Top Trends spotted at ACL 2008

I’m not a trendy guy, so take this post with a grain of salt.  Still, I think it’s always interesting to see what the “cool kids” are up at any concert, much less a giant music festival like this.  So without further ado, here are the top trends I spotted at ACL 2008.  Click any of the pictures for a larger version.

70s headbands

Yeah, this is the first trend I spotted, and it made me want to look for other trends.  You know – the skinny braided headbands that were popular in the ’70s?  They’re back (as were headbands in general, but especially these).


Tattoos are still really popular with the kids these days.  Showing them off at the outdoor rock show is also very popular.  Some girls even like to offer a bonus plan when showing off their tattoos:

Being white

Let’s just say the crowd was pretty homogeneous.  I took the picture below to just show how big the crowd was, but it demonstrates this point pretty well too.

Stretched earlobes

I didn’t see a lot of them, but they make quite an impression.  And a loss of appetite.  And they compliment tattoos nicely.


I didn’t take any pictures specifically of this phenomenon, but it was very popular – trust me.

Hackey Sack

really?  I thought that was essentially extinct.

SARS masks

Admittedly it was very dusty, and a lot of people were wearing bandannas as face masks.

but some people went hardcore for the industrial-strength SARS masks.


My guess is that they were chosen for equal parts protection from the sun and hipness factor.

Cowboy boots

Maybe it’s just because we were in Texas, but lots of girls wore cowboy boots with their shorts or skirts or dresses.  I kinda liked it.

Keloid Scars

Yeah, I know this seems like a weird observation, but I swear I saw an unusually high number of people showing off big, prominent, raised scars like the one below.  I guess it’s pretty rock-n-roll in its own way, I was just surprised by the popularity of this trend.

Rocking with Sign Language

Maybe my favorite trend.  I first noticed it at Neko Case (where this picture was taken), but several performers had a sign language interpreter on the side of the stage.  I think it’s great if hearing impared people like going to concerts and want a little help understanding what’s going on.  I just never would have considered it as a possibility.  The best part?  When there are no vocals, the signer just plays air guitar (as pictured below).

So there you have it.  It was fun trying to spot the trends, and then to try to nonchalantly take a picture of it for your entertainment.  If you want to be trendy the next time you go to a music festival, just follow the trends above.  Of course by ACL ’09 most of them will have probably changed.  But probably not Tattoos – those suckers stick around.

Hope you enjoyed it- this concludes my ACL  2008 coverage.

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