Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

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October 4, 2022

Consider attending ACL solo

Emma George

Every October, fans, locals and tourists flock to Texas and crowd Zilker Park for six days of music. Most festival goers are here for one thing: Austin City Limits (ACL). ACL is one of the largest festivals nationwide and draws crowds of 400,000 people across more than 100 performances on nine stages.

While people across the globe come to ACL, the event is especially popular among Austinites and UT students. Many Longhorns plan months in advance, coordinating with friends and mapping out how they’re going to see their top artists. Yet, some purchase tickets just for themselves, eager to independently enjoy the event’s offerings. 

Students’ ACL experiences don’t have to be dependent on a group. If you enjoy listening to live music in world-renowned venues, consider attending ACL alone.

Many people may be skeptical about spending money on a solo ticket. Vianca Jimenez, an advertising graduate student, explained that although music festivals are often seen as group activities, they have a lot to offer regardless of who you attend with. 

“They just create a very specific vibe or energy that you can’t really recreate anywhere else,” Jimenez said. “It’s one of the few places where everyone’s just kind of on the same wavelength. Everyone’s easygoing, everyone’s friendly. I’ve yet to encounter someone at a music festival who’s not in a good mood.”

The energy at a music festival is electric. People who love music, food, Austin or all three come together to bond over a powerful form of expression. The camaraderie extends to those who attend alone because everyone can enjoy the experience equally. 

“It’s a nice break from the day-to-day realities because it’s like you enter a different world,” Jimenez said.

While going to ACL in a group can be fun, going alone offers a different set of perks. Advertising graduate student Lindsay Duve said that going alone can offer an opportunity to meet new people who share one’s passion for music or an artist. 

“You maybe make friends, bump into someone on a barricade or in the crowd, and maybe you could hit it off there,” Duve said. “You could also use it as a reset or self-care, almost like being in your own lane and doing your own thing … could be kind of therapeutic in a way.”

Attending ACL solo also allows you to do what you want to do. There’s no need to appease a group or compromise — it’s your agenda on your time. You have the option to choose the sets you attend and prioritize your favorite artists, spend as long or as little at the festival as you want and choose how long your lunch takes. The options are abundant.

As with any large event, there are risks to going alone. Both Jimenez and Duve explained the dangers that women who attend ACL solo can encounter and warned against letting your guard down with new people. Students should always prioritize their safety by notifying friends or family of their plans and creating a check-in system.

“At the end of the day, you don’t really know those people, so you have to be on your A game,” Jimenez said. 

Music is one of the most powerful inventions in human history. No other form of art connects with people in the same way. If you have the chance to attend ACL, take it, even if it means venturing out solo. The music and experiences are stunning, and you’ll make memories regardless of who’s around you.

Doud is a journalism and government freshman from Conroe, Texas.

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About the Contributor
Emma George, Comics Editor
Emma is currently a Spring 2023 Comics Editor. She is a junior civil engineering major whoe loves to draw, read, and visiting art museums. She has previously been a Comics sStaffer and Comics Senior Illustrator.