Show goes on for some ACL bands despite canceled festival


by MARK WIGGINS and photojournalist CHRIS SHADROCK

KVUE News Austin

Posted on October 14, 2013 at 10:56 AM

Updated Monday, Oct 14 at 11:09 AM

AUSTIN -- Under the weathered gaze of Willy Nelson's likeness, thousands stood in line to salvage a final day of the Austin City Limits Music Festival canceled by storms.

"We were bummed out man, as soon as we heard this morning," said Fry Nino of Houston. "It was the worst experience ever. I felt really down on my luck."

"Worst day of the weekend, definitely," said concert goer Allen Alaniz, who made the trip from Cincinnati to watch Atoms for Peace, the alternative rock supergroup featuring Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke and Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea.

What began as a fair weather Friday soon soured. A Saturday night deluge left the grounds at Zilker Park saturated by Sunday morning, with video provided by the ACL Festival showing vast pools of water where crowds stood hours before.

Despite the rain, many who lined up outside the Moody Theater for a quickly organized makeup show by Atoms for Peace said Saturday's soggy experience wasn't so bad.

"It was life as if the Cure was calling for the rain to come. It was awesome," said Nino.

"The experience was made more intense because of it. It was fantastic!" concurred Diego Pulido of Austin. Still, Pulido says he won't be praying for rain at future festivals. "No it shouldn't rain, because then it gets canceled like today and a lot of people are left without seeing it. But at least for a brief moment, it adds to the experience I think."

Festival promoters C3 Presents issued a statement Sunday saying, “Our first priority is always the safety of our fans, staff and artists. We regret having to cancel the show today, but safety always comes first.”

The accompanying media release stated concert goers will have a third of their ticket prices refunded by Front Gate Tickets within three weeks. Meanwhile a number of bands including Atoms for Peace, Franz Ferdinand and the Mowglis announced alternate venues for the final day.

Yet with an estimated 75,000 daily concert goers forced to alter their plans, will it be enough to salvage the weekend?

"No," said Noah Marion, explaining it's not about the money. "It's the fun. I look forward to it all week, or all year. So the fact that they're giving us a third of the money, it's like, 'Who cares?'"

"Gladly Austin is a city that caters to the live music scene, so it does help that," said Pulido. "But I don't know if that would happen in any other city to be honest. So it does make it better."

"They're still giving us our money back and we're getting this show, so yeah," said Nino, after pausing to consider. "I do feel a lot better about it. I sure do."

"I was pretty bummed at first, but I'm pretty excited that they're putting on this show now," said Mark Lopez of Austin. Another waiting in line summed it up, "As long as the show's going on, it doesn't suck. We're all pretty happy with it."

The performance by Atoms for Peace is streaming online at