ACL scene report: Football in the beer hall

Football fans in the Craft Beer tent #ACLFest ERIC PULSIFER
Football fans in the Craft Beer tent #ACLFest ERIC PULSIFER
Football fans in the Craft Beer tent #ACLFest ERIC PULSIFER

In what felt like the world’s weirdest tailgate party, sounds of Polica on the Austin Ventures Stage and Zoe on the Miller Lite stage wafted through the Barton Springs Beer Hall as more than 1,000 football fans jammed into standing-room space midafternoon Saturday to watch the Texas Longhorns take on the Baylor Bears, with a bonus of TCU vs. OU on an adjacent screen.

“There’s probably people here rooting against Texas,” a man wearing an OU cap remarked with a bit of giddy glee as he surveyed the scene. Indeed, a small but vocal cheer went up when the Bears appeared to score a touchdown to go up 14-0 midway through the second quarter. But the Sooner faithful’s hopes took a 180-degree turn when replays showed it wasn’t a touchdown, and then the Horns made a remarkable goal-line stand to stay just 7 points down. On top of that, the Horned Frogs scored on a long pass to a wide-open receiver to take a 21-14 lead over Oklahoma.

The area offered abundant shade, also a welcome attraction as the bright sun made the Zilker grounds seem a bit hotter than the mid-70s temperatures would imply. The big football crowd didn’t seem to be causing much of a decreased draw for the music, though, as the crowd for Polica went well back toward the food lines over at the Austin Ventures Stage.

Out on the grass, a father and son tossed a football around as they made their way toward the hall’s TV screens. The elementary-age son sported a burnt orange mohawk and made a terrific diving catch on a throw from his dad that was a bit too low. Charlie Strong, sign this guy up, we need help once all the Shipleys are gone.

Author: Peter Blackstock

Music writer for the Austin American-Statesman and Twitter: @Blackstock360

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