soulciti at acl 16 FRIDAY \\ WEEKEND II

The 2016 ACL FESTIVAL features a lineup performing on eight stages at Zilker Park over two weekends, Sept. 30-Oct. 2, and Oct. 7-9.

ACL Fest is a self-contained beast, and if you haven't been there before, it can be daunting – especially the first time. There are a lot of people around, which may throw some Black folks off. ACL is great time every year, but if it's your first time and you're not ready for it, you may not get the best impression. With these key tips, you'll be ready to navigate the monster that is ACL Fest and going like a pro in no time.

ROLL WITH A SQUAD // How deep does your squad roll? That crew love comes in handy whether you're setting up a section to watch the show, or standing in the vendor lines. Keeping that comfort and familiarity helps alleviate the stress of being in large crowds.

BRING YOUR FLAG // Like many festivals or large gatherings of people, the cellular service will SUCK. With a flag, balloons, or hilarious sign on a long pole, you know where your people are, making it crucial in finding your friends if you happen to get separated.

WEAR THE RIGHT SHOES // You know we love our shoes, but in Zilker Park you will be doing a great deal of walking on dead grass and dirt. So, unless you got it like that, maybe those new Jordan's or fly boots may not be the move for you.

THE MAP IS YOUR FRIEND // Whether using the ACL app or the map/schedule from the festival entrance, knowing showtimes and stages helps you plan group rendezvous using ACL landmarks, such as the picture frame,


HYDRATE // Water refill stations are scattered throughout the park, making it easy to stay hydrated. Having your own bottle also saves money if you don't want to break the bank at the vendors.

FLASHLIGHT // If you're staying for any of the headliners, it will get dark quickly. To navigate your way out of the park, use a small flashlight and not your phone to save those precious cellular juices.

BANDANA // If you're being a savage and going to all three days of the fest, help keep your allergies to a manageable minimum by having a bandana or cloth to cover your nose and mouth. This is a pro tip that nearly everyone on working on the production side uses.

BLANKETS & CHAIRS // You'll do a lot of walking but you may want to post-up with a section and relax. There are many areas to squad-up outside the "No Chairs" area. The more people you have, the more likely you can kickback in comfort by setting up chairs and blankets. The earlier you set up, the better.

YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR // There are levels to this ish. General admission will only get you so far. With different passes – like Backstage, Artist, and Platinum – you gain access to lounges with complimentary drinks, Wifi, rest areas, golf cart transportation, and even catering in some instances. There’s no comparison between the experience of General Admission and upgraded passes. If you want to really enjoy the fest, spend that little extra or find you a hook up.


VETERAN TIP: WALKIE TALKIES // If you are not new to this but true to this, walkie talkies are clutch addition to your utility belt. Keep in contact with your peoples and save your phone battery while everyone else is struggling for those bars.


TORY LANEZ was LIT! From the moment he walked out wearing a black ski mask, he owned the crowd and the stage. His rebellious energy was absolutely infectious. When he finally got into the crowd, all hell broke loose. People used any parts of their bodies that they could to hold him up as he crowd walked! Lanez performed like it was his last time and gave his fans everything he had.

Words and photo by Monique Hatch

Photos by Stephanie Devon Warren
Bobby Steelz AKA RZA \\ Photo by Stephanie Devon Warren

Banks & Steelz bumps and sputters

My girl Shiu crinkled her nose when I asked what she thought of the BANKS & STEELZ performance. I understood, you don't want to be the one that says something RZA is a part of is bad, but, the show needed some work. Although the group – a collaborative effort between PAUL BLANKS and BOBBY STEELZ (RZA of the Wu-Tang Clan)– plays well together instrumentally, Banks’ vocals and RZA’s rhymes seemed like incompatible puzzle pieces.

Words by Monique Hatch

Flying Lotus \\ Photo by Stephanie Devon Warren

Happy Birthday FlyLo, from Austin, with Love

FLYLO performed at ACL Festival tonight, like a diabolical villain working from the death ray console in his secret lair. He surprisingly steps out from behind the screens that pulse with psychedelic seizure-inducing-like visuals to leave his throne and deliver rhymes from his Captain Murphy project.

In true villainous form, he goads and taunts the audience with clever quips, awkward humor, and banter, also poking fun at the crowd, many of whom who don't seem to be aware of who he is. It’s no wonder his music fit in so well with Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim programming.

Making a point to announce it is his birthday and call his friend bass virtuoso Thundercat out to the stage to come finish his Patron bottle for him, FlyLo used that as a perfect transition to play the song “Wesley's Theory” from Kendrick TPAB-produced by Thundercat himself, while blending it with a Parliament Funkadelic track. This setup the perfect lead-in to his Kendrick-featured album title track "You're Dead”. He ended the set by asking the crowd to sing happy birthday during Radiohead's set, as it is frontman Thom Yorke's birthday, as well.

FlyLo closed out the show by letting the crowd know they have the chance to change the world with the upcoming election, and then realizing he lost his sunglasses on stage.

Words by Russell Dizer


Major Lazer, comprised of DIPLO, JILLIONAIRE, and WALSHY FIRE, started off with a high-octane set complete with dancers clad in shiny outfits, exciting visuals, pyrotechnics, and fog machines spewing smoke with reckless disregard.

With Jillionaire initially holding down the decks, Diplo and Walshy Fire (with his arm in a sling, no less) hype the party up and work the crowd beautifully, commanding the sea of ACL goers to leave their feet and move their bodies. This trio also shows their individual skills in crowd moving, switching back and forth on the decks

The spectacle of creating an experience for the show is not lost on this group, by any means. Many times during the set, the trio throw swag into the crowd. At one point, Walshy Fire even hops into a large plastic globe and rolls across the crowd.

Their dancers, though, may have stolen the show with their crisp, energetic choreography.

Words by Russell Dizer \\ Photos by Stephanie Devon Warren

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