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ACL day 1 recap: Miley Cyrus plays all the 'bangerz,' Megan Thee Stallion fans twerk, MGK climbs high

Miley Cyrus played to a group of deliriously excited fans and sang some diverse discography. (Charles Reagan for ACL Fest)

Festival-goers were all smiles as Austin City Limits kicked off on Friday—especially when there was no rain. A delayed start, the day went off without a hitch with performances by headliners Machine Gun Kelly, Megan Thee Stallion, Miley Cyrus and George Strait.

Although the forecast called for rain, skies were clear most of the day, other than some short showers during Cyrus' set.

Here's what the day looked like:

8 p.m. Miley Cyrus puts on a rock-n-roll performance at the Honda stage

Miley Cyrus reemerged for her own set this time, dressed in a pink bodysuit, heeled boots, a large belt and "real big" hair, which the rockstar said she chose in honor of Texas. Cyrus didn't stick to any one album, she sang songs back from her early days, including "The Climb," and "Wrecking Ball."

Of course, Cyrus was sure to perform the namesake song from her new album "Plastic Hearts" as well as paying tribute to Janis Joplin. Cyrus said after a year of loneliness due to COVID, her heart was full to be performing at festivals again.

"I'm sure some of us grew up together," Cyrus said to the audience. "I'm still a little bit shocked every time people actually show up to one of my concerts but this festival is lined up with so many fucking incredible artists. I thank y'all so much for surrounding me at this stage."

7:30 p.m. Megan Thee Stallion invites crowd members on stage and gets a surprise from Miley Cyrus for TwerkFest 2021

(Roger Ho, Jackie Lee Young and Todd Owyoung for ACL Fest)

Megan Thee Stallion took over the Honda stage wearing a white corset top reading "Stallion" and hot pink shorts, the perfect outfit for the twerking "Hot Girl Coach" herself. A Houston native, Stallion gushed over how happy she was to be home in the Lone Star State.

About halfway into the festival, Stallion brought some "hotties" from the crowd to dance with her on the stage and Cyrus made an appearance, hugged Stallion and watched from the side of the stage for the rest of the show. Also backstage, the camera showed a glimpse of Billie Eilish jamming to Meg.

Bonfils kisses Spurlin's cheek, celebrating their shared birthday today. (Laura Figi/Austonia)

Madeline Bonfils and Jasmine Spurlin, Detroit natives, were in town for their shared birthday weekend and serendipitously grabbed tickers for the festival. The pair said seeing Stallion, with all of her body positivity and love for her fans, reminding them of home.

"It was all voluptuous women and Megan, she brings forth body positivity," Bonfils said. "I like that she brought people from the crowd onstage because that shows she's humble and that she's a human."

5:30 p.m. ‘Fit check!

​(Laura Figi/Austonia)

Rebecca Hopkins drove from Houston to see the bands at ACL—day one is her all-tie dye outfit. Hopkins says she's most excited to see Bille Eilish, who she has seen several times.

“We do a lot of festivals so we're just happy to be back," Hopkins said.

(Laura Figi/Austonia)​

Morgan Glass put on her grooviest outfit for her favorite performer, Miley Cyrus. The best part of her ensemble is that it comes in pairs—Glass is meeting up with a friend wearing the exact same outfit.

“Miley Cyrus, I've know her since watching Hannah Montana," Glass said. “I love her vibe, I love who she is. She's so free-spirited."

4:30 Machine Gun Kelly takes the Honda stage

(Sonia Garcia/Austonia)

After a frantic entrance to the festival (beware the Barton Springs West entrance), ACL attendees began to file into Zilker Park. Machine Gun Kelly took the stage first, ripping guitar riffs and an excited audience. Fans were clapping less than 15 minutes in. Toward the end of the show, MGK climbed up to a high platform on the stage.

The bad boy punk artist performed on Thursday at Stubb's for the festival's first night show. He said he had been wanting to perform at ACL for years and what a big moment it was to perform since he played at South by Southwest a few years back to a small crowd. He also thanked fans for helping him win his first MTV Video Music Award this year.

3:30 p.m. Barton Springs West entrance attracting massive crowds

(Laura Figi/Austonia)

The entrance to the festival was backed up to South Lamar as of 3 p.m., so the entrance is not for the faint of heart. Though the forecast called for rain, there have been clear skies since 11 a.m.!

11:20 a.m: Updated schedule released

The updated schedule is up and several artists paid the price. Asleep at the Wheel, Audic Empire, Darkbird, Unusual Demont, Bexley, Claud, Primo the Alien; Nothing, Nowhere; Q and Nané were all cut from the lineup.

Fans were disappointed at the array of cancelations and some speculated that it would mean the entire festival will be canceled. It also seems the performances won't be rescheduled—Primo the Alien confirmed to Austonia that her set was canceled altogether.

10 a.m: Festival is delayed until 3 p.m.

Delaying the festival means canceling several sets—stay tuned for lineup updates.

Clear skies are expected from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. but the rest of the day is looking like rainy skies. Keep your attire light, moisture-wicking and covered in a waterproof barrier for optimal comfort.

We'll be updating right here throughout the day

No judgment if you've waited until now to prepare! Before you head out, give our guides a quick read so you can get the most out of your wristband.


    Tito's releases (not so?) ugly sweater line for the holidays, profits to charity

    Tito's Handmade Vodka

    Show your love for Tito's and for the community this year with a wide selection of not that ugly, uglyish, ugly, uglier, and ugliest holiday sweaters.

    There's lots choose from, and plenty of accessories like scarves and socks, plus gear for your dog, too.

    All of the items can be purchased online or at the Love, Tito’s Retail Store in Austin, TX. 100% of all net proceeds from online or in-store purchases go to one of the nonprofits we’ve teamed up with.

    Click here to see the entire collection in the Tito's store.

    Mac and Cheese Fest and Free Art Exhibit
    Waterloo Greenway, Good Vibrations Installation

    🗓 All weekend

    🎨 Creek Show Art Exhibit

    Check out this highly anticipated art exhibition with illuminated art along Waller Creek. Tickets are free and the event includes food vendors, dazzling lights, live music, and hands-on activities

    All weekend 6 p.m - 10 p.m | 📍Waterloo Park

    ✨ Mozart's Light Show

    This iconic holiday tradition lights up for the first time this holiday season starting this weekend! Reserve your spot for an enchanting light and sound performance, delicious hot cocoa, sweet treats, and some overall fun with your friends or family. The show runs till January 6th.

    6 p.m and 9 p.m | 📍Mozart's Coffee Roasters - 3825 Lake Austin Blvd, Austin, TX 78703

    🗓 Saturday

    🥊 Kickboxing in the Park

    This fitness event is free and open to the public. Get your morning started right with a "Fitness in the park" class for kickboxing! The class will be led by certified instructors and is a great way to get a cardio workout in while also honing your self-defense skills.

    10 a.m - 11 a.m | 📍 Metz Park

    🛍 The Front Market

    Support local LBGTQ+ and female artists at this outdoor market with over 150 vendors. Get your holiday shopping out of the way at this event, with vendors for food trucks, handmade goods, raffles, hands on workshops and activities, and more.

    11 a.m - 5 p.m | 📍Ani's Day and Night - 7107 E Riverside Drive, Austin, TX 78741

    🗓 Sunday

    🧀 Mac and Cheese Fest

    Did someone say cheese?! If you're like me and always willing to get your hands on a bowl of mac and cheese, then this event is for you. Check out the Mac and Cheese festival happening this weekend to decide which vendor has. the best mac and cheese for yourself, and enjoy the bar with creative cocktails while you're at it. Tickets start at $45.

    11 a.m - 3 p.m | 📍Lantana Place - 7415 Southwest Parkway