous Moppets