By Bryan C. Parker
Crowds flock to ACL Fest for the headliners. Whether it’s the legacy artist you want to check off your must-see list or the young act that has newly propelled themselves to superstar status, the names atop the marquee are definitely a big draw. However, some of the most rewarding performances and inventive artists play earlier in the afternoon—not to mention that arriving early means easier parking and entry, as well as the likelihood that you’ll avoid crowds. What follows is a list of 14 artists that all play prior to any stage headliners (with the exception of one), and play well before the sun sets. Come early, stay late, and enjoy ACL 2018!
Fri., 3:45 p.m., American Express Stage
Former Talking Heads frontman David Byrne has fostered a productive solo career, rich with conceptual songwriting, musical experimentation, and complex live performances. Byrne is a legend, and seeing his set should be one of your top priorities for the weekend. If you want to see the full effect of his impressive stage performance, note that Byrne has a late night show at Bass Concert Hall on Oct. 10.