2014 marked the second year that Austin City Limits stands as a two-weekend festival, and round one (which wrapped on Sunday, Oct. 5) featured larger crowds in Zilker Park and more bass drops than ever, thanks to the noticeably larger influx of dance/electronic acts on the bill this year.
In fact, there were seven acts on the lineup that fell under the EDM umbrella (as opposed to 2013, where it was basically just Kaskade). Artists like Major Lazer and Zedd got crowds moving in the early evening hours, while Calvin Harris and Skrillex found themselves in headlining slots, shooting lasers across the night sky opposite Eminem and Pearl Jam who delivered dazzling sets on opposing stages. The lineup provided contrast to the high-BPM energy as well, as more easygoing acts like Sam Smith and Lana Del Rey also found themselves with prominent time slots and large, appreciative crowds.
The only thing ACL attendees seemed to talk about more than how dense the crowds were this year was Ebola, which was a constant topic of between-band conversation considering that a) an Ebola sample from the Dallas patient was being tested in an Austin laboratory, b) Ebola spreads by sweat and c) the U.N. and the C.D.C. admitted that the virus could go airborne, all in the days leading up to the festival. Nonetheless, festival attendees arrived in droves and weren’t afraid to interact w/ their fellow revelers as Austin was treated to sunny skies and some of the best bands on the festival calendar. Here’s a roundup of our 10 favorite moments from the weekend.