ACL '09: A Muddy, Beautiful Mess On Day Three

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Photos by Patrick Michels
Two mud enthusiasts scrap it out as their friend Kenny Chesney cheers them on.
The rains from Day Two at ACL may have held off on Day Three, yeah. But, make no mistake, the repercussions off dropping that much water onto a confined space? Those were definitely still felt by all in attendance on Sunday.

Indeed, Zilker Park was one giant mud pit on Day Three of the fest--which, actually, might be an insult to mud pits. A pig's heaven, the grounds at Zilker Park--despite hay tossed on top of the murky mess in an attempt to soak up some of the moisture--were soggy, brown, oversaturated, distgustingly rank, and impossible to avoid.

And yet, somehow, it wasn't all that bad...


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After the initial shock--and the acknowledgment shortly there after in which attendees realized that there was just no way of avoiding the mess--it actually wasn't all that bad. Yeah, it was tough to find solid footing, near impossible even, simply to stand still on the slippery slopes of the park. Sure, shoes worn to the final day festival were in no way going to survive another wear. And, yes, the mud slowly caked over the shows, adding what felt like five-pound weights to the festival-goers' already tired feet as they trekked from one end of Zilker to the other.

But at least it wasn't rain. Plus, mericfully, during a few points over the course of the day, the sun even stopped by for an appearance. And, miserable mess or no, the fans, to their credit, made the best of the situation, simply trudging forward and not letting it get them down.

If there was an overriding non-musical theme to be found at ACL on the festival's final two days, it was seen in the resiliancy of these attendees, who braved Mother Nature's offerings dutifully in the name of seeing their favorite acts live and in-person--and, sure, maybe a little but to make sure that the money they'd spent on tickets weren't going to waste.

But that spirit certainly did added a nice charm to ACL's 2009 take--giving it an "instant classic" feel and ensuring attendees that, at the very least, they would certainly remember the 2009 go-'round.
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To see how this one turned out, and for our "What the hell is that in the mud?" party game, check out page two.

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