Will ACL push SXSW out in the near future?

2013’s Austin City Limits billed a wide array of artists spanning almost every genre, which is suspicious in that Austin’s claim to fame, second only to “being weird,” is the equally eclectic and massive SXSW. It’s sort of mind-blowing that a city with population under 1MM can support as many festivals as Austin hosts these days, but I guess if you build it they will come? Or something?

In all seriousness though, I had many a conversation with SXSW veterans while I was in town last, who’ve watched the event swell over the last 15 years, and they fear SXSW’s rapid growth since 2009 is dangerous and unsustainable (think the 2008 real estate collapse). With Austin’s equally (if not more) profitable and flourishing digital media industry comes more and more corporate culture, posing a potentially lethal problem for the no-holds-barred festival which occupies all of downtown, and even spills over into the city’s east hand, beyond I-35. It appears unofficial showcases, illegal venues, and satellite events would be the first to go as the city cracks-down, enforcing stricter permit requirements and policies that would prevent promoters from erecting outdoor stages and temporary fences. Furthermore, it appears ACL’s more conventional structure and modest size, although it, too is expanding, would be a shoe-in for a “replacement,” thus making it a threat.

For now, it will remain as the halfway point to next year’s South By, running two weekends in October, the 4th-6th and 11th-13th, and it will be interesting to see the outcome of what appears to be a battle for show-goers’ dollars. With a headliner-laden lineup like this one, I’d call ACL a contender.

Austin City Limits 2013:

Depeche Mode
The Cure
Muse
Kings of Leon
Atoms for Peace
Lionel Richie
Phoenix
Wilco
Vampire Weekend
The National
Eric Church
Passion Pit
Arctic Monkeys
Queens of the Stone Age
fun.
Kendrick Lamar
Franz Ferdinand
D’Angelo
Kaskade
Tame Impala
Local Natives
The Shouting Matches
Toro Y Moi
Grimes
Portugal. The Man
Silversun Pickups
The Joy Formidable
Neko Case
Divine Fits
Grouplove
Jimmy Eat World
The Black Angels
The Bright Light Social Hour
The Mavericks
Okkervil River
Shuggie Otis
Purity Ring
Dawes
Haim
Smith Westerns
Junip
Walk the Moon
Vintage Trouble
Noah and the Whale
Paper Diamond
Lissie
Pinback
The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion
Wild Belle
Phosphorescent
Court Yard Hounds
Thao & the Get Down Stay Down
Foxygen
Little Green Cars
Savages
Autre Ne Veut
Parquet Courts
FIDLAR
White Denim
True Believers
Blind Boys of Alabama
Delta Rae
Jake Bugg
Lone Bellow
Electric Guest
Dan Croll
Deap Vally
Wild Nothing
Typhoon
Hundred Waters
Twin Forks
Red Baraat
Electric Six
Shovels & Rope
Reignwolf
Mona
MS MR
Widowspeak
Asleep at the Wheel
Bear Mountain
Greensky Bluegrass
JD McPherson
Valerie June
Wild Feathers
Roadkill Ghost Choir
JC Brooks and the Uptown Sound
Desert Noises
Band of Heathens
Holly Williams
Alanna Royale
Cherub
The Dynamites featuring Charles Walker
Shinyribs
Jacuzzi Boys
Wick-it the Instigator
Shakey Graves
Houndmouth
Wild Cub
Peterson Brothers Band
Luella and the Sun
X Ambassadors
Sons of Fathers
Courrier
My Jerusalem
Not In the Face
Dana Falconberry
Bobby Jealousy
Whiskey Shivers
The Preservation
Max Frost
Latasha Lee & The BlackTies
Caleb
Shannon LaBrie
Andrew Duhon
Kristin Diable & The City
Colin Lake
Brooke Waggoner
Tyree Morris & Hearts of Worship
Endurance
The Stapletones
Heavenly Voices Choir
The McCrary Sisters
Disciples of Christ
The Hensley Ensemble
The Durdens
The Warrior Gospel Band
Barton Hills Choir
The Verve Pipe
School of Rock
Tim and the Space Cadets
Peter DiStefano & Tor
Grace London
Playdate
The Ohmies
The Q Brothers
Andy Z
Caspar Babypants