ACL 2009: This Is Why We Can't Have Nice Things
Photos by Mark C. Austin
From the Austin American-Statesman comes word that Zilker Park, which hosted the three-day Austin City Limits Music Festival this weekend, will have to remain closed until the end of the month. Why? Because ACL more or less destroyed the park.
For the next 25 or so days, the City of Austin will be hard at work cleaning the filthy festival grounds and replanting all the luscious green sod that was obliterated by the thundering herds of crowds, the tractors and trailers hauling gear, rigging and equipment and the torrential rain that turned Zilker Park into the greatest mud-wrestling arena known to man on Saturday afternoon. The well-meaning placing of fresh hay into the trampled, fertilizer-soaked mud on Sunday morning added an overall barnyard aesthetic -- both visually and in the olfactory sense -- that only meant an increase in the post-festival clean up activities and the smell that began to permeate the city.
Austin residents aren't taking the news very well. A sampling of the comments section from the article reveals that at least some people have had enough of ACL for good:
Way to go COA/ACL - way to have a rain plan. I hope you spend twice as much of our tax dollars for repairs to get that damn park re-opened. Also, I hope it rains every year during this time so that it forces you to have a better outdoor plan.
I hope ACL festival is paying for it. Thanks for tearing up our parks so that some out of town people can enjoy some music. Why don't you move it somehere else?
Move it somewhere else. Austin has lost the use of it's premiere park long enough. Hard questions need to be asked about whether this event needs to held at Zilker in the future.
We have thousands of acres of "pavement" in this city. Why not move this to a parking lot (Burger Center??) and let the fans roll around on the wet pavement? Tearing up our parks should not be an option.
When will the festival organizers come and clean up all the trash left in my neighborhood? From muddy shoes, socks t-shirts, shorts and underwear, to beer cans, water bottles, glo-sticks and vomit! I've never seen a more wasteful, lazy, self-centered, arrogant, calloused and disrespecting whorde of losers in my life!
Move it to anywhere but an Austin Park nearby!
Remember our dapper gentlemen from Day One? Not so dapper anymore...
There were at least a few defenders, though:
I'm surprised at all the negative comments here, it was a great festival, best one yet which yielded more than an est. 48 million in local revenue. The rain and mud added to fun. The park will be back to normal, the event organizer is responsible for fixing the damage. Recap, great time, good for local bands, artists and local businesses. Oh and one last note, the organizers did a top flight job, the park looked great when you came in (before the rain and mud), food was out of this world good (say it with me... crispy chicken cone), and the line-up were fantastic.
I am so tired of hearing all of these people complaining about ACL.
Do you people realize that this is one of the events that makes this city a great place to live? Do you understand that if it were not for C3, you wouldn't have the grass to begin with? Do remember how horrible that grass has been for the last few decades?
This is not costing you anything! Yes, the rain caused mud. Shocker! As an Austin resident, I will be happy to wait a few more weeks for cleanup and then run around and play on the fantastic grass for the rest of the year that C3 provided us. Get a grip!
For our part, Rocks Off is just happy to see that the Stateman's commenters seem to have both a better grasp of reality and the English language than our own daily's peanut gallery. And anything's better than the great ACL Dust Bowl of 2005, after all.
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