With more than 100 bands playing eight stages over two weekends, the biggest ACL to date is happening in October.

In addition to being two weekends in length for the first time, the Austin City Limits Festival has several other new features this year, including the new www.aclfestival.com that allows attendees to create custom band schedules, choose which restaurants to check out and which nonprofit organizations at ACL they want to support. Once there is an update to something a person has added to his or her profile on www.aclfestival.com, the user will be notified when logging into the website again.

ACL will also have a new craft beer bar that will feature breweries such as Real Ale Brewing Co. and Sierra Nevada.

With headliners that range from Depeche Mode to Kings of Leon, ACL once again features a diverse lineup. Lisa Hickey, spokeswoman for ACL Festival promoter C3 Presents, said the process of booking the festival starts before the previous year’s festival even takes place.

“Staying true to the Austin City Limits name, we book the same type of eclectic music that you will find on the iconic television show,” she said. “Our goal is to book a diverse range of musical genres featuring international and local artists. It’s a mix between what’s on our wish list and who is out there working and a little bit of magic.”

Economic effects

Expanding the Austin City Limits Festival to two weekends brings multiple benefits to Austin residents, said Lisa Hickey, spokeswoman for ACL Festival organizer C3 Presents.

In 2012, ACL generated approximately $102 million in revenue for the city, Hickey said. She said in January that the two-weekend festival could potentially double that economic impact.

“In addition to the boon to the local economy with attendees visiting bars, restaurants, retail shops, music venues and more, the ACL Festival is arguably the largest fundraiser for the Austin Parks Foundation,” she said. “With over $7.4 million contributed to APF since 2006, that number will continue to grow, which directly impacts park beautification projects all over Austin.”

ACL is also a boon for local bands, with multiple Austin-based bands slated to play the festival, Hickey said. C3 Presents books local music year-round, which allows talent buyers to select local bands for the festival, Hickey said. Playing ACL provides the local bands the chance to reach a new audience and get great publicity, Hickey said.

“Booking the local sounds of Austin is a big differentiator from other festivals,” she said. “People want to come to ACL Festival to experience Austin.”


 
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