Nerds at ACL
Nerds at ACL
By: Terra Olsen
This past weekend I attended Austin City Limits*, a three-day music festival that takes over the city. All walks of life attend ACL—old, young, hippies, hipsters, deadheads, and the list goes one—but this year I noticed a growing number of nerd pride being displayed. Among all of the band shirts and Navaho prints (I counted 80 people wearing Navaho items in a 15 minute span) there were geeky shirts. Yes, there were the usual Superman and Captain American shirts, but there were others too. The Punisher, JLA, Star Wars, The Tick, The Hulk, and also made appearances. My personal favorite, an Order of the Stick flag. Once I realized there was a presence of fellow nerds, I started actively searching for them while walking in-between sets. It reminded me how nerdy cultural elements can help connect strangers in a large faceless crowd. For those brief moments, I identified with strangers—they too liked ‘cool’ things beyond music. When my husband and I wore Star Wars shirts, we received a comment of approval in passing from one of the volunteers, in addition to a few nods of approval. It was interesting to experience. Usually I see this connection between people wearing team gear (e.g. in Austin’s case, the Longhorns), but I have never witnessed it among nerds outside of a convention. It was cool and a good reminder that nerds do have interests outside of comic books and gaming. With a rise in acceptance and popularity (thanks Marvel movies!), there has been a parallel growth in displaying one’s nerdy interests. Some people have complained about the rise in popularity of ‘nerdy’ things, but this is senseless. Just enjoy that people have finally caught up with your good taste! And wear some nerd pride the next time you’re attending an event, you might be surprised to learn who else shares your interests.
*The music was email@example.com