By Nicholas Borgman
Not many people on this planet can say they have Indian leg-wrestled the devil himself and made it
out alive. But I have done it. Twice.
The past two years I have trekked to the city of Austin, Texas for one reason: to attend Austin City
Limits Music Festival. My years of knowledge allow me the title “Veteran” and as such I will address
myself in the third person from here on out.
The Veteran knows what to use for and where to gather sustenance. The Veteran might suggest you
try a Mighty Cone, one of ACL’s exclusive treats. Or maybe a Cool Haus ice cream sandwich, with an
edible rice paper wrapper.
But for the mighty or foolish among you inexperienced children who will be making the trip for the
first time, you may wish to attempt what only two men have ever accomplished in known history. The
Veteran and his accomplice ate nothing but Chuy’s chips, salsa, guacamole, queso and fajitas on one
occasion over the course of the three day trial.
The Veteran knows that it is a good idea to walk to the festival along Barton Springs drive, where
many companies offer free merchandise to the masses. Jarritos brand fruit sodas are available in a
plentiful amount. The Veteran once even managed to get two at once using nothing but his quick wit
Many other items are available such as glow-sticks, LED finger clips, fanny packs and coozies. This
loot may not make you an ACL veteran like The Veteran, but it will allow you a sweet Instagram
opportunity to make it look like you are.
Do not think that The Veteran endorses all of the products available on Barton Springs drive. You will
be offered free WiFi at Zilker Park in exchange for registering with a personal e-mail. Do not. The
Veteran repeats, do not use this. No data will load as the servers will be overloaded, and you will be
on their e-mail list for an unreasonable amount of time.
If you plan to meet up with friends at the park, plan it before. Your phone becomes a useless brick at
the park. You will not have an Internet connection. Many people like to use flags as locators for their
group, however The Veteran has a deep enough connection with his group that he can feel if he is
close or not. The flag thing is up to you.
Just like Summerfest, The Veteran strongly recommends you plan who you want to see. Do not be
afraid to discover new artists either. The Veteran saw the Alabama Shakes 6 weeks before they blew
The single most important piece of equipment in your vision quest is your CamelBak. It will save your
life and probably that of one of your friends. Without it, your beloved Veteran would probably not be
here to say this: goodbye, and Godspeed.