I started Day 3 much happier than Day 2 – we weren’t planting at a stage that day, and we had VIP passes (gifts from new friends Chris and Jodi from the Muse stage the day before) and the parking pass that came with them. Since we weren’t planting, we slept in and arrived at the VIP parking garage at around 11. We definitely felt like the fanciest fancy people, riding in that air conditioned van to Zilker park.
I was a little nervous when the gatekeepers scanned our bracelets. Until we were actually IN the park, I was still in a state of believing that this was all too good to be true. I definitely will say that I squealed with excitement when I was scanned and let into the ACL grounds.
We knew there was a special VIP area, and we had heard tales of free food and drink and, above all, real bathrooms. After wandering around for a few minutes and not being able to find it, we asked and were directed to a secret hidden area behind one of the stages, labeled “VIP Grove.” When we walked in (our bracelets being verified twice), I think I heard angels sing. There were tablecloth’d tables under big beautiful trees, food and drink booths, and four trailers that were marked as bathrooms. We grabbed a table and headed to the buffet area.
This was definitely a part of ACL that I need to experience again. While I love ACL food anyway (chicken cone!), this was out of this world. Delicious wraps, quinoa with berries or bell peppers, fresh fruit, moist brownies… and all on the house. Although, I guess if we hadn’t been given those passes, we would have paid about $800 for each of them. I would definitely expect comped food at that price. In addition to food, there was the drink station. Beer, wine, mixed drinks, Sweet Leaf Tea – again, on the house. This led to a nice tipsy-ness that was a great close to ACL2010. We only left the Grove to see Portugal. The Man. and The Flaming Lips, both great shows (though tFL show was pretty much the same as when I saw them last spring in Austin). Before we left Zilker, we stopped back at the Grove for their dinner BBQ buffet. Yum.
Definitely a year to remember. Oh, and the bathrooms? Amazing. If you’ve ever been to a large scale all-day event, you know the dread you hold when faced with a row of port-a-potties. The Grove held four trailers, each with several individual rooms in which to do your secret private bathroom things. Air conditioned. Guaranteed to not be out of toilet paper. Sinks with water and soap. FLUSHING TOILETS. It was like we were kings.
Ah, ACL. See you in nine months…