ACL day 2 recap: Billie Eilish and Phoebe Bridgers say 'bans off our bodies,' Doja Cat puts on an ethereal show
As ACL day two comes to a cathartic close with Billie Eilish's soft and angelic voice echoing throughout Zilker Park. ACL attendees must have been good this year because Saturday brought clear skies despite threats of bad weather.
In a word, day two was iconic. Each performer brought the personality—and political takes—to the stage with them, making sure even the people in the back of the audience felt part of the show.
8:30 p.m. Billie Eilish echoes Phoebe Bridgers, saying "shut the fuck up about our bodies."
Billie Eilish, three-time consecutive ACL performer, said her last in-person ACL performance was a favorite of her career but the new abortion law in Texas almost led to her pulling out of the festival.
"When they made that shit a law, I almost didn't want to do this show because I wanted to punish this fucking place for allowing that to happen here," Eilish said. "But then, I remembered that it's you guys that are the fucking victims and you deserve everything in the world."
As she made her speech, the screens read "bans off our bodies." When she finished, Eilish launched into one of her new songs, "Lost Cause." That wasn't the end of her political takes—Eilish reminded the audience about the urgency of climate change.
"If you don't think global warming exists you're a fucking loser," Eilish said.
The rest of Eilish's one-and-a-half-hour set was spent on classic favorites: "Ocean Eyes," "My Future" and "Bad Guy."
7:30 p.m. Doja Cat's set is a body-loving, ethereal paradise
(Greg Noire for ACL Fest)
Dressed like a forest nymph in a tattered ensemble, Doja Cat emerged with a troupe of dancers on an ethereal stage with colorful flora and fauna. As is expected, Doja Cat attracted a frenzied group of fans, including celebrities Shawn Mendes and Finneas.
Doja Cat brought along an autotune mic and sang nearly all of her most popular songs, starting her set with "Rules," then "Juicy," and ending with "Say So." There was no moving around in Doja Cat's crowd—fans were packed shoulder-to-shoulder for most of her performance.
Doja blessed us with a drum solo 🥁 pic.twitter.com/AIP7qs0AyD— Laura Figi (@figlet__) October 3, 2021
Doja Cat showed off her musical prowess with a drum solo right before transitioning into "Tia Tamera," which features Rico Nasty. Doja Cat's set boasted the biggest crowd on the Lady Bird stage of the night, packing people all the way back to the flags.
5:30 p.m. Phoebe Bridgers has a message for Greg Abbott
(Jackie Lee Young and Miranda McDonald for ACL Fest)
Phoebe Bridgers got on the Lady Bird stage at 4:20 dressed in a skeleton-esque top and blazer, with a message for Texas Governor Greg Abbott.
"Suck my dick, Greg," Bridgers said on stage.
The singer-songwriter recently released a cover of Bo Burnham's "That Funny Feeling," benefitting Texas Abortion Funds, and she has been performing the song across her tours.
Watch bands and hold hands . Enjoying ACL and Phoebe Bridgers pic.twitter.com/EnWdFAZKwh— Dave Hilgendorf (@DHilgy) October 2, 2021
Bridgers' loyal fans sang along to every song on her musing set.
4:30 p.m. Remi Wolf gets everyone in Zilker Park dancing
Singing her own unique brand of disco-pop, California native Remi Wolf put up a must-see set on the T-Mobile stage. Even from across the park, near the Lady Bird stage, fans of her music could be seen dancing to "Photo ID" while they waited for Phoebe Bridgers to perform.
Wolf had a little something for old and new fans alike: "Disco Man," "Liz" and "Monte Carlo" had the audience excitedly screaming the lyrics right back at her.
Missed her set? Wolf will be back, same time and place, next weekend.
4 p.m. 'Fit check!
From left to right, 22-year-old Grace Spruce, 23-year-old Kendal Smith and 21-year-old Clarissa Smith coordinated their outfits colorfully to stand out in the Doja Cat crowd. The trio said they are most excited to see Tyler, The Creator when he headlines tomorrow night.
2 p.m. Check-in with Primo the Alien
Primo the Alien has been making music since high school but she took it pro in 2017. (Laura Figi/Austonia)
A Texas native and Austin resident, Primo the Alien aka Laura Lee was one of the unfortunate crew that had their sets canceled yesterday. Though Lee was disheartened and sad to miss her first-ever ACL, she said she was still honored to be included in the lineup.
"While I didn't get to have my set, I'm still on the lineup, and that in and of itself is like a big honor," Lee said. "When I first started this project, I was writing producing everything myself from my guest bedroom here in Austin."
Zilker Park missed out on an out-of-this-world set—Lee said she has been inspired by space themes and rock operas since she began performing as her alter ego in 2017.
Still want to support your local artists? Lee said the best way to keep her going is to stream her music, show up for concerts and wear her merch, which is still available in the park.
1 p.m. Austinite Sir Woman plays for a packed crowd at the Tito’s Vodka stage
Singer for Wild Child and Austinite Kelsey Wilson was a crowd favorite, performing under the packed Tito's tent. With new songs, like “Fuck it Up," coupled with older releases like “High Road," Wilson sang with energy and gusto.
"I fucking love this city," Wilson told the audience right before playing "Blame it on the Water."
Sights from the park: El Arroyo wants you to have your taco and eat it too
Catch this cheeky little photo op at the South side of the park near the Lady Bird stage.
12:05 p.m. Aaron Stephens puts on a dreamy set at the VRBO stage
The first Austin-based artist of the day performed to a relaxed crowd as one of today’s starting performers. Stephens’ soulful voice, funky guitar riffs and harmonic background singers lulled the audience, many of whom were lounging back in the grass.
Stephens shared this time slot with LA-based Skyler Day on the T-Mobile stage and PayDay on the Miller Lite stage.
11:50 a.m. Wait times at the Barton Creek West entrance are much shorter but rain clouds are creeping in
Attendees could make it through the Barton West entrance in a matter of minutes around noon but with shorter wait times comes cloudy skies. Chance of rain is still hovering around 15% but no drops to be seen!
10 a.m. weather update
Very little rain fell yesterday—short and light showers during Cyrus' set—and little rain is expected again today. The chance of rain has fallen from 80% to just 15% throughout the whole day.
Don't miss Austinites Aaron Stephens and Sir Woman on the VRBO stage at 12:05 p.m. and the Tito's Vodka stage at 1 p.m., respectively. Other notable acts for the day include Dayglow, Doja Cat, Surfaces and Missio.
Check out the full Saturday schedule:
ICYMI: Miley Cyrus, Megan Thee Stallion, Black Pumas and Machine Gun Kelly pull out all the stops for the long-awaited ACL kick-off
Though the weather caused an opening delay until 3 p.m., there was little mud and lots of fun on day one.
- The first major set to play was punk star Machine Gun Kely, who shredded on guitar and climbed his way to the top of the stage's platform so he could overlook the fans.
- Megan Thee Stallion put on a bumping, twerk-focused show where she brought about a dozen fans on stage to dance. A Houston native, Stallion said she was just happy to be home.
- After criticism for not including enough female artists, ACL atoned with a diverse array of women on stage this year. And they're supporting each other too—both Miley Cyrus and Billie Eilish were shown backstage to watch Stallion perform.
- Cyrus stunning onlookers in a pink one-piece suit and tapped into the nostalgia by playing songs from across her discography, like "The Climb" and "Wrecking Ball."
- George Strait played until 10 p.m. to a massive audience and you could hear the crowd singing "All My Ex's Live in Texas" from across the park.
We'll be updating right here throughout the day
Before you head out, give our guides a quick read so you can get the most out of your wristband.
- Start with our complete guide to ACL fest.
- Worried about a cancelation? Here's why that's not likely.
- Trying to catch some local legends? Here are all the Austin-based bands coming to ACL.
- Need a break from the music? Here are seven things you didn't know you could do at ACL.
- Still don't know what to wear?
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The holiday season is upon us, so get ready to celebrate with carols, snacks and light shows galore. Austin is full of holiday festivities spanning throughout all of December so get out and enjoy the cool weather while it lasts.
Don't miss these nine holiday-themed light shows.
Austin's most famous annual light show and a Readers Choice of USA Today's 10 Best Public Displays of Holiday Lights, the Trail of Lights will be drive-thru again this year Nov. 27-Dec. 31. For 57 years in a row, the Trail of Lights has lit up Zilker Park with games, food, local vendors and more than two million lights gleaming for the holidays. The event, as always, is free to the public and you can reserve slots here. The Zilker Tree is already up, so you can already see it if the holiday cheer is too much to bear.
Coming back for the second year in a row, Peppermint Parkway will transport you to COTALAND, where six million lights gleam and Christmas is just a one-mile drive away. The hybrid event will have you drive through the display of lights, dancing elves and unique little villages before you hit the walking plaza, where you can grab a bite to eat and meet Santa. Tickets range from $40-$95, some including a lap around the COTA track, running from Nov. 26-Dec. 26.
Dreamland Dripping Springs has been transformed into a winter wonderland—running throughout the month of December, the venue's first-ever holiday display is taking over with activities for the whole family. Plus, running from Nov. 20-Jan. 4, a pop-up ice skating rink will really bring the holiday cheer for $10 or $5 Monday specials. The lights display will feature half a million lights and warm, festive sips from the taproom.
With events galore for the holiday season, winter is really when the Hill Country Galleria thrives. Starting with its Light Up The Plaza event on Saturday from 6-8 p.m., where visitors can see Santa, gaze at the official lighting of the holiday tree and hear some live tunes from rock band American Authors. The Galleria will also hold a holiday market every Thursday, Friday and Saturday leading up to Christmas Eve and periodic photos with Santa at Buenos Aires Cafe.
Deck the Halls at the Driskill Hotel
(Courtesy of the Driskill Hotel)
This holiday season, the Driskill will deck out every nook and cranny of the historic hotel from the grand staircase to the 16-foot Christmas tree in the lobby to be lit on a Dec. 1 ceremony that will be open to the public. Touches of Driskill festivities can also be seen at Dell Children's Hospital with a gingerbread village for its annual "Cookies for Caring" event.
Kicking off the lighting of the tree on Saturday, Dec. 4, Austinites will gather on the steps of the Texas Capitol at 6 p.m. to sing the 45-foot tree to life. Afterward, local band Los Coast will close out the night with a free concert. The fun doesn't stop there though as the Downtown Austin Alliance will host the Downtown Holiday Stroll, with "holiday passports" and stamps to collect for local restaurants and stores, and a Frida Friday Holiday Market at Republic Square.
Combining festive holiday lights and the beautiful native plants of Central Texas, Luminations at the Wildflower Center is back with thousands of lights, luminarias and a lit-up look at Fortlandia. This year will also feature an interactive light maze called "silvana" by Ben Busche of architecture firm Brut Deluxe, which will be the maze's first appearance in North America. The event will run Thursdays-Sundays from Dec. 2-Jan. 30 for $10-$25 per person.
Reserved tables are back for Mozart's Coffee Roasters annual Christmas Lights Show for $20 four-person tables and $30 six-person tables—so get your tickets early because these tables are likely to sell out. The light show will also feature a festival-style Bavarian marketplace for those last-minute gifts. If you're too late to reserve a table, don't worry, there will be standing room available for free so come one, come all, and come early for parking.
From Dec. 2-4, Old Settlers Park will light up with holiday displays, family activities, festive refreshments and live music. Watch the balloons hover above the lake as you sip on a hot chocolate or give to those in need, with stands for Round Rock Operation Blue Santa, which is taking toys for kids in need, the Play For All Foundation, which is accepting cash donations for disabled children, and the People & Parks Foundation, accepting cash donations for green space in the community. Admission to the event is free, along with most of the activities in the park.
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In this season of gifts, giving, and gratitude, Tito's is making it easy to shop for your friends and loved ones while helping our community.
The beloved Austin company's Love, Tito's retail space, downtown at 215 Lavaca Street, is fully stocked with great gear. 100% of net proceeds of whatever you purchase—a new collar for your four-legged friend, a Tito's tee, some branded barware—go to the nonprofits they support. From the environment to animal rescue, you can choose your cause while choosing a new copper cocktail kit… or old school cap… or golf polo.
The store is stocked with stuff that the online experience just can't offer: never-before-seen swag, doggy photo booths (to say it's a dog-friendly space is an understatement), a record player to spin some tunes, and a bar finder listing local spots serving mean Tito's cocktails. Locals and out-of-town visitors alike can enjoy wonderful distractions while kicking back in an environment designed to cater to Tito's fans.
While you can't enjoy a cocktail there due to Texas liquor laws, the store offers unique experiences for any and all fans of the brand, and gives folks a chance to find what resonates with them while taking home a piece of the Tito's story.
*At our Love, Tito's store in Austin, net proceeds constitute an average margin of at least 25% of the retail price of a product, excluding the cost of tax on the purchase. We are not deducting cost of our people, the store rent or other operating costs.
NFTs, which are essentially unhackable codes used as one-of-a-kind "certificates of authenticity" paid for with cryptocurrency Ethereum, have been cropping up in the Austin art scene and worldwide—and they're quickly evolving into a sports fans' paradise as a new way to snag some bragging rights through digital trading cards, tickets and highlight reels.
Here are five Austin-based athletes and sports venues now involved in NFTs:
NiftyHorns—emerging Texas NFT producer
🚨🤘🏽Player Announcement!— Nifty Horns (@NiftyHorns) September 24, 2021
First up to the plate - a man who capped a scorching spring with postseason heroics in Omaha - from El Paso, TX…
Ivan Melendez! @ivanmelendez17_
NFT trading cards for the Hispanic Titanic will be available this fall as part of our first pack drop. pic.twitter.com/2xI3aMd6Tv
College sports' entrance to NFTs originally came from another Austin—a picture of Stephen F. Austin's women's basketball team as they made their first NCAA championship berth was the first to break into the market in March 2020.
Now with NCAA NIL rules in their favor, it's easier than ever for Texas athletes to cash in on their clout. The University of Texas' LEVERAGE Lineup looks to serve as a database to connect even walk-on Longhorn athletes—like Surly Horn's "Burnt Ends" tight ends deal—to lucrative sponsorship contracts.
But there hasn't yet been a database that gives each player their own Robinson-esque NFT trading card—until NiftyHorns stepped in with an NFT business model that they hope to one day have officially linked to the school.
They've already made headway with an NFT for Longhorns baseball player Ivan Melendez using the same blockchain utilized by TopShot.
"(We want to) not make it exclusive to star players or just the big three sports," NiftyHorns co-founder Josh Pitel said. "We feel very fortunate to be in a space where the fan base is large enough and passionate enough to actually support a wide variety of athletes."
Bijan Robinson—Candy.com trading card
With nearly 130,000 followers across Twitter and Instagram, Bijan Robinson is a star on and off the football field. He's used that clout to his advantage and partnered with Raising Cane's, Athletic Brewing and Centre Apparel.
And he's now following in the footsteps of NBA's TopShot with his very own NFT. Trading cards are a growing commodity in the NFT community, with TopShot raking in $700 million on cards, highlight reels and more last year.
Robinson's 100 Rare NFTs currently sit at $250 and feature a hero shot, his jersey number, position and an animated signature with a sleek, high-tech gold finish.
COTA NFTs—360 views and tickets too
Each of the two NFTs feature 360 views of different aspects of the COTA track. (Circuit of the Americas)
Back in October, Circuit of the Americas chairman Bobby Epstein appeared to embody his promise to make the 2021 U.S. Grand Prix the "biggest event on the planet this year" as an estimated 400,000 attendees made it through the gates for the Formula One weekend event.
To commemorate the event, the circuit decided to leap into the trendy NFT scene with two 360-degree panoramas, set at minimum bids of $30,000 each. And like many who look to tack on physical elements to the mystical crypto world, the circuit includes two VIP passes for MotoGP or Formula 1 events this year or next.
"Circuit of The Americas hosts some of the world's most iconic sports and entertainment events," Epstein said in a press release. "Just as visitors realize how unique and special COTA is, we know collectors will appreciate the significance behind our designs as well as the premium hospitality associated with the winning bids."
Campbell-Williams Field NFT Collection—a true UT NFT
Check out this dope project I did for the Campbell-Williams Field NFT Collection!— Bryson Williams (@artofbryson) September 11, 2021
Titled "Longhorn Legacies" Made in collaboration with @VybHouse and @Rickthelaureate
For more info check out https://t.co/XFr5gDSFta pic.twitter.com/SRCyWsjVqM
As the school's two Heisman Trophy winners, UT football legends Earl Campbell and Ricky Williams made sports history at their times as running backs for the Longhorns football team—and they encouraged others to become part of sports history themselves with a rare collection of 100 NFTs in honor of the renaming of the school's historic football stadium.
In collaboration with UT, Campbell and Williams created the collection a year after the Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium was renamed in their honor. The "Campbell-Williams Field NFT Collection" included:
- The Campbell-Williams Experience NFT, which gives its owner two VIP tickets to the 2022 Super Bowl and Williams' Super Bowl 2022 party in Los Angeles,, dinner with Earl Campbell and friends and a 'UT Legend' memorabilia package.
- The ArtofBryson NFT, which included two tickets to The Red River Showdown (UT vs. Oklahoma) on Oct. 9, a Zoom call with both Williams and Campbell, signed cleats from current running back Robinson, and other care package add-ons.
- The Moon Ticket: six NFTs that grants its owners to an out-of-this-world astrology chat with Williams
- And the 100 trading-card style NFTs featuring artwork and both players' digital signatures.
USMNT—and their NFTs—come to Austin
As the U.S. Men's National Team headed to Austin's brand-new Q2 Stadium to play Jamaica in October, so did its Only Forward Art Series. This edition of the months-long series featured a poster design from Austin artist Phoebe "Feebee" Joynt.
Joynt incorporated her specialties in graphic design, street art and logo work to create the gameday poster, which was featured around town, at Austin FC's downtown store and online as an NFT.
"I was thrilled to work with FootyCon and U.S. Soccer," FeeBee told the USMNT. "I've always had a passion for soccer after being introduced to the sport by my dad as a young child and I'm so excited to create a piece inspired by the game that also references and is in dialogue with the amazing city of Austin that I call home."
The rare free NFT became available to all fans attending the Oct. 7 World Cup Qualifier as well as via purchase on the NTWRK app the day before the game.
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