Music Festivals, Caving In, and Creative Displays of Displeasure

I live in Austin, home of the annual ACL Festival–three days of country, hip hop, soul, rock, hipster, electronic, and blues bands.  The festival has become a national fixture, and the lineup has just gotten better year after year.

And I’ve never gone.

See, the fine folks at the ACL Fest make it standard practice to put tickets on sale weeks before the lineup is announced.  You have to pay over $100 for a show you might not like.  They’ve never had a problem selling out, though.  Maybe it’s the rich former-hippies that populate Austin.  Maybe it’s rich college brats.  My point is, if you want to wait until the lineup comes out, you have to pay $30-$50 more.  At best, that’s irritating.  At worst, it’s complete and total bullshit that deserves a kick to the gut.

I’ve had friends tell me “But the lineup is always great!  You don’t have to worry about it!”  Not the point.  It’s the principle of the thing.  I shouldn’t have to bet on a concert.  That shit ain’t right, as a wise man once said.

So I’ve never gone.  Fuck them.

Then they released this year’s lineup… Bjork, The White Stripes, The Killers, Muse, LCD Soundsystem, Yo La Tengo, Pete Yorn, Bob Dylan (yeah, I shouldn’t list this one so far back, but I’m not a Dylan fan), Amy Winehouse, Butch Walker.

So I bought a goddamn ticket.  $157 after delivery.  I’m stoked, as the cool kids say, but my excitement for this festival is matched only by my continued disdain for its policies.  I’m a hypochrite, sure, but I’m a righteous hypochrite! 

So I’ve concocted a few ways to express my displeasure at the festival while still enjoying myself.  Here are the possibilities.

1. Don’t smile.  Ever.

2. Constantly prank the Lost and Found area.  “Hi, have you found a little bag with two joints and some mushrooms in it?  I can’t find that thing anywhere!”

3. Keep asking festival staff when Springsteen’s supposed to go on stage.  Or when Willie Nelson’s gonna show up.

4. Break into the VIP area.  Really, how tough can it be?

5. Have a Mr. John Jacob Jingleheimerschmidt paged, then have four of my friends show up at the same time.  “Hey, that’s my name too!”