Austin City Limits Weekend 1 Preview

Written by on September 15, 2021

After a yearlong absence due to the pandemic, Austin City Limits finally returns to Zilker Park this October. This year, we’re breaking down the festival lineup by day to give you an overview of what to expect when the gates open. Stay tuned for our recap coverage of both weekends coming after the festival!

Photo by Roger Ho for ACL

The festival kicks off with weekend one on Friday October 1st, with George Strait and Miley Cyrus headlining. Texas being known for its love of all things country, it’s no surprise to see country music legend George Strait at the top of the bill. Similarly, Miley’s presence on the main stage won’t come as a shock to anyone who’s followed her career over the last decade and a half.

ACL is known for selecting artists from a variety of different genres, and this year is no exception. While much of Friday’s lineup consists of country and singer-songwriter artists, there is a something for nearly everyone with acts such as Megan Thee Stallion, FINNEAS, and Black Pumas.

Photo by Charles Reagan Hackleman for ACL

Saturday’s lineup has some serious heavy hitters on the bill, with Billie Eilish and Rüfüs du Sol headlining the day. Billie Eilish needs no introduction, the genre-bending pop star has been everywhere in the last few years, winning the top four honors at the 2020 Grammy awards, and releasing a documentary about her life earlier this year. Rüfüs du Sol is an Australian EDM/House trio who have been touring worldwide since the mid-2010s with two Grammy nominations to their name.

The genre diversity continues on Saturday, with artists from Freddie Gibbs and Doja Cat to Phoebe Bridgers to Mongolian heavy metal band The Hu.

Sunday’s bill has had some revisions since the festival was first announced, with Stevie Nicks and Dababy initially headlining the day. Nicks pulled out of the festival earlier this summer after cancelling her 2021 tour dates due to COVID, and Dababy was dropped from the lineup after homophobic comments made at another festival back in July.

Photo by Roger Ho for ACL

Tyler, the Creator and Duran Duran will now headline day three of ACL. Tyler’s massively successful album Call Me if You Get Lost propelled the rapper back up the charts this summer, and if his past festival appearances are anything to go by, Sunday night will see one great show from the Creator.

Duran Duran are a British new-wave group from the 1970s, and with over 100 million albums sold, they are one of the best-selling bands of all time. In the 1980s, the band helped usher in the “second British invasion” on MTV, and have since won two Grammy awards. Other artists for Sunday include St. Vincent, Erykah Badu (for weekend one only) and Lane 8.

In addition to the artists, each night of the festival includes a two-hour long silent disco during the headlining performances, for fans who prefer a more chilled out, personal experience.

Photo by Chad Wadsworth for ACL

This year the festival will look slightly different to years past due to the pandemic. Proof of vaccination or negative COVID test is required for entry each day. Additionally, ACL says they will have increased hand-sanitizer stations on the festival grounds, as well as cleaning crews to sanitize high-contact areas.

ACL gates open on Friday at 12 noon, and music stops for the night at 10PM. Saturday and Sunday the gates open at 11AM.

Stay tuned for our coverage of Austin City Limits coming to you this October, and if you’re going to the show we’ll see you at Zilker!

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