For its two-weekend 2019 edition, the Austin City Limits Festival will have what is perhaps its best lineup in years. Hard rock giants Guns N' Roses headlines, performing their first Austin concert in a quarter century, along with British folk-rock troubadours Mumford & Sons and multi-talented hip-hop star Childish Gambino. Donald Glover's hip-hop project returns to make up for the fest sets he missed last year after injuring himself during his Dallas concert right before ACL took place in 2018.
Older fans will no doubt be drawn to hear Axl Rose wail on "Paradise City," but they'll also get a thrill catching newly-minted Rock and Roll Hall of Fame goth pioneers The Cure, as well as Radiohead leader Thom Yorke's side project Tomorrow's Modern Boxes and '90s alt-rock radio kings Third Eye Blind.
A critique of ACL's earliest years was the lack of younger acts, but that's not the case this year. Not only will a number of artists appeal to a more youthful audience, but many of them are women. Millennial festival fans have Grammy-winning Cardi B and "After the Storm" singer Kali Uchis to look forward to, plus two of 2019's biggest breakthrough artists so far, 17-year-old electro-pop sensation Billie Eilish and 31-year-old rapper Lizzo.
Joining Childish Gambino and Cardi B in the hip-hop realm are popular artists Lil Uzi Vert, 21 Savage and Tierra Whack. Adding to the musical and geographical diversity are international standouts Tame Impala, which is dead-set to headline every festival in 2019 it seems, Swedish dance-pop queen Robyn, and English producer James Blake.
But it's not a true ACL Festival without a few Texas stars shining brightly, of course. Kacey Musgraves, arguably one of the hottest names in the music world right now, is piling up festival headline slots the way she's been stacking awards for her 2018 Golden Hour record. And Austin guitar hero Gary Clark Jr. is a sure candidate to draw as large of a crowd as anyone.
The inaugural 2002 edition of the Zilker Park-located festival saw headlining sets from Texas country star Pat Green, indie-rock outfit Wilco, songwriter Patty Griffin and jam-band String Cheese Incident. The ensuing 18 years welcomed a greater amount of rock, rap and electronic artists as it grew into a three-day festival before becoming one held on consecutive weekends in 2013.
Austin City Limits Festival will take place on Oct. 4-6 and Oct. 11-13. Tickets are on sale and available at aclfestival.com.