ACL Fest goers find benefits in work and play

Emma McBride, Staff Writer

During the course of two warm, music-filled October weekends, LASA students traveled to Zilker Park to witness artists such as Paul McCartney, Metallica and Travis Scott perform live on stage for Austin City Limits (ACL), an annual music festival. However, some students are not just attending for the music, but for their jobs as well.

People who work at ACL mostly have varying experiences as to how they were offered the job. Junior Ella Plowman was previously working at Sno Beach, one of the vendors this year.

“My boss asked all of us who wanted to work at ACL, and I volunteered to work at Sno Beach for the second weekend,” Plowman said.

Other students may have a more personal reason that they got the opportunity. Senior Kathryn Christian has been working for Maine Roots at ACL since seventh grade because her friend’s family owns the company.

“It’s pretty busy,” Christian said. “ I usually get there around ten, an hour before it starts, and stay there until an hour before it ends, so it’s pretty long. There’s usually a lot of people, mostly in the afternoon, when it’s really hot, and people want cold drinks. But, I don’t know, I’m allowed to see shows, so I’ll just leave sometimes, and we get free food, because food vendors just trade with each other.”

Because Christian has been working at ACL for so long, she is aware of all the perks of doing so.

“It’s really fun because it’s free. You can probably get a lot of other free stuff,” Christian said. “I get free food, and I also get paid, which is really cool. And I get to see my friends all day, so I would say if you want a cheaper way into ACL, that would be it.”

Senior Elena Humphreys-Lucas wanted to make sure that those interested in this experience knew some of the more negative aspects of working at ACL, so that they know what to expect.

“Just know that it is really hot and you might have to stand for hours at a time,” Humphreys-Lucas said. “People aren’t always the nicest, especially when they are sunburnt, thirsty, and hot from the festival, so just give it your best.”

In addition to these negative aspects, there are some good aspects of the experience to look forward to as well which Christian makes very clear.

“I’ve been doing it for so long now, it’s kind of just for fun,” Christian said. “And, I get to see my Austin High friends, which is really fun because I don’t get to see them that often. But it’s just fun to stay in contact and work root beer.”

Plowman also agreed that working at ACL is a good opportunity to reunite with old friends.

“Working at ACLis absolutely insane,” Plowman said. “It’s basically an eleven hour shift with constant customers and crazy lines, but it’s so much fun because I’ve become really good friends with a lot of the other girls that I work with. It’s cool to work there because I’m the only one from LASA, so I get to hang out with kids I otherwise wouldn’t.”

Lucas said that while working at ACL can sometimes be challenging because of the crowds and heat, it gives people a great set of skills in the workplace.

“I learned a lot about customer service and the food industry,” Lucas said. “Knowing how to talk to customers and strangers is an important skill to have in life; which ACL helped me with.”