A nice advantage of having a brother that works in the music industry? He gets tons of free stuff...and then gives it to me. For example, Taylor Swift's second album—signed by the artist herself—that he surprised me with for Christmas two years ago. (She even wrote "To Emily" on the front cover! Talk about cool.) And just recently, he told me about a few ACL passes that he could get his hands on (with access to the Artists' Lounge). Which is perfect, now that I live in Austin. Sadly, Lance couldn't make it down for the weekend, but my cousin, Alyssa, was more than happy to accompany me to the music festival.  She drove 6 hours from Louisiana to Austin on Thursday, bringing with her a delicious Funfetti cake that she so generously baked for us to share. I'm a lucky one, for sure.
[Funfetti cake + buttercream icing = my favorite. And don't you just love the frosted UT Longhorn? She's a domestic goddess, that one.]

After almost five hours spent shopping at the Barton Creek Square Mall on Friday, we headed over to Zilker Park for the first night of the festival, just in time to catch The Strokes play. (I must admit that I'm kind of lame when it comes to music. I didn't recognize about three quarters of the bands that were performing!)  
On Saturday, we arrived pretty early to tour the park and find the Artists' Lounge, where we hung out most of the time in between performances. Free drinks, a comfy couch, perfect weather, music in the background, my camera in tow... As you can imagine, I was a happy camper.
We thoroughly enjoyed all of the bands that we saw, including Caitlin Rose, Lissie, Pete Yorn, Broken Bells, Matt And Kim, and M.I.A. Afterwards, I was so eager to add my new favorites to my iTunes library.
Unfortunately, Alyssa had to be back for work extremely early on Monday morning, and I had a massive amount of homework to do, so we decided not to attend the last day of the festival. (Of course, Switchfoot—the band that I was most excited about seeing—was scheduled for Sunday. Ugh.) Nevertheless, the weekend was pretty spectacular, thanks to Lula and Lancey-Pancey.