For the first time since the festival’s creation in 2002, Austin City Limits decided to team up with researchers from the Department of Sociology at UT Austin and gather information on all the types of yuppies who flock to ACL for 3 days of chaos and music.
The study provided insight neither group was expecting. Dr. John Allen, a professor in the UT sociology department, proclaimed, “A startling only 1 in 5 of ACL goers actually go to listen to music.” Allen, a lifelong resident of Austin, jested, “Wealthy people come from all over the country to contribute to the dilution of Austin culture only to not even care about the music they paid hundreds of dollars to see.” Shaking his head, Allen muttered, “It’s absolutely baffling.”
Data from the study showed the top two motives for going to ACL were to get likes on their highly curated and heavily filtered Instagram photos and to have the sickest Snapchat story on their feed. Tegan Morales, locally famous Instagram model and RTF major at UT, was identified as a great example of the typical festival goer by Allen and his team of researchers.
“Like yeah, it’s a music festival, but more than listening to the shows, I could get some dope shots of myself to put on Instagram,” Morales giggled while puffing a blunt. Morales sat back and thought longer on the topic before leaning in to whisper to the researchers, “Like, I like a couple Foster the People songs and I know Jay-Z is married to Beyoncé, so I’ll check them out. But, if I’m being honest all I care about is slaying on social media and looking like I’m having a great time.”
Dr. John Allen explained that among the top culprits of attending the festival just to be seen, are undergraduate students, right here, from the University of Texas.
“It all stems from a subculture we refer to as the ‘Bohemian bourgeois,’” Allen went on. “What we generally see in students is that their parents buy, or provide funds, for the $250 wristbands. Then students buy trendy and overpriced clothing from Urban Outfitters on Guad that’s designed to mimic cheaper and authentic vintage fashions. At the festival, they proceed to post photos of themselves on social media, which we theorize serve as digital trophies of their ‘free-spiritedness.’”
After contemplating his findings, Allen has decided to reach out to the other festivals, such as Sound on Sound and South by South West, to gather more insight into the variety of faux music lovers who define the Austin music festival scene.