ACL Fest: Eminem fans show up early, stake their spots

Many people heading to a huge music festival like ACL spend weeks planning their itinerary. Most spend the better part of each day hustling from stage to stage to catch all their favorite acts. But for one group of fans, lets call them “Stans,” there was only one act at ACL Fest on Saturday — Detroit rapper Marshall Mather II, a.k.a. Eminem. As the gates opened at noon they rushed to the front of the Samsung Galaxy stage to stake out their spaces where they planned to remain throughout the entire festival.

“I can see Detroit, Michigan, is in the house,” guitarist Adrian Quesada joked during Spanish Gold’s excellent opening set on the stage. After the rockers finished, we waded into camp “Stan” where a very congenial group of Eminem superfans were happy to talk about their love of Slim Shady.

Got your own Eminem love story? Tag @austin360 or use #aclstans on Instagram to share it with us!

Meet the “Stans”

Eminem fan Alexis Ramirez
Eminem fan Alexis Ramirez

Name: Alexis Ramirez, age 19
Hometown: Houston
Favorite song: “Drug Ballad”
Ramirez feels like Eminem keeps it real. He’s been open about his personal ups and downs in a way that resonates with his fans. “His music got me through some rough times in my life,” he said.

Daisy Ruiz of Houston and friend.
Daisy Ruiz of Houston and friend.

Name: Daisy Ruiz, age 18
Hometown: Houston
Favorite songs: “Clean Out My Closet” “3 a.m.”
Ruiz says Em seems like he’s not like other artists. He’s not scare to speak the truth. She isn’t bothered by the violence or perceived misogyny in his music. “As a true fan I know he doesn’t mean that stuff,” she said.

Rachel Robinson of Dallas,
Rachel Robinson of Dallas,

Name: Rachel Robinson, age 40
Hometown: Dallas
Favorite songs: “Rap God” and “Toy Soldiers”
To celebrate her 40th birthday one of Robinson’s friends bought her tickets to the fest. She plans to spend the day camped in front of the Galaxy stage to see Eminem, who she’s never seen before. “I’m obsessed with his music and this crowd is amazing,” she said.

IMG_0159
Names: Shawn Rainey, age 25 and Elise Hastings, age 23
Hometown: San Francisco
Favorite song: “Almost Famous”
“He talks really fast and I like how clever some of his rhymes are,” Hastings said.

IMG_0155
Name: Skyler Zen Rice, age 12
Hometown: San Marcos
Favorite song: “Toy Soldiers”
Skyler earned her ticket to the event by picking up abandoned cans around the tubing spots in San Marcos and turning in the bags for cash. She loves the way Em can rap so fast and how he “rhymes the words that aren’t supposed to rhyme.”

IMG_0166

Name: Annie Sardinha
Hometown: San Diego
For Annie, it’s all about Em’s “swag, hands down.” She also thinks it’s “pretty rad” the way he’s persevered through so many hardships. “He uses the talents that God gave him,” she said.

Author: Deborah Sengupta Stith

Deborah Sengupta Stith has been hanging out in dimly lit corners of the city soaking in the music scene for almost 20 years. Twitter: @deborific

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