The Austin City Limits Music Festival, taking place Sept. 16-18 in the city's Zilker Park, announced its lineup yesterday and sold out single-day passes for Friday and Saturday within two hours, Charles Attal, partner in ACL Fest producer C3 Presents, told Billboard.biz. He added that "only a few" tickets were left for the Sunday single-day at press time.
A limited number of three-day passes went on sale before the lineup was announced and sold out in 10 minutes to ACL Fest e-list subscribers.
"Last year it took us two weeks [to sell out]," Attal said. "Austin has responded to [the lineup] and we're grateful to be where we are in the city."
The lineup for the 10th anniversary ACL Fest includes Stevie Wonder, Arcade Fire, Kanye West, Coldplay, My Morning Jacket, Fleet Foxes, Alison Kraus & Union Station, Nas & Damian "Jr Gong" Marley, Cee Lo, Bright Eyes, Social Distortion, Randy Newman, Broken Social Scene, Chromeo, Court Yard Hounds, Mavis Staples, and many more.
Attal said the lineup reflects the diverse musical tastes of the city. "The show sold out in two hours, and that's a testament to Austin and Central Texas and how they respond to the regional scene here," he said. "I feel like we have a really, really good lineup this year. If you love music we've got something for everybody, and that's what we set out to accomplish."
While Attal pays attention to fan reaction to the lineup on blogs and social sites, he said he doesn't let negativity bother him. "You can't focus on the 100 people on Facebook that are complaining," he said. "When they're complaining, lot of people don't understand how hard it is to get the bands to play. There are some bands that, of course, we'd like to get, there's some we miss, and there's some that aren't on cycle. A lot of fans will ask for certain bands, and if they're on cycle and working, I'll go after it. But if they're not working, there's nothing I can do about that."
In general, Attal said the talent-booking process for ACL was a bit more challenging this year. "It's all about the time of year, when bands are working," he explained. "Some years you catch them when they're all working in September and October, some years they're working into August then going into Europe and UK for the festivals over there, and they take off in September. It's all about timing, and this year the timing was a little bit tough. But it just took a little longer to get it where we wanted."
Last year, ACL Fest sold out and grossed $15.3 million, according to Billboard Boxscore.
C3 also produces Lollapalooza, which is set for Grant Park in Chicago, Aug. 5-7. Eminem, Foo Fighters, Muse, Coldplay and My Morning Jacket are among those booked. "With Lolla, all the pieces fell into place," Attal said. "It was one of those things where a lot of bands were on cycle and wanted to work in August, and, again, it's just about timing." He added that sales are 40% ahead of last year for Lolla, which grossed $17.2 million last year, according to Boxscore.