The best things we saw at Austin City Limits Music Festival 2015

From a golden porta-potty to the Strokes, check out the best things we saw at Austin City Limits Music Festival’s first weekend
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Crowds filled Zilker Park during the first weekend of Austin City Limits Music Festival 2015.
Photograph: Zach Long

Crowds filled Zilker Park during the first weekend of Austin City Limits Music Festival 2015.

Run the Jewels performed on day one of Austin City Limits Music Festival 2015.
Photograph: Zach Long

Run the Jewels performed on day one of Austin City Limits Music Festival 2015.

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Crowds filled Zilker Park during Austin City Limits Music Festival 2015.
Photograph: Zach Long

Crowds filled Zilker Park during the first weekend of Austin City Limits Music Festival 2015.

Crowds filled Zilker Park during Austin City Limits Music Festival 2015.
Photograph: Zach Long

Crowds filled Zilker Park during the first weekend of Austin City Limits Music Festival 2015.

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Crowds filled Zilker Park during Austin City Limits Music Festival 2015.
Photograph: Zach Long

Crowds filled Zilker Park during the first weekend of Austin City Limits Music Festival 2015.

Run the Jewels performed on day one of Austin City Limits Music Festival 2015.
Photograph: Zach Long

Run the Jewels performed on day one of Austin City Limits Music Festival 2015.

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Crowds filled Zilker Park during Austin City Limits Music Festival 2015.
Photograph: Mary Wells

Crowds filled Zilker Park during the first weekend of Austin City Limits Music Festival 2015.

Crowds filled Zilker Park during Austin City Limits Music Festival 2015.
Photograph: Mary Wells

Crowds filled Zilker Park during the first weekend of Austin City Limits Music Festival 2015.

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Crowds filled Zilker Park during Austin City Limits Music Festival 2015.
Photograph: Mary Wells

Crowds filled Zilker Park during the first weekend of Austin City Limits Music Festival 2015.

Crowds filled Zilker Park during Austin City Limits Music Festival 2015.
Photograph: Mary Wells

Crowds filled Zilker Park during the first weekend of Austin City Limits Music Festival 2015.

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Gary Clark Jr. performed on day one of Austin City Limits Music Festival 2015.
Photograph: Zach Long

Gary Clark Jr. performed on day one of Austin City Limits Music Festival 2015.

Crowds filled Zilker Park during Austin City Limits Music Festival 2015.
Photograph: Mary Wells

Crowds filled Zilker Park during the first weekend of Austin City Limits Music Festival 2015.

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Crowds filled Zilker Park during Austin City Limits Music Festival 2015.
Photograph: Mary Wells

Crowds filled Zilker Park during the first weekend of Austin City Limits Music Festival 2015.

Crowds filled Zilker Park during Austin City Limits Music Festival 2015.
Photograph: Mary Wells

Crowds filled Zilker Park during the first weekend of Austin City Limits Music Festival 2015.

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Crowds filled Zilker Park during Austin City Limits Music Festival 2015.
Photograph: Mary Wells

Crowds filled Zilker Park during the first weekend of Austin City Limits Music Festival 2015.

Disclosure performed on day one of Austin City Limits Music Festival 2015.
Photograph: Zach Long

Disclosure performed on day one of Austin City Limits Music Festival 2015.

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Crowds filled Zilker Park during Austin City Limits Music Festival 2015.
Photograph: Zach Long

Crowds filled Zilker Park during the first weekend of Austin City Limits Music Festival 2015.

Crowds filled Zilker Park during Austin City Limits Music Festival 2015.
Photograph: Zach Long

Crowds filled Zilker Park during the first weekend of Austin City Limits Music Festival 2015.

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Crowds filled Zilker Park during Austin City Limits Music Festival 2015.
Photograph: Zach Long

Crowds filled Zilker Park during the first weekend of Austin City Limits Music Festival 2015.

Father John Misty performed on day two of Austin City Limits Music Festival 2015.
Photograph: Zach Long

Father John Misty performed on day two of Austin City Limits Music Festival 2015.

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Crowds filled Zilker Park during the first weekend of Austin City Limits Music Festival 2015.
Photograph: Zach Long

Crowds filled Zilker Park during the first weekend of Austin City Limits Music Festival 2015.

Crowds filled Zilker Park during the first weekend of Austin City Limits Music Festival 2015.
Photograph: Zach Long

Crowds filled Zilker Park during the first weekend of Austin City Limits Music Festival 2015.

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Vince Staples performed on day two of Austin City Limits Music Festival 2015.
Photograph: Zach Long

Vince Staples performed on day two of Austin City Limits Music Festival 2015.

Crowds filled Zilker Park during the first weekend of Austin City Limits Music Festival 2015.
Photograph: Zach Long

Crowds filled Zilker Park during the first weekend of Austin City Limits Music Festival 2015.

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Crowds filled Zilker Park during the first weekend of Austin City Limits Music Festival 2015.
Photograph: Zach Long

Crowds filled Zilker Park during the first weekend of Austin City Limits Music Festival 2015.

Crowds filled Zilker Park during the first weekend of Austin City Limits Music Festival 2015.
Photograph: Zach Long

Crowds filled Zilker Park during the first weekend of Austin City Limits Music Festival 2015.

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Misterwives performed on day two of Austin City Limits Music Festival 2015.
Photograph: Zach Long

Misterwives performed on day two of Austin City Limits Music Festival 2015.

Crowds filled Zilker Park during the first weekend of Austin City Limits Music Festival 2015.
Photograph: Zach Long

Crowds filled Zilker Park during the first weekend of Austin City Limits Music Festival 2015.

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Crowds filled Zilker Park during the first weekend of Austin City Limits Music Festival 2015.
Photograph: Zach Long

Crowds filled Zilker Park during the first weekend of Austin City Limits Music Festival 2015.

Crowds filled Zilker Park during the first weekend of Austin City Limits Music Festival 2015.
Photograph: Mary Wells

Crowds filled Zilker Park during the first weekend of Austin City Limits Music Festival 2015.

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TV on the Radio performed on day two of Austin City Limits Music Festival 2015.
Photograph: Zach Long

TV on the Radio performed on day two of Austin City Limits Music Festival 2015.

Crowds filled Zilker Park during the first weekend of Austin City Limits Music Festival 2015.
Photograph: Mary Wells

Crowds filled Zilker Park during the first weekend of Austin City Limits Music Festival 2015.

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Crowds filled Zilker Park during the first weekend of Austin City Limits Music Festival 2015.
Photograph: Mary Wells

Crowds filled Zilker Park during the first weekend of Austin City Limits Music Festival 2015.

Walk the Moon performed on day two of Austin City Limits Music Festival 2015.
Photograph: Zach Long

Walk the Moon performed on day two of Austin City Limits Music Festival 2015.

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Crowds filled Zilker Park during the first weekend of Austin City Limits Music Festival 2015.
Photograph: Mary Wells

Crowds filled Zilker Park during the first weekend of Austin City Limits Music Festival 2015.

Crowds filled Zilker Park during the first weekend of Austin City Limits Music Festival 2015.
Photograph: Zach Long

Crowds filled Zilker Park during the first weekend of Austin City Limits Music Festival 2015.

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Walk the Moon performed on day two of Austin City Limits Music Festival 2015.
Photograph: Zach Long

Walk the Moon performed on day two of Austin City Limits Music Festival 2015.

Crowds filled Zilker Park during the first weekend of Austin City Limits Music Festival 2015.
Photograph: Mary Wells

Crowds filled Zilker Park during the first weekend of Austin City Limits Music Festival 2015.

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Deadmau5 performed on day two of Austin City Limits Music Festival 2015.
Photograph: Zach Long

Deadmau5 performed on day two of Austin City Limits Music Festival 2015.

Crowds filled Zilker Park during Austin City Limits Music Festival 2015.
Photograph: Zach Long

Crowds filled Zilker Park during the first weekend of Austin City Limits Music Festival 2015.

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Crowds filled Zilker Park during the first weekend of Austin City Limits Music Festival 2015.
Photograph: Mary Wells

Crowds filled Zilker Park during the first weekend of Austin City Limits Music Festival 2015.

The Decemberists performed on day three of Austin City Limits Music Festival 2015.
Photograph: Zach Long

The Decemberists performed on day three of Austin City Limits Music Festival 2015.

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Crowds filled Zilker Park during the first weekend of Austin City Limits Music Festival 2015.
Photograph: Mary Wells

Crowds filled Zilker Park during the first weekend of Austin City Limits Music Festival 2015.

Crowds filled Zilker Park during the first weekend of Austin City Limits Music Festival 2015.
Photograph: Mary Wells

Crowds filled Zilker Park during the first weekend of Austin City Limits Music Festival 2015.

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Chance the Rapper performed on day three of Austin City Limits Music Festival 2015.
Photograph: Zach Long

Chance the Rapper performed on day three of Austin City Limits Music Festival 2015.

Crowds filled Zilker Park during the first weekend of Austin City Limits Music Festival 2015.
Photograph: Mary Wells

Crowds filled Zilker Park during the first weekend of Austin City Limits Music Festival 2015.

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The Strokes performed on day three of Austin City Limits Music Festival 2015.
Photograph: Zach Long

The Strokes performed on day three of Austin City Limits Music Festival 2015.

Crowds filled Zilker Park during the first weekend of Austin City Limits Music Festival 2015.
Photograph: Mary Wells

Crowds filled Zilker Park during the first weekend of Austin City Limits Music Festival 2015.

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Crowds filled Zilker Park during the first weekend of Austin City Limits Music Festival 2015.
Photograph: Mary Wells

Crowds filled Zilker Park during the first weekend of Austin City Limits Music Festival 2015.

Crowds filled Zilker Park during the first weekend of Austin City Limits Music Festival 2015.
Photograph: Zach Long

Crowds filled Zilker Park during the first weekend of Austin City Limits Music Festival 2015.

Advertising
Crowds filled Zilker Park during the first weekend of Austin City Limits Music Festival 2015.
Photograph: Zach Long

Crowds filled Zilker Park during the first weekend of Austin City Limits Music Festival 2015.

Crowds filled Zilker Park during the first weekend of Austin City Limits Music Festival 2015.
Photograph: Mary Wells

Crowds filled Zilker Park during the first weekend of Austin City Limits Music Festival 2015.

Camera

The first weekend of Austin City Limits Music Festival was exactly what we’ve come to expect from this annual event, filled with sunny skies, tolerable heat and plenty of amazing performances. Whether you were sampling local beers or listening to killer sets from the summer’s hottest festival acts, it was easy to have a blast in Zilker Park. Before you start preparing for round two, take a look at our photos and peruse the best things we saw during ACL’s first weekend.

1. Jumping around with Run the Jewels

On the day before ACL’s first weekend, Run the Jewels’ tour bus was stopped at the border with “two ounces and no excuses.” Thankfully, Killer Mike and El-P made it to Austin unscathed and ready to deliver another of their notoriously energetic festival performances on Friday afternoon. As usual, the mood was boisterous, the songs were light-hearted yet politically conscious and the whole set was capped off by a scorching solo from local guitarist (and fellow ACL performer) Gary Clark Jr.

2. Great beer on tap

The return of the Barton Springs Beer Hall means that there’s no reason to be drinking Miller Lite at ACL (unless you really want to). The expansive bar features local craft beers like Real Ale's Devil’s Backbone and Deep Ellum’s Easy Peasy IPA, in addition to national offerings from Lagunitas and Left Hand. Best of all, a pint will only set you back $8—the same price as that Miller Lite tallboy.

3. Disclosure’s late night dance party

While Dave Grohl perched on his rock & roll throne and entertained the gigantic crowd on the north end of Zilker on Friday night, English brothers Howard and Guy Lawrence were doling out house beats for anyone who cared to dance. Stationed in a pair of glowing, Tron-inspired instrument pods and backed by projections of optical illusions, the duo debuted tracks from its new album, Caracal. They’re not on the same level as Daft Punk (yet), but Disclosure’s glossy electronica hits a similar sweet spot between dance music and pop.

4. The golden commode

Earlier this year, ACL’s organizers ran a contest and awarded six people with an amazing prize: exclusive access to a golden porta-potty in Zilker park (and a free pass to the fest). The winners enjoyed a centrally-located, extra-roomy throne, complete with a red carpet, velvet rope and its own security guard. The only downside? If you pee on the seat, the other five winners are gonna be pissed at you.

5. Jose Gonzalez turning it down

At a festival where loud, flashy performances are the norm, Jose Gonzalez showed up just in time to give our eardrums a break. Playing a subdued set in the isolated Tito’s Vodka tent, the singer provided a relaxing prelude to Saturday evening’s headliners—no ground-shaking bass, no screamed vocals, just beautiful acoustic melodies and heartfelt lyrics.

6. Chance the Rapper’s showy rhymes

Positivity was the name of the game for this Chicago emcee, who launched into his Sunday afternoon set over the screams of a visibly excited horde of young attendees. Joined by his backing band Donny Trumpet and the Social Experiment, Chance danced through cuts from his breakout mixtape Acid Rap, playing a song that he wrote for his grandmother and introducing himself several times over. By the time he got the crowd singing along to his single “Sunday Candy,” it was clear that everyone in attendance already knew his name.

7. A sea of clever flags

Zilker Park becomes a writhing mass of homogenous humanity during ACL, which is why so many attendees bring along flags to help them find their seats and friends. In addition to being a useful festival accessory, these high-flying banners also showcase the personalities and proclivities of their respective owners, from Game of Thrones crests to concise quips (“Place order here” or “You found us”). Even when they were obstructing our view, we couldn’t help but chuckle. 

8. The late but great Strokes

It didn’t matter that the Strokes hit the stage 15 minutes late—the large crowd in attendance seemed enthusiastic about the chance to see the early-aughts rockers. And why not? The group’s songs remain catchy, Albert Hammond Jr.’s riffs are as contagious as ever and Julian Casablancas still looks like he doesn’t give a shit. We can’t think of a more fitting close to ACL’s first weekend than fireworks and a rousing rendition of “Take It or Leave It.”

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