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Ten Things I Learned at ACL

November 11, 2019

Ten Things I learned from ACL, my first music festival:

10) It’s hot even though it’s in October.  I haven’t sweat that much in a very long time.

9) You WILL get dirt everywhere.  Your sweat will leave little muddy rivers on your skin, your feet will have dirt “tan” lines, and you will be sneezing dirt for days.  #worthit

8) Mosh pits are fun, but they are also hot and sweaty, and you might get someone else’s hair on your leg (gross).  They’re a tad dangerous too; I was scared of losing my phone, water bottle, and glasses, but I survived, and you hopefully will too.

7) The artists will have great outfits, but they will not be the only fashionable people there.  There were so many people that I saw whose outfits amazed me. Some common thoughts I had: “How are you not burning up alive in that?!” and “Wow, those will be some interesting tan lines,” and, finally, “Goals.  I should ask her where she got her hat/boots/shirt/dress.” Jenny Lewis came onto the stage rocking a full pink sequins body suit with fuzzy sleeve cuffs and bell bottom pant cuffs, and I immediately added one to my Christmas list.  So! Much! Fashion!

6) There will be a lot of walking so be prepared to get your steps in.  I think I walked close to 10 miles every day from going back and forth between stages.  ACL is a pretty big festival ground, and they host a lot of people. You will probably take extra steps trying to dodge through the crowds around you.

5) Look out for cool, free souvenirs; they’re everywhere.  Several companies brought merch to give out, including water bottles, fans, sunglasses, and shirts. Free stuff is always fun, especially for a college student.  Also, the official ACL merch is pretty rad. 10/10 would recommend spending a little money on a t-shirt or two.

4) There will always be music playing and it’s an amazing experience.  ACL is a three-day music binge; your ears will be overloaded with beautiful harmonies and flowing lyrics, but you won’t hear me complaining (probably because of the music).  After I left, the silence felt strange and stifling.

3) Discovering new bands while they play live is pretty cool.  I hadn’t really listened to some of the artists before attending, but their music caught my attention and now I have added my favorite songs to my playlists.  Also, you might realize you do listen to their music without knowing it was that band that produced it, which is always a cool experience.

2) Seeing one of your favorite bands live is even better. MUMFORD AND SONS!!!! Need I say more?  But seriously, seeing one of your favorite bands is an amazing experience. You will probably know every song in their set, and it will give you chills.  You might even say, “omg, this is my song!” every time they start playing a new one. Guilty, but unashamed.

1) The grilled cheese place is amazing and you will wish they would open a store near you.  That’s all I have to say about that one. Just trust me: get the grilled cheese! You will not regret it!

Written by: Madilyn Latham Photo courtesy of

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