ACL Fest headliners The XX speak out on World Mental Health Day

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Every year, World Mental Health Day is observed on Oct. 10 to raise awareness of mental health issues and support mental health efforts.

AUSTIN, TX – OCTOBER 6, 2017 – Romy Madley Croft and Oliver Slim of The XX performs during the Austin City Limits Music Festival. (Erich Schlegel/Special Contributor)

Thousands of people spoke out online to support those with mental illness, share their own struggles with mental illness or discuss stigmas surrounding mental health across the globe. Austin City Limits Music Festival headliners The XX were among those who shared their stories online.

The band, made up of Oliver Sim, Jamie XX and Romy Madley Croft, posted on its Facebook page that the three of them are “best friends” but struggled with opening up emotionally — and that’s why they’re thankful for songwriting, which has give them a place to “pour our emotions into.”

The band also encouraged others to talk more openly about mental health issues.

The XX will perform during the second weekend of ACL Fest on Friday evening.

Where was Beyoncé during Jay-Z’s ACL Fest appearance?

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The question on everyone’s minds during Jay-Z’s appearance at Austin City Limits Music Festival: Will Beyoncé show up?

Beyonce and Jay Z attend Game 6 of the 2016 NBA Finals between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors at Quicken Loans Arena on June 16, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

Unfortunately for thousands of fans, she didn’t. But where was she, anyway? When Jay’s in Bey’s home state, she can’t be that far away. Right?

Right. She was in New Orleans, where Jay-Z traveled to meet her later in the weekend for a friend’s wedding.

The Carters met up for Lawrence Parker and Jessica Clemons’ wedding, and plenty of fans were there to document it on social media.

No sign of newborn twins Rumi and Sir, however.

Jay-Z will be back in Zilker Park on Friday for the second weekend of ACL Fest. Maybe Queen Bey will show up this time? One can dream.

ACL Fest: Portugal. The Man made for a great sundown jam — if you could hear them

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“Hey, you guys wanna go see The Killers?”

Overheard at Portugal. The Man’s set at Austin City Limits Music Festival on Sunday: People who did not have any patience for Portugal. The Man.

“Just play ‘Feel It Still!’ a teenage boy yelled.

“I only know ‘Feel It Still,'” a woman remarked.

It was a common sentiment. Portugal. The Man were cursed with the one-two punch of a smallish stage and sound issues that made it seem like you were sitting at another stage and thinking, “Oh, I think I can hear Portugal. The Man from here.”


Suzanne Cordeiro / For American-Statesman Portugal. The Man performs on Day 3 of the ACL Music Festival held at Zilker Park in Austin.

You definitely couldn’t hear it at the HomeAway stage — unless you were close enough. Which we all were, at one point. After hearing how low the volume was, a good portion of the crowd decided their evening was better spent finding a good spot for one of Sunday’s headliners.

After an onscreen message telling the crowd they weren’t good at “stage banter,” the band kicked off their sunset set with Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick In The Wall,” segued into “Purple Yellow Red and Blue.”

Portugal. The Man is a band that sounds better in an enclosed venue — for example, ACL Live, where they played earlier this year. The band’s super-chill, synth-psych sound doesn’t really equal “festival headliner.” In a more relaxed venue, where you can get a little buzzed on expensive cocktails and bob your head and maybe even singalong to “Got It All,” Portugal. The Man delivers. But to a crowd of sweaty, tired festival-goers, the prospect of spreading out a blanket to camp out for “Mr. Brightside” or “Feel Good Inc.” was worth not hearing a band’s radio hit. To be fair, “Feel It Still” is a certified jam, and was perhaps the song of the (late) summer. But as the crowd walked away to “Hip Hop Kids,” a few dedicated fans were happy to push closer to the stage. The band, quiet still, but grateful — “We love you, Texas,” they said — sounded a little sweeter as the sun went down and Gorillaz took the stage in the distance.

The real headliner at ACL Fest Sunday? The heat

Texas in October can either be wonderfully mild, or it can be blisteringly hot. Sunday at  weekend one of the Austin City Limits Music Festival was the latter.

A security guard sprays water on fans at the Danny Brown performance at the Austin City Limits Music Festival in Zilker Park on Sunday October 8, 2017. JAY JANNER / AMERICAN-STATESMAN

At least two people passed out from the heat waiting in line at the new west entrance on Sunday afternoon around 3 p.m., with security guards breaking through the crowd to take them to safety.

On Sunday afternoon, the lines for free water to fill up water bottles and backpacks were at least a half hour wait, and many of them in the sun.

Security guards were spotted handing out water to the crowd and sprayed water on those in the front row and along barriers.

The shady spots at the festival filled up quickly, with a cool spot to sit being hard to come by. The new area on the other side of Barton Springs Road was an added bonus for those looking for shade, offering a big cluster of shade trees. The two additional canopies in the center of the park also helped with heat relief.

The high temperature on Sunday is forecast at 92 degrees. Just before 5 p.m., the temperature was 91 degrees with only a few clouds in sight.

10 pictures of delicious food you should be eating at ACL Fest

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Come for the music, stay for the great Austin food trucks serving up delicious bites all weekend long at Austin City Limits Music Festival.

Mighty Cone is one of the food trucks at ACL Fest. Katey Psencik / American-Statesman

We rounded up some of the tastiest-looking noms to satisfy your hunger at both weekends of this year’s festival (dessert included).

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The only reason I come here 😋 #aclfest #atx

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Dins #aclfest

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Skydivers and glitter: 10 scenes from Saturday at ACL Fest Weekend 1

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Another day of Austin City Limits Music Festival is in the books.

Kristen Kilpatrick, center with sign, who has been at the fest since 11AM to secure a front row spot, cheers as Chance The Rapper takes the stage during weekend one of the 2017 Austin City Limits Festival at Zilker Park on Saturday Oct. 7, 2017.
Erika Rich for American-Statesman

Here’s what you missed: Skydivers to the tune of “Free Fallin'” by Tom Petty. Glitter everywhere. A giant hashtag sign (that for some reason people keep photographing backwards). Inflatable furniture that’s allegedly not allowed, but still all over the park anyway. A crowd of screaming teens at Tove Lo. The Texas Longhorns winning in overtime. And so, so much more.

This 3-year-old music fan is the spirit and future of ACL Fest

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Meet Zoe. She’s 3 years old.

When the gates opened at 11am Zoe Hyde, 3, ran with her parents to the Austin Kiddie Limits stage. This is Zoe’s fourth ACL Fest. JAY JANNER / AMERICAN-STATESMAN

She’s a huge music fan, and she’s been to Austin City Limits Music Festival every year of her young life. It’s her fourth ACL Fest.

When the gates opened at 11am Zoe Hyde, 3, ran with her parents to the Austin Kiddie Limits stage. This is Zoe’s fourth ACL Fest. JAY JANNER / AMERICAN-STATESMAN

When the gates opened at 11 a.m. on the Saturday of ACL Fest weekend one, she sprinted with her parents to the Austin Kiddie Limits stage.

When the gates opened at 11am Zoe Hyde, 3, ran with her parents to the Austin Kiddie Limits stage. This is Zoe’s fourth ACL Fest. JAY JANNER / AMERICAN-STATESMAN

If Zoe and her cape don’t give you hope for the future of music fans, we don’t know what will.






10 scenes from day one of ACL Fest 2017 Weekend 1

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Austin City Limits Music Festival 2017 is in full swing. We’re heading into day two of the fest after a hot, sweaty, why-the-heck-did-Jay-Z’s-set-end-early first day of ACL.

ACL Fest sign inside of Zilker park during the 2017 ACL Music Festival in Austin. Suzanne Cordeiro / American-Statesman

Here are 10 photos and videos that perfectly captured the sights and sounds of day one, weekend one at ACL Fest 2017.

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Texas y'all. #ACLFest2017

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#aclfest #bff contact highs and grassy bottoms

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The coolest signs and flags spotted at weekend one of ACL Fest 2017

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Everyone knows the best way to find your friends at Austin City Limits Music Festival is to bring a flag, sign or otherwise interesting-looking object you can stack on top of a pole and carry around all day.

“I’m standing under the giant inflatable pineapple,” I remember texting to a friend one ACL Fest. The next year, it was a volleyball painted like Wilson from “Castaway.” The next year, it was a windsock shaped like a parrot. You get the picture.

Here are the best signs, flags and “here’s how to find me” objects we spotted at the first weekend of ACL Fest 2017 (and on social media). We’ll keep updating this list as we spot more.

Matt Policastro of Chicago (and Leo). John Bridges / American-Statesman

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Doing it right by #ACLFest2017

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Michael Morris of Austin with his Pokeball and Pikachu. John Bridges / American-Statesman
Mark Couvillion of Austin and McConaughey, of course. John Bridges / American-Statesman
Miguel de Jesus and Harambe. John Bridges / American-Statesman

Anna Batchik and Gabi Pulsifer of Austin









ACL Fest 2017: Turns out, Matthew McConaughey is a Jay-Z fan

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Would it be a huge Austin event if Matthew McConaughey didn’t show up somewhere?

The answer is no, obviously.

Matthew McConaughey introduces Willie Nelson before his performance at The Austin City Limits Music Festival on October 9, 2016. (Tamir Kalifa for American-Statesman)

McConaughey, the patron saint of Austin and purveyor of all things Texas, popped up at Jay-Z’s closing set at Austin City Limits Music Festival on Friday night.

According to KVUE, the Oscar-winning actor and University of Texas professor was spotted on the ACL Fest Snapchat story walking on a ramp toward the stage as fans chanted “Alright, alright, alright” (because of course they did) and threw up Hook ‘Em signs (again, duh).

Devoted Jay-Z fans were able to spot him as he walked through the crowd:

And of course somebody asked him if he was ready for the Texas Longhorns vs. Kansas State Wildcats game Saturday:

McConaughey’s no stranger to ACL Fest. He showed up at Willie Nelson’s set during last year’s festival to introduce the country music legend, and he snapped a photo backstage with the Red Headed Stranger’s beloved stuffed armadillo mascot in what since has been dubbed (by us, mainly) the most Texas photo of all time.