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Austin City Limits Music Festival kicks off to a great start despite initial security concerns

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Austin City Limits Music Festival (ACL) opened its gates Friday October 6th, kicking off a two-weekend festival featuring 140 bands performing on eight stages. More than 400,000 people are expected to attend the event. Headliners this year include Jay-Z, Chance the Rapper, Solange, Spoon, The XX, The Killers and the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Following the shooting at the Route 91 Harvest Festival, where more than 50 patrons were gunned down, event organizers and the Austin Police Department have enacted increased security protocols for this year's ACL. Some musicians acknowledged the shooting, including Foster the People, who decided not to play their most-loved song, "Pumped Up Kicks." Check out our interview with Foster the People.

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In addition to seven main stages, ACL provides a stage designated for family-friendly shows. Students from the local School of Rock played a spirited set of covers on Friday and Sunday, and will be playing next weekend as well. We went live during their performance.

At the end of each day, most festival goers gravitated to opposite sides of the grounds to catch one of the two headlining acts. A third contingent crammed into the Tito's Vodka pavilion to dance. New to this year's festival, ACL is holding "silent discos" every night. Watch our video about these headphone-only dance parties to see what the hype is about.

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Austin City Limits brings in millions of dollars of revenue to Austin every year. Not only do the city's music and service industries benefit, but also smaller enterprises, such as Austin's pedicab community. "Austin is the pedicab capital of the world and this is one of our biggest weeks," says veteran pedicab driver Ryley Erhardt. "I won't be resting much." Full video here.

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Joel Garcia, an Austin pedicab driver
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Zilker Park, the site of ACL, is sprawling. Watch our live tour to see the grounds.

Finding friends at the festival can be tough, especially by late afternoon when crowds leads to spotty cell service. This guy from Macon, Georgia came up with a unique solution.

Wave a flag to find friends at music festivals

No sleep yet! One weekend to go!

Related stories
Foster the people didn't play "Pumped Up Kicks" because of what happened in Vegas.
'Silent discos' let you dance the night away with the comfort of headphones
The music industry celebrated the iconic life of Tom Petty, dead at 66

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