ACL festival lineup boasts some big names

By Joey Guerra / Houston Chronicle | Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Kanye West, Stevie Wonder, Arcade Fire and Coldplay are among the big names slated for the 10th anniversary of the Austin City Limits Music Festival, Sept. 16-18 at Zilker Park in Austin. The lineup was released at midnight Tuesday and includes more than 130 bands.

Almost immediately (and just as in previous years), the list of names incited cries of “Underwhelming!” and “Best lineup in years!” Personal taste is one thing, of course. And it’s impossible to please everyone. But it’s hard to argue with ACL’s mix of star power, reliable favorites, quirk and diversity.

Commercial giants West and Coldplay should prove healthy draws, despite so much groaning. Arcade Fire, whose Grammy-winning The Suburbs is based on Win Butler’s Woodlands upbringing, last played the fest in 2007. And Wonder’s legendary status is worthy of some hipster respect.

Cee Lo Green returns to Austin a solo and reality star (as a mentor on The Voice). His 2008 appearance was as one-half of Gnarls Barkley. Expect his four-letter sing-along to be a highlight of the festival.

Also making the ACL cut are My Morning Jacket, Alison Krauss (sublime during her 2008 set with Robert Plant) and Union Station, Death From Above 1979, Fleet Foxes, Nas & Damian Marley, Bright Eyes, Social Distortion, Broken Social Scene and Daniel Lanois’ Black Dub.

Other familiar names include Santigold, Big Boi (of Outkast, also headlining the Free Press Summerfest), Iron & Wine, Gillian Welch, Sara Bareilles, Woodlands native Hayes Carll and Brandi Carlile.

The three-day festival also includes Oscar winners Randy Newman and Ryan Bingham, who was raised in Texas; and roof-raising females Mavis Staples and Wanda Jackson (currently, and deservedly, enjoying a Jack White-assisted resurgence). Court Yard Hounds, the side project from sisters and Dixie Chicks members Martie Maguire and Emily Robison, is also on tap.

Austin favorites Patrice Pike, Asleep at the Wheel, Sara Hickman and Gary Clark Jr. round out the bill. A few artists were revealed early via the ACL Lineup Lottery, a scratch-and-win game at various Austin businesses.

Regular three-day passes are sold out. The only available tickets are single-day passes ($90) and three-day VIP passes ($850). For more information and a full lineup, visit aclfestival.com.

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