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ACL Fest 2012 kicks off with sun, music and Gosling sightings

It's another year and another Austin City Limits Music Festival is underway. Friday started off with some clouds and sprinkling of rain, but by the time the gates opened, the sun was out in force.


  1. Our music editor Sharon Chapman had her rain boots prepared for the fest after forecasters predicted rain over the weekend. The National Weather Service says showers are expected to roll in Saturday evening.
  2. Before gates opened, our video and photo staff started the day with Costa Rican band Sonámbulo, who played a special session for us, which you can catch on Austin360. Sonámbulo will play ACL Fest at 2:20 p.m. Saturday on the Zilker Stage.
  3. Asleep at the Wheel has been the first band to play ACL Fest ever since the music festival began and the tradition continued this year.
  4. As the day moved on, festival goers with chairs began to stake their ground. Oh, the chair people.
  5. Italian pop act Jovanotti took the stage Friday afternoon, and left with new fans. He called Austin, “The Vatican of music. I come from Rome, so I can tell you!" Amen.
  6. The Afghan Whigs took the stage after 4 p.m. The reformed 90s rock act was a big hit among legions of fans.
  7. This aerial photo shot by the Austin Police Department captures the scope of the fest. Thousands of fans packed Auditorium Shores.
  8. And what ACL Fest be without a celebrity sighting? Actor Ryan Gosling was spotted by several artists and festival attendees. Gosling was reportedly shooting scenes for a movie by director Terrence Malick.
  9. As the sun began to set, festival attendees began gathering near some of the bigger stages to catch acts like Weezer, Alabama Shakes and more.