ACL, Why Do You Mock Me So?

I hadn’t been that upset about missing this year’s ACL Festival. It’s the same weekend as a friend’s wedding, and with the 2004 experience being a crowded mess it didn’t seem like such a sacrifice to skip out. After three straight years, it was time for a break anyway …

ACL-Festival.jpgWell, the 2005 line-up has just been announced, and don’t I feel like a chump. Sure, Wilco’s a three-peat for ’05, but Illinois homeboy Jeff Tweedy is always worth seeing. The Black Crowes (they’re back together?), The Allman Bros. (they’re alive?), Widespread Panic (they’re relevant?) are all great festival acts too. Oasis is a damn fine band, even if their Glimmer Twins-cum-Beatles shtick is wearing a bit thin.

But the real kick in the huevos is that I’m going to miss Coldplay, the headliners for this year’s festival. Throw in Buddy Guy, Jet, Thievery Corporation, Bob Mould, The Black Keys, The Walkmen, Dave Alvin, and cool bands ad infinitum, and it’s a wonder I don’t make like Jennifer Wilbanks and bolt this wedding. Tickets are currently on sale for $95, although the price is due to increase shortly.

And now, a quick moment of reflection. PRO: Hats off to CSE for cutting back on the attendance this year; trimming 10,000 patrons should make it easier to actually see the plethora of righteous acts. Good show, chaps. CON: At what point do we drop this whole ACL sponsorship joke? A festival that features Brit Pop like Coldplay and electronica like Thievery Corp. is getting farther and farther afield of the whole American / roots music that CSE is trading on. Keep the festival, it’s awesome, but let’s not tread on the credibility of a 30-year Austin institution just because it makes metric buttloads of money, OK?

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