As a long-time Austin City Limits festival goer, Ashley Garcia was ecstatic to move to Austin in early 2020 and finally be in the same city as her favorite music festival. No more hotel rooms, hours of driving and extra fees to pay.
When COVID-19 hit and event cancelations swept through 2020, though some were proud of the organizers for taking the festival to a virtual format, many Austinites held their breath for an ACL that never happened.
"You could tell they were holding on as long as possible," Garcia said. "I guess those last months, that's when they finally gave the final word of 'nope, it's canceled.' It was so heartbreaking."
This year holds a glimmer of hope for festival attendees, artists and organizers alike. According to Fresh and Clean Media Director of Publicity Sandee Fenton, ACL still plans to hold an in-person festival in 2021, as promised. Though Fenton declined to answer further questions, she issued the following statement to Austonia:
"We are currently planning to hold the festival in Zilker Park in October. We remain in communication with local officials and will offer updates through our website and social media when we have more information to share. Of course, the health and safety of our fans, artists, staff and community is our number one priority and planned for accordingly."
Holding the festival this year will be a daunting task—ACL attracts almost 500,000 fans every year, a figure that doesn't include staff or performers, and tightly packs them together in front of stages.
At ACL 2019, fans packed so far behind Childish Gambino's stage that it was nearly impossible to see the band. (Laura Figi/Austonia)
For artists, the restart of gigs, concerts and festivals couldn't come soon enough, especially for Austin-born-and-raised artist Jackie Venson, who told Austonia that sheltering in place has made her feel confined after a jam-packed year of performing in 2019.
"I felt like I was just screaming at the walls I was stuck inside of, it was really crazy," Venson said. "When I lost my tour and when (festivals were) canceled, and I lost all of that income and all of that activity, I realized how dependent I was on certain things."
Venson performed at ACL 2018 and was part of last year's virtual live stream.
Jackie Venson at ACL 2018.
Although Venson said she found a certain independence in live streaming and being able to directly connect with her audience, after getting a COVID-19 vaccine through a volunteer program, she is ready to book as many shows as possible. Venson said she would even play ACL 2021 if she is asked.
"I don't think that musicians can get any lower than they are right now," Venson said. "I don't think that we'll ever get a harder blow than any of the blows of last year ... because if (musicians) can get through last year, period, they can handle anything. Anything."
Though the popular California music festival Coachella, which is normally held in April, was canceled due to COVID-19 in January, many other festivals are following in the footsteps of ACL. New York City's The Governor's Ball, normally held in June, has been postponed to September this year for optimal chances, Tennessee's Bonnaroo is scheduled to go on in September and while Chicago's Lollapalooza has neither confirmed nor denied the festival yet, it is run by the same companies as ACL and still has the 2021 tickets page up.
And aside from music events, locally, the University of Texas said this week it plans to have 100% capacity for fall football games this year, which would mean the gathering of 100,000 people at the Darrel K. Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium.
Ashley Garcia in front of the iconic ACL flags in 2016. She has gone to ACL every year for some time, until it was canceled last year. (Ashley Garcia)
For Garcia, anything is better than a virtual concert. If ACL 2021 goes on, she hopes to see Chicano Batman, a band that holds special meaning to her and represents her Hispanic heritage, and Austin's own Black Pumas, who captured her interest the first time she heard them play.
"I'll be the first one to buy a ticket," Garcia said. "I think (ACL) really does give Austin that 'Austin vibe.' You can tell everyone's there for one reason with the connection of the music and just having a good time. I think that all of that together makes it feel much bigger than it is."
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Atop one of Austin's signature rolling hilltops, 1501 Ridgecrest Drive is similar to one of the plush palaces that one might find in Calabasas. For $10.9 million, the home has four bedrooms, four-and-a-half bathrooms and caps at 10,498 square feet.
Park in the massive, fully air-conditioned garage before walking in, where you'll have eight full spaces to park your collection of cars. If you're not a collector, the garage makes an excellent studio space.
The wide-open living spaces will draw your eyes to the two-story ceilings, glass catwalk, integrated fireplace and wall of floor-to-ceiling windows that overlook the pool.
Though the house was built in 2011, it doesn't show its age. Sleek, clean lines lead seamlessly from the formal living area to an elite open-plan kitchen. Separated by a 25-foot waterfall island that can seat at least eight people, the kitchen is fitted with only the finest Miele and Subzero appliances. The custom cabinets are just as pricey as the rest of the place, finished with custom high-gloss Aston Martin (you read that right) paint.
Upstairs in the sprawling master's suite, there are enough amenities to never have to set foot outside again. Armani tile floors, space for living and a walk-in showcase closet lead into the resort-style bathroom, where you'll find dual vanities, a walk-in shower and a lounging bathtub.
The bedroom is a quick elevator trip away from the "party" room, complete with a bar, wine room and movie theater, only the best for entertaining. If your guests are staying over, rest assured they'll be comfortable with the kitchenette, washer and dryer and spa-like bath in their suite.
Though summer has passed, you can still enjoy the grand lap pool's unobstructed Hill Country views, many private lounging areas, grill a homemade snack at the outdoor kitchen or shoot some hoops at the newly-added court.
The listing is held by Compass' Gary Dolch.
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In what could be one of their least energetic showing to date, Austin FC was outperformed by home team San Jose in a 4-0 road loss late Wednesday night.
As the first team officially out of playoff contention in a loss on Saturday, the team seemed defeated from almost the moment they hit the pitch as Quakes standouts Chris Wondolowski and Javier "Chofis" Lopez scored on the team.
A 10th-place San Jose maintained a clean sheet in the match as they inched closer to a last-minute spot in playoffs.
Just as they did in their 1-0 loss Saturday, it was Austin FC who struck first in the match. Captain Alex Ring forced a save from Quakes keeper JT Marcinkowski in just the second minute of play, while star forward Sebastian Driussi followed soon after.
A little over 10 minutes later, San Jose responded with a shot of their own as Austin keeper Brad Stuver was forced into action with a diving save. But with a failing backline and a lack of energy throughout, a frustrated Stuver wouldn't be enough to stave off the home team Quakes in their four-goal triumph.
After a slow first half, San Jose star Chofis was the first to strike after sneaking past Stuver to make it 1-0 for the home team to kick off the second half.
Just five minutes later, Quakes midfielder Benjamin Kikanovic broke free with a fast-paced drive in a play that saw two Asutin FC players hit the ground to double the lead. Stuver and other players were immediately outraged in the controversial call after an apparent handball in the box.
MLS' top all-time scorer Chris Wondolowski capitalized on the slow Austin defense next, taking a pause in the box to score the third goal unmanned in the 59th minute.
Finally, Carlos Fierro clinched the win for the home team after placing a header from six yards out off of a cross and corner kick to end the match 4-0 for San Jose.
Austin Head Coach Josh Wolff attempted to staunch the wound with a series of subs starting at the beginning of the second half, subbing in native Austinite McKinze Gaines for Moussa Djitte and Rodney Redes for Cecilio Dominguez. But no subs were enough to push back against the 'Quakes as the team lost their second match in a row.
Austin FC has four final matches to end the season, including two remaining home matches against the Houston Dynamo at 4 p.m. on Sunday and a final match at Q2 Stadium against Sporting Kansas City at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 4.
Here's a live blog of the match:
85' San Jose makes it 4-0
Austin FC once again can't plug holes in the box as San Jose scores their fourth goal of the match off a set piece and header to make it 4-0 in the 85th minute. The Quakes' Carlos Fierro scores on a header from close up after a well-placed cross from Cristian Espinoza as a frustrated Stuver is unable to block the six-yard shot.
Frustrated and sluggish, Austin FC appears to have lost their chance at a win or draw in one of their worst losses by scoring margin this season.
59' Wondolowski scores for the "Quakes
Just a minute after he hits the pitch, MLS' all-time top scorer Chris Wondolowski tacks one more onto San Jose's lead as the home team leads 3-0 in the 59th minute. A beleaguered Austin leaves Wondolowski undefended as he receives the ball in the box, pauses and scores in the bottom right corner of goal.
It's looking to be an especially bad match for Austin, who already sit at the bottom of the West. The Verde and Black continue to be outperformed in their late-season road matches.
53' Austin doubles the lead
After a rough-and-tumble drive that saw two Austin FC players take a fall, San Jose's Benjamin Kikanovic shoots past Stuver to score the second goal of the match for the home team. The play drew ire from Austin FC players including Stuver, who said there was a handball in the box. Austin's defense continues to be outperformed in the match.
47' San Jose scores first
The Earthquakes finally capitalized on a sluggish Austin FC as San Jose's Javier "Chofis" Lopez snuck one past keeper Brad Stuver and a last-ditch dive from Austin's Jhohan Romana to net the first goal of the match. The goal is Lopez' 12th on the season.
40' Romana gets yellow carded
Romaña is trying to play flag football 😂 #AustinFC— Seth Davis (@sethdavis512) October 21, 2021
Austin FC's Jhohan Romana is the first to get yellow carded in the match after grabbing a jersey in the 40th minute of play. Seconds later, Austin nearly gets an opportunity as San Jose keeper JT Marcinkowski fumbles a blocked shot, but he passes the ball off before the Verde and Black can get one in off the rebound.
The Quakes repeat the move in the 41st minute as they nearly get one past Stuver, who is able to hold it down unguarded and grab a shot from Jeremy Ebobisse.
18' Stuver keeps it clean
Just like Saturday, it was Austin who struck first with a shot by Captain Alex Ring in just the second minute of play. Star newcomer Sebastian Driussi came soon after with a shot of his own, but the ball was once again kept out of goal.
Just over 10 minutes later, Austin keeper Brad Stuver got his first big test as the Quakes' Jeremy Ebobisse shot one towards the bottom left corner. In signature fashion, Stuver was able to keep a clean sheet.
Austin's "strongest lineup yet" may not have been able to finish in Saturday's loss, but they created plenty of chances. Wolff seems to have confidence in the starting XI and hasn't changed much for tonight.
Nick Lima is in for right back in Hector Jimenez's stead, while Cecilio Dominguez, Moussa Djitte and Sebastian Driussi lead up front. Center back Matt Besler remains out on concussion protocol.
Tesla's third-quarter profits were released on Wednesday afternoon and current richest-man-on-earth Elon Musk topped the charts since his high-profile transition to Austin.
Q3 held record-high deliveries for the electric vehicle manufacturer, despite chip shortages and supply chain issues. Revenue came in slightly shy of expectations but still yielded the most profitable quarter thus far for Tesla. Plus, adjusted earnings per share are also on the rise.
"A variety of challenges, including semiconductor shortages, congestion at ports and rolling blackouts, have been impacting our ability to keep factories running at full speed," Tesla said in a statement. "We believe our supply chain, engineering and production teams have been dealing with these global challenges with ingenuity, agility and flexibility."
According to Tesla's update, the EV giant's Q3 revenue came in at $13.76 billion—a big year-over-year increase as Tesla recorded $8.77 billion in Q3 of 2020. The expectation was $13.9 billion and though the company came in just a few million lower, it was the company's ninth-straight profitable quarter.
Though earnings were a touch lower than expected, adjusted earnings per share came in at $1.86, where expected had been $1.67, and a year ago was 76 cents per share.
An accomplishment for Tesla this quarter was delivering more than 241,300 vehicles worldwide from its California factory—almost half of what the company delivered throughout all of 2020.
This Q3 update comes on the heels of Tesla's announcement that it would move its headquarters to the capital city. Additionally, the new Gigafactory in southeast Travis County is looking more complete by the day. While full-scale production isn't slated to start until 2022, the factory has already begun testing its robotic assembly line.
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