7 Tips For Future ACL TV Interns!

Hi blogging world! My name is Kelsey and I’ve been interning with ACL TV since August and I can’t even tell you how much I enjoy it. It may sound cheesy, but every day that I go in, I’m excited to work on what’s next with the greatest live music production here in the Lone Star State, or really, the world!

The biggest question I get asked (besides “Can you get me free tickets?”) is “How do I become an ACL TV intern?” so I thought I would shed a little light on the whole thing. If you want to fill the ACL TV intern shoes, it’s good to know what you’re getting yourself into! This is a little friendly advice for anyone who’s interested in interning:

Kelsey’s 7 Tips and Things-To-Know Before Interning with ACL TV

1. Know the difference between ACL TV, ACL Live and the Austin City Limits Music Festival

This might seem obvious, but you don’t know how many people we talk to that get them confused. I (and possibly you, someday!) intern for ACL TV, which means I work for the company that partners with KLRU and has produced 37 seasons of live music television goodness. In fact, it is the longest running music television program in American history!The Austin City Limits Music Festival is awesome – however, it is not the same. It’s a different branch of ACL and it is 3 days of music; we’re all year-round depending on when we book artists. ACL Live is the company that works the shows that are not television tapings out of the same venue that we do- the The Moody Theater in the W Hotel. We love ACL Live and the ACL Festival, however, we are not the same. We do tapings, they do shows. Easy enough, right? Good! Moving on!

2. Know your music!

I’m guessing if you have even an inkling to work with Austin City Limits TV, it’s because you like music, specifically the live kind. All I can tell you is – embrace this! Listen to music, write about music, talk about music and be proud! If you intern with ACL TV, you’re going to be working with people who eat, sleep and breathe live music, so you should start doing the same, honestly! You never know what genre you might end up loving after hearing it, or who might be scheduled for a taping! Your passion for music will not go unappreciated.

3. Stay in School (or specifically, college)

In order to intern with ACL TV, it helps to be in at least your junior year of college and able to receive college credit for your time here. I don’t make the rules, sorry, but that’s the way it goes! Everyone’s case is different though, so if you’re still interested in applying and don’t meet these criteria, email with any specific concerns. If you do meet these criteria, make sure you talk to your university or college adviser and get the credit paperwork sorted out and can commit at least 8-10 hours a week plus the scheduled taping days. Specifics about schedules will be dealt with later.

4. Tone down the “fangirl” (or fanboy!)

I’m going to be completely honest with you – I have been known to be an obsessive music fan. However, for this internship, you’ve gotta keep a professional head on your shoulders! It should seem obvious, but I still think it’s good to be reminded that hey, you’re not being hired at ACL TV to have deep conversation with so-called “famous” people. There’s nothing wrong with being nice and approachable, but if you want to rub elbows with musicians that you like, this is not the place for you. Trust me, (and this comes from the girl whose heart skipped a beat when I found Arcade Fire was playing) you WILL get a great and close seat to hear these artists play. You WILL NOT be eating expensive cheeses with them and playing twister in their dressing rooms. Do your job and enjoy the perks that do come with it, but don’t overstep any boundaries.


People always ask me, “What do you do at ACL TV?” My answer? Everything! My mentors here give me all sorts of tasks to do- from office day-to-day upkeep to running errands around the city, to giving input on the tapings and helping log the shows, to blogging about a list of intern tips like I am now! You really will be called upon to do so much, but don’t be scared! Everyone I’ve met working at ACL TV genuinely wants to see me succeed and is always able to help. So be flexible and be prepared to do a lot! This is not an internship where you sit on the sidelines and only make coffee. Interning with ACL TV is very hands-on. Bring your talents to the table with you and use them, because you’ll very likely be all over the place!

6. Pack some good shoes and a sweater!

This one may sound silly, but hey, don’t say I didn’t warn you ahead of time! Taping days are usually pretty crazy, and good stable shoes are essential, especially referring to tip #5 and being flexible! Oh, and maybe this is just the fashion-forward female in me, but a sweater is always a great accessory and when the studio is cold (yes, even in Texas heat) you’ll want one.

7. Get excited!

Not that I should have to tell you this one- but I think that if you come into work here realizing that you’re helping to put on one of the greatest musical traditions in the world, it doesn’t hurt to crack a smile. Even as hectic as it might be on taping days, a little positivity goes a long way. And plus, everyone knows, especially those that work at ACL TV, that a smiling crowd looks way better on camera.

Now for the serious stuff/fine print:

Updated 1/13: In order to apply for the ACL TV internship for this Fall 2013 send a resume and cover letter explaining why you’d like to work for ACL TV and what semester you are interested in to  ejoyce at klru (dot)org by April 15, with ‘internship’ somewhere in the subject line.

If you have any questions, feel free to leave them in the comments of this post or let me know if I can answer it on twitter, @kelseyrmanning. Good luck applying and don’t forget to watch this season of Austin City Limits on KLRU. It debuts this Saturday and I can say firsthand that it is going to be wonderful!