AUSTIN -- There were a couple of big announcements Thursday from the people who run the ACL Music Festival. Starting next year, the three-day festival may expand to six days, spread out over two consecutive weekends. That could mean double the crowds and double the $70 million the festival brings to Austin each year.
Cram more than 100 bands into three days and you get the ACL dilemma -- just who do you see? This year's headliners pit new, established, and very established stars against each other.
To see where the fans stood, KENS 5's sister station in Austin took to the streets where allegiance was mostly defined by generation. Younger fans chose Jack White over Neil Young and Crazy Horse for the Saturday night headlining show. On Friday, a different story. The majority of fans chose The Black Keys over Avicii simply due to lack of name recognition. Come ACL weekend, plenty will know Avicii. The 23-year-old Swedish DJ is already drawing record crowds abroad.
The closing Sunday show goes to the Red Hot Chili Peppers, the only night when fans don't have to make up their mind.
"They don't have to worry about rushing to see one or the other," said Cadence Williams.
Soon, it may not be a band, but a whole weekend to choose from. For the past four months, the city and concert promoter C3 have discussed turning the three-day festival into six.
"I think my first reaction would be, 'Oh, that's too much for us to handle two weekends in a row,'" said resident Glenda Young.
The City of Austin believes the opposite is true.
"It's an opportunity for more people hopefully and not as many people on one weekend," explained Parks and Recreation Director Sara Hensley. "It kind of balances it out."
It would also help balance a city budget. C3 gives Austin 8.5 percent of gross sales and a dollar per ACL ticket. Last year that added up to more than $1.5 million.
The California music fest Coachella made a similar two-weekend transition this year. It got mixed reviews from fans on the festival's website.
One wrote, "In the end, both weekends had their highlights...But I still felt that each weekend didn't have all the effort."
Another added, "The fact that there was a weekend two did not alter my weekend one experience one iota. Not one little bit."
ACL organizers generally work with the University of Texas Athletic Department to make sure the festival doesn't fall on the same weekend as a home football game. Because of conference re-alignment, the Longhorns' 2013 schedule isn't final yet. C3 Presents tells KVUE they have discussed the possibility of two weekends with the folks at the university.
Austin City Council is slated to take this up for discussion next Thursday.
This year's festival is set for Oct. 12-14 at Zilker Park.