Creating a 360°
Austin City Limits
An Immersive Docuseries
Since 1974, the legendary PBS music show, Austin City Limits, has captured intimate performances from some of the world’s most beloved artists, hosting everyone from Willie Nelson to Lauryn Hill to Ray Charles. After decades of captivating performances, 2017 marked the 43rd season of the weekly series, distinguishing it as the longest-running music television program in the world.
To celebrate this major milestone, we partnered with the ACL crew, Google, and Apple Music to bring fans of the show a 360° music documentary series called ACL: Backstage.
Ed Sheeran in ACL: Backstage
It’s Ed Sheeran’s second Austin City Limits performance, and since he first took the stage in 2014, his career has skyrocketed. Now, multiple Grammy wins and three platinum records later, Sheeran reflects on his signature style, die-hard fanbase, and what it means to be authentic in the modern music industry.
Zac Brown Band in ACL: Backstage
Three-time Grammy Award-winning multi-platinum artists Zac Brown Band make a stop on their 2017 Welcome Home Tour to grace the ACL stage for the very first time. Sit backstage with the tight-knit band as they chat about ACL’s rich history, and join them onstage for their lively show.
ACL: Backstage – Unsung Heroes
Many of the crew members of Austin City Limits have been working the show for decades. Hear them recount classic ACL stories and explain the ethos and philosophy behind what makes the show so popular among musicians.
Father John Misty in ACL: Backstage
Josh Tillman returns to ACL for the first time under the moniker Father John Misty, bringing with him the largest on-stage ensemble of the season. In this intimate episode, Misty reflects on his role as an artist while living in perilous times.
Run the Jewels in ACL: Backstage
Hip hop superstars Run the Jewels hit the ACL stage with an explosion of socially conscious lyrics and slamming beats. In this episode, rappers Killer Mike and El-P talk about preaching unity in an increasingly polarized country.
Shinyribs in ACL: Backstage
Shinyribs embodies the essence of “Swamp Pop,” a genre of music that promises a wild night. Their music not only sparks a surefire party; it is a celebration of true regional music in an increasingly homogenized culture. In this episode of ACL: Backstage, Kevin Russell (aka the Pavarotti of the Piney Woods) brings down the house with his soulful big band.
Dan Auerbach in ACL: Backstage
Dan Auerbach travels to ACL with a motley group of Southern rockers as his backing band, including legendary session players the Memphis Boys. Dan reflects on the legacy of ACL, the Austin-Nashville connection, and the pleasure of working with his musical idols.
ACL: Backstage – Austin Music Scene – Old School
The Continental Club in South Austin is one of the last vestiges of a bygone era. Its longtime resident icon Dale Watson is up on the stage banging the gavel every week in service of pure country music, sometimes playing 4 hours at a time. Here Dale and Continental owner Steve Wertheimer ruminate on the importance of original songwriting, cultural preservation, and chicken shit bingo.
ACL: Backstage – Austin Music Scene – Homegrown
Austin is the Live Music Capital of the World not just because of SXSW and ACL. It’s the grassroots local musicians who put in the hard work week after week. In this episode, visit a backyard show with local bands Wild Child, Dana Falconberry, and Folk Uke – daughters of Willie Nelson and Arlo Guthrie.
Spoon in ACL: Backstage
When you’re Spoon playing in front of a passionate crowd at Stubb’s, you better bring your A-game. Watch exclusive footage of Spoon bringing the house down at this hallowed venue and get a deeper glimpse into the Red River music scene.
How to watch
See for Yourself
Season One of ACL: Backstage is available for free on ACL’s YouTube channel. Viewers can watch via web, mobile, or for the best experience, with a Daydream View headset.