By Miranda Hilderbrand
ACL (or Austin City Limits Music Festival for those who may not know) is one of the most exciting times to be in Austin, Texas. This three day music festival takes place each fall in Zilker Park and features more than 150 live acts from all over the world who play rock, indie, country, folk, electronic and much more on eight different stages. Approximately 75,000 fans attend ACL each day. On more exciting news, 2013 is the first year that ACL will be held on two consecutive weekends allowing more fans to attend. And, as always, Hatbox: A Modern Haberdashery is very honored to have a booth in the Art Market of the festival.
The first ACL Music Festival took place in 2002 taking inspiration from the popular Austin City Limits television program on PBS. The show was initially created in 1976 to celebrate Austin as the “Live Music Capital of the World” and to showcase the music of Texas. Many genres are featured on the show including western, Texas blues, Tejano music, rock n’ roll, jazz alternative rock, folk music and so much more. Both the television program and the festival have featured such acts as Muse, Coldplay, Elvis Costello, Norah Jones, Willie Nelson and The Black Keys just to name a few.
If this is your first year attending the festival, there are a few things to keep in mind and be sure you bring with you to ensure an amazing experience. One of the key things to remember is you are in Texas, which means the weather is never predictable and never makes any sense whatsoever! Even if it is expected to be all clear skies, it will more than likely rain as it has every year. Be sure to bring an umbrella or a rain poncho and even an extra pair of shoes would be helpful. On the flip side, ACL can get very warm and sunny during the day. If you are not from Texas, remember that our fall does not feel much different from summer so dress and prepare accordingly, don’t forget your sunscreen, sunglasses and, of course, your favorite hat.
What type of hat is perfect for ACL? There are dozens of options to choose from. If you are looking for a more casual look, a driver cap is always a popular choice, in which we have many materials including bamboo, linen and even some that are made to be rain hats. Driver caps are very easy to carry with you, pack nicely and can easily be folded and put into your pocket if your feel like taking your hat off. One thing to consider with with driver caps is while they do shade your face and eyes, your ears and the back of your neck are exposed so be sure to apply sunscreen to those areas.
If you are looking for a more structured and stylish hat, you can never go wrong with a fedora. From the more modern trilby fedora to the more classic wide brimmed fedora, there are many different style options. Hatbox carries many authentic panama fedoras in nearly every fedora style which are lightweight and breathable for the Texas heat. We also have some wonderful straw fedoras with ventilation on the sides to keep you cool during the festival. If you are looking for something a little more unique, a pork pie is another fantastic hat option. With its roots tied to the 1920’s Jazz Age, it is the perfect hat for any music festival.
Sun protection and shade is key for ACL. If you are wanting to have as much coverage as possible from your hat, Hatbox offers many sunhats that can be rolled up for easy travel and storage. Another option is the more outback styles, which have a wide, down-turned brim all the way around and many of which have a chin-strap that will help you keep your hat on while you jam out. A very popular hat is the Drover as it can be folded up and put into your pocket. Another great option for sun protection and comfort is a Tilley – these hats are washable, water resistant and able to be easily packed away for easy travel and storage. Also, cowboy hats are perfectly acceptable – after all, you are in Texas!
Hats are definitely a must for the Austin City Limits Music Festival. Not only will they shield you from the sun, it will keep you looking stylish and will help you stand out. With 75,000 people attending daily, standing out will make it easier for your group to spot you if you get separated or decide to see different artists. If you want to wait until the festival to find your hat, come see us at our booth in the Art Market at the Festival where we will have you covered on hats, rain ponchos and sunglasses. We can’t wait to rock out with you this year at ACL!