Ray Benson Shares How Austin City Limits Music Festival Began

Red Bull TV

The second weekend of the Austin City Limits Music Festival 2016 kicks off Friday, Oct. 7. This year marks the fifteenth Austin City Limits Music Festival, and Asleep At The Wheel has opened every one of them.

ACL began in 2001 with relatively humble beginnings. The show’s promoters had to pull off a huge logistical feat: sell thousands of tickets, coordinate tons of bands and throw it in Austin’s busiest recreational spot, Zilker Park. Of course, they succeeded, and ACL has grown into one of the world’s premiere music festivals.

As big and diverse as ACL now is, it’s still very much a celebration of what Austin is. And when it comes to bands, it doesn’t get more Austin than Benson’s Asleep At the Wheel. The group has been a mainstay of this town for more than three decades.

In this clip from Red Bull TV — which live streams performances, in case you don’t have a ticket — Benson talks about the early days of ACL, how it’s grown and what opening the show every year means to the band and to fans.

Heading to ACL on Friday? Catch Asleep At The Wheel on the Honda Stage from 12:15-1:00 p.m. Additional country acts slated for Sunday’s lineup include Willie Nelson, Margo Price and Amanda Shires.

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Ray Benson Shares How Austin City Limits Music Festival Began