Thanks to the ongoing TV writers’ strike that has shut down the late-night chat shows for months, it’s been a pretty dry season for live televised music. But all is not lost: Just in the nick of time, Austin City Limits is riding to the rescue with another dependably impressive season — including appearances by Foo Fighters, Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit, Jenny Lewis, Margo Price, Sudan Archives and others. It can’t come soon enough for me. Check out all the details below and program your PVR:
THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Venerable television music series Austin City Limits has announced the fall return of the program and the initial Season 49 broadcast lineup with seven all-new installments to begin airing Oct. 7 as part of a 14-episode season. ACL brings fans a new season, packed with a stellar slate of ACL legends and highly anticipated debuts from some of today’s most talked-about live acts. ACL airs weekly on PBS stations (check local listings) and full episodes stream online.
Austin City Limits returns this fall with a singular highlight as the season opener: Grammy-winning guitar virtuoso duo Rodrigo y Gabriela, joined by the Austin Symphony Orchestra. The Mexico City natives are joined by an ensemble of over 30 musicians from the esteemed Austin Symphony Orchestra in an exhilarating hour; the unprecedented performance marks the first time ACL has collaborated with the world class orchestra, one of Austin’s leading arts institutions.
A season highlight is the return of Foo Fighters for their third appearance. The Rock And Roll Hall of Famers previously rocked the ACL stage twice before, with unforgettable performances in 2009 (in ACL’s original Studio 6A) and 2015. ACL saluted the rock superstars’ 25th anniversary in 2021 with a fan-favorite hourlong special featuring beloved classics from both appearances, now one of the most requested episodes in the ACL archives. ACL is thrilled to feature the iconic band back for an epic new hour.
The new season continues with a number of highly anticipated appearances from a diverse slate of artists. Acclaimed singer-songwriter Jenny Lewis returns for the first time in nearly a decade, making her third appearance on the iconic ACL stage with highlights from her latest album Joy’All alongside career favorites; sharing the hour is breakout indie-pop band Muna in a thrilling debut.
ACL spotlights a pair of innovators making debuts in a captivating double-bill: Rap star Lil Yachty showcases his genre-bending album Let’s Start Here, joined by violin savant and singer-songwriter Sudan Archives, performing songs from her Natural Brown Prom Queen. Two American originals are paired in a revelatory new hour: Country standout Margo Price returns for her second headlining appearance with her latest album Strays as the centerpiece, while next-generation bluegrass musician Molly Tuttle and her band Golden Highway dazzle in their first ACL appearance with gems from their 2023 Grammy-winning Best Bluegrass Album Crooked Tree and latest City of Gold. Global music powerhouse Jorge Drexler, who swept the 2022 Latin Grammy Awards with a record seven awards, makes his first appearance with a sparkling hour of lush soundscapes and irresistible Spanish-language songs from his landmark Tinta y Tiempo. Celebrated singer-songwriter and four-time Grammy winner Jason Isbell and his band The 400 Unit, who made their initial debut a decade ago in Season 39, return for their third headlining appearance in a highly anticipated hour featuring fan favorites and new gems from his recent Weathervanes.
“There’s no doubt in my mind that this is the most diverse mix of music and talent ACL has ever presented in a new season — and it’s only the beginning!’ says longtime ACL executive producer Terry Lickona. “We strive to live up to the axiom that anything goes on ACL as long as it’s authentic, original or groundbreaking — or all three! There’s so much great music being made today from all genres and all corners of the world, and we try to showcase it all.”
ACL Season 49 (First Half) Lineup
Oct. 7 | Rodrigo y Gabriela featuring the Austin Symphony Orchestra
Oct. 14 | Jenny Lewis / Muna
Oct. 21 | Lil Yachty / Sudan Archives
Oct. 28 | Margo Price / Molly Tuttle & Golden Highway
Nov. 4 | Jorge Drexler
Nov. 11 | Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit
Nov. 18 | Foo Fighters
Austin City Limits celebrates 50 years as a live music beacon in 2024: On Oct. 17, 1974, Willie Nelson taped the pilot episode and the trailblazing series premiered in 1975. Stay tuned for news on special concerts, fan events and activations as Austin City Limits salutes an incredible legacy of 50 golden years of American musical history and iconic performances.”