Six local bands to catch at ACL

Morgan O’Hanlon

In its 15 years, Austin City Limits Music Festival has expanded to include music’s brightest stars, but organizers haven’t forgotten the local gems that make the festival unique. This year, the inclusion of Willie Nelson, a staple of the Austin music scene, highlights the presence of lesser-known local artists in the impressive lineup. 

Listed below are some of the Austin-based bands The Daily Texan recommends checking out at this year’s festival.


  • Friday, Sept. 30
  • 11:30 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
  • Miller Lite Stage 

Ever wonder what that guy with the flannel shirt and man-bun at Spider House Cafe is listening to? There’s a pretty solid chance you’ll find some music by Bayonne on his playlist. This Austin artist combines electronic elements with an indie feel for a result that sounds like a hipster orchestra. Bayonne’s songs are characterized by numerous interlocking layers and dreamy vocals. Go see this act if you feel like sitting in the grass, resting your feet and channeling your love for any and all things off-the-grid. 

Gina Chavez

  • Friday, Sept. 30 and Friday, Oct. 7
  • 4:45 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
  • Tito’s Handmade Vodka Stage 

This Austin-based musician reminds Texans of their state’s strong Hispanic culture. In her 2015 album, Up.Rooted, she explores themes of the relationship between the U.S. and Latin America, emphasizing the connection with songs in both Spanish and English. Chavez has won multiple Austin Music Awards with her fusion of Latin, reggaeton and folk sounds. Check out her set for an upbeat show that you can dance along to. 

Israel Nash

  • Saturday, Oct. 1
  • 12 p.m. – 12:45 p.m.
  • Miller Lite Stage 

He may not be from Austin proper, but if you haven’t heard this Hill Country rocker’s 2014 album, Israel Nash’s Rain Plans, you’re missing out. Living in Texas has certainly had an effect on this artist’s music, as made evident by the large and bold sounds heard in this album, which he wrote from his Dripping Springs studio. For fans of Stevie Ray Vaughan’s Texas Flood, go see Israel Nash perform if you want to feel like you’re driving on a Texas highway in the middle of one of the state’s infamous torrential rainstorms. 

Matt the Electrician

  • Saturday, Oct. 1
  • 12:45 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
  • Tito’s Handmade Vodka Stage 

Reflecting the roots of many Austin artists, Matt the Electrician got his start playing in a coffee shop. His raspy voice makes for a cool contrast with the sweet and melodic notes that come out of the banjo chords in his songs. His music sounds like something you might have heard on a local restaurant patio, but his tracks are certainly more refined than anything played street-side on South Congress Avenue. His music is the type that campers would listen to sitting around a fire in the Hill Country, but it’s certain to be a laid-back and folksy festival hit. 

Wild Child

  • Sunday, Oct. 2
  • 1 p.m. – 2 p.m
  • HomeAway Stage 

Wild Child’s indie pop hits have risen to a level of mainstream success beyond the local music scene. Their soft music and sweet vocals coming from singer Kelsey Wilson elicit memories of lazy Sundays and breakfast in bed. Clap along to their folk-influenced tunes during their Weekend One performance. 

Magna Carda

  • Sunday, Oct. 9
  • 11:30 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
  • Miller Liter Stage 

Hip-hop group Magna Carda has helped to define Austin’s hip-hop scene and bring it into the limelight. Formed on the St. Edward’s University campus by founding members emcee Megz Kelli and producer Dougie Do, the group is Austin born and bred. Their use of rap, jazz-like instrumentals and elements of R&B create beats that flow thick and smooth. Don’t miss out on the band’s innovative style and Megz Kelli’s smart and well-paced raps.