Inside Lizzo's Full-Circle Moment Performing for 40,000 Festival Fans in Austin

Define ‘headliner’.

While Lizzo wasn’t one of the closing acts to perform during last weekend’s Austin City Limits Festival in Austin, Texas, she made sure to bring down the house as if she was.

The hit “Truth Hurts” singer, 31, took to the Miller Lite stage around 7 p.m. on Sunday in a bright orange leotard accompanied by the backup dancers she proudly calls “The Big Girls”, and the massive crowd erupted in cheers.

For the Texas-native, who’s in the midst of her sold-out Cuz I Love You 2 tour, this audience was particularly special, and cause for reflection.

“I’ve played a lot of festivals and this might be the biggest crowd we’ve ever had,” she said, noting that she was told roughly 40,000 fans had flocked to see her perform, unlike festivals in the past where only a small cluster would turn out. “I used to look at the main stage like ‘Man, one day.’ Well, that day is today, b—h!”

Following the performance fans took to social media to voice their frustration that the star wasn’t on one of the venues bigger stages, despite drawing a giant crowd similar to headliners Mumford and Sons and Cardi B.

During her set, Lizzo went on to reflect on her amazing year, including “Truth Hurts” topping the charts. It’s all been a dream come true for the Grammy hopeful—and an affront to her past naysayers.

“I’m a big black girl who grew up in Houston, Texas. Everyone in the world told me I wasn’t gon’ be able to do sh– with my life, and now look, the whole world fell in love with my big beautiful ass,” she told the crowd between songs.

She continued, “ACL, if I can do it, I know you can f—–g do it!”

The show follows her sold-out two-night run at Radio City Music Hall in New York City. This past summer she also partnered with American Express to bring her positive message to the stage during Pride week.

“She’s magic onstage,” says Brandy Sanders, Amex’s VP of Entertainment Partnerships and Experiences. Earlier this year the company, a sponsor of Austin City Limits Festival, offered cardmembers early access to Lizzo’s tour, one of their top-selling partnerships of the year.

“What I love about her is that it goes beyond the music for her. She’s truly about a relationship with her fans,” says Sanders, speaking inside the Amex Platinum Lounge on site. “I leave every one of her shows feeling happier than when I walked in and it’s been amazing to watch her journey.”

 

Lizzo indeed left Austin fans—including Kacey Musgraves who hightailed it across Zilker park after her own set just in time to catch her fellow Texan in action—feeling inspired.

“I know this is a fun show but I want you to leave with more than just a fun show,” Lizzo told the crowd. “I want you to leave with truly wanting to be yourself. I want you to leave happier, more full, feeling secure and safe and loved. Free!”

The star is set to hit the stage again on Oct. 13 for the festival’s second weekend. And after quite the first showing, fans are calling for her performance to be moved to a larger stage, in anticipation of the crowd.


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