As we close the books on ACL's 2012 festivities, full of mud -- but not too much mud, Iggy Pop's elastic skin, Neil Young's reverb, and light shows aplenty, we look forward to the 2013 edition of the Austin megafest.
The '13 affair will be scattered over two weekends, with identical lineups like California's Coachella. Jazz Fest in New Orleans already has two weekends of music, but the lineups are different save some of the locals.
Fan chatter at Zilker Park this weekend was heavy on talk of next year, and whether or not it would change the dynamic of the event.
For one, this will tie up one side of Austin for nearly three weeks, in terms of raising and striking the festival, not to mention the trauma on the park grounds that will occur. The whole fan-perceived magic of one weekend out of the year being devoted to ACL will be gone too.
Economically, it will be a boon for the city on par with SXSW and the fastly-growing Fun Fun Fun Fest. Disgruntled locals are already harrumphing over the idea of spending two weeks with muddy out-of-towners, traffic snarls, and other general headaches. SXSW lasts almost two weeks now, with the interactive portion nearly eclipsing the music side this past year in terms of star-wattage.
For the organizers though, it's a good way alleviate the stress of heavy crowds, lightening the mental loads on the staff, artists, and vendors. Everyone will make double the cash too. With a dynamite lineup, they could sell out two weekends straight. For sure there will be some rich folks who will line up for two rounds of ACL.
This could open the door for larger-scale events too. The Rolling Stones are trickling out dates for late 2012 and 2013 is imminent. Having them headline two straight weekends next October would be a moneymaker.
The Stones have hinted at discarding the normal road-dogging touring model for instead camping out in one major city for days at a time for multiple shows. At their age, it makes total sense.
Throw in Daft Punk one other night and you have a major happening, as would the addition of U2, but they could probably both headline the park all on their own.
If Bruce Springsteen and his fleet aren't back in hibernation by next October, they could be a great get too. Houston didn't even get a date with the Boss this past year.
Country could finally have its day at ACL too, with Taylor Swift and the Zac Brown Band now able to command profitable crowds.
Having major musical acts tethered to Austin for two weeks would also be grand for cities like Houston, Dallas and New Orleans, who could get run-off shows.
Acts like Mumford & Sons, Peter Gabriel, Pearl Jam, Beck, Green Day, Modest Mouse, No Doubt, Muse, Drake, Depeche Mode, DeadMau5 could make for a boffo lineup.
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As for the undercards, those are always a surprise, plus EDM is always a spoiler, creating giant acts able to fill arenas right under our noses. Who knew that Avicii was an ACL headliner until a few months ago?
The Arcade Fire has hinted about releasing their follow-up to 2010's The Suburbs sometime in 2013 too, and we all know how big of a draw they can be, anytime anywhere.