Monday, November 8, 2010

Last taping of ACL tonight

Updated: Monday, 08 Nov 2010, 5:35 AM CST
Published : Monday, 08 Nov 2010, 5:35 AM CST

AUSTIN (KXAN) - Monday night is a big night for music fans in Austin.

It's the final taping of the Austin City Limits program inside the studio they have called home since it all started 36 years ago.

While it's the last taping at the University of Texas, the future for Austin City Limits will be at the W Hotel in downtown Austin.

Starting in March they'll begin taping their new season there, but for fans the final taping will be one to remember.

That's because some of the biggest names in the music industry have graced the stage inside Studio 6A.

Willie Nelson taped the pilot episode of Austin City Limits 36 years ago - before the iconic Austin city line back drop was installed. Last year he played with Ray Benson for the 35th anniversary. But the final performance Monday night will be Lyle Lovett who also has a long history with the show.

"That dates back to when he was sitting in the audience watching and hoping how he could be on the show and then he has appeared lots of times over the years," said Bill Stotesbery, General Manager KLRU.

And when that final performance is over all 320 seats, old time studio equipment, and back drop will stay right where they are.

"This studio is staying since we tape other shows in this studio," said Stotesbery.

Turns out the backdrop which has been there more than 30 years can't move.

"It wasn't built with the idea it would be moved so we'll have a new backdrop when we roll out the show," said Stotesbery.

There's talk of taking part of the stage over to the new place which will be inside the W Hotel on Second Street.

"There's much more excitement about what the future holds then melancholy about leaving this space," said Stotesbery.

In fact the ACL folks can't wait to say good-bye to their retro green rooms.

"They are a little limited in size and facilities," said Stotesbery.

And so when the lights dim on the Austin City Limits stage Monday night - the light actually isn't going out.

"After that a whole new era starts for Austin City Limits," said Stotesbery.

While the folks who run ACL expect the first performance in the new venue to take place in March, so far no word on who will be performing.

The new place also will seat 800 instead of 320.

All of the seats for tonight's performance are gone.

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