So the stages have come down, the dust has settled, and everyone has spent a few hours scrolling through their photos of the day.

All in all, the first Auckland City Limits festival seemed like a great success, but we thought we'd phone festival organiser/promoter Campbell Smith for a debrief, and ask the all-important question - will there be an ACL 2017?

"This was never going to be a 'one go' project. We're committed to this for quite a long time, so we'll definitely be back."

Festival organiser/promoter Campbell Smith. Photo / Brett Phobbs
Festival organiser/promoter Campbell Smith. Photo / Brett Phobbs

The official crowd number was 25,000, which is great, but a wee way off the 50,000 that the site can take, so they're hoping now they've proved it's a worthwhile event, they'll increase the audience size next year.

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"As you can imagine, it's really expensive to put this together, so we're definitely aiming to sell more tickets. But what I wanted most this time was for everyone to go to the show and leave thinking, 'Man that was great, I want to go again', and it feels like we did that. So next year, hopefully we've got 25,000 cheerleaders who tell other people to come."

They're also hoping it will be easier to attract bands and acts to a festival with a reputation and a name they might now recognise.

"Artists talk to other artists, and hopefully they say they had a good time down here. But possibly even more crucially, booking agents now know what we're talking about. When we went out in May last year to start making bookings they're all going "Where is that? What is that?" And now they'll be going, 'When we're looking at Australia and New Zealand, we should factor in ACL'."

The crowd watching Action Bronson at the inaugural Auckland City Limits festival at Western Springs. Photo / Chris Louft
The crowd watching Action Bronson at the inaugural Auckland City Limits festival at Western Springs. Photo / Chris Louft

Smith hopes people went away feeling the festival offered something to a range of different demographics - something for teens as well as families, and a more mature audience.

"I think people are looking for a broader cultural experience than just 'I want to see as many bands as I can get my eyeballs on'. I want people to be able to hang out by the lake, have some nice food, look at some art, and bring their kids. And I think we managed to balance those different things."

Of course there are a few things they will continue working on - one being the bar queues.

"I know there's always queue issues you have to deal with, but we're very concerned about that sort of thing, and we have people there to time the queues - literally timing how long it takes one person to get from the back of the queue to the front. I think the longest of any point in the day was half an hour.

"But at some points during the day, the bar queues are going to mount up, that's something that happens with big crowds, and we continue to try to wrestle with how to make it better."

One specific thing they're looking at is overlapping the timetable more, so the main stages don't both have changeovers at the same time.

Kendrick Lamar performs at the inaugural Auckland City Limits festival at Western Springs. Photo / Chris Loufte
Kendrick Lamar performs at the inaugural Auckland City Limits festival at Western Springs. Photo / Chris Loufte

"I don't think I'll do that again, because that can contribute to having a whole bunch of transient, migratory people at the same time, which can put the pressure on bar queues.

"There is also the factor that late afternoon is when the police start to assess the level of intoxication in the crowd, and they might drop the limit down to one drink per person at a time, which obviously makes the queues form, but we can't do anything about that, because it's a directive."

"But yes there are certainly things to tweak, and if there weren't I would've won right? I would've won festivals for all time, and I don't think that's going to happen."

One thing they certainly won't be tweaking is the location, Western Springs. In fact they'll be looking to make even more use of the lakeside park area in years to come.

"We have scope to develop the area all the way around the lake side towards the zoo carpark, so with the growth of the audience we can look to add things. It's a beautiful spot, and I think there's room to make it an even better experience.

The crowd cheers as Kendrick Lamar performs at the Auckland City Limits festival at Western Springs. Photo / Chris Loufte
The crowd cheers as Kendrick Lamar performs at the Auckland City Limits festival at Western Springs. Photo / Chris Loufte

"Western Springs rules."

In the meantime, Smith is heading back to Austin next week to start the whole cycle all over again, looking for acts to book for 2017.

"We really lucked out with Kendrick, to be honest. I knew it was great when we got him, but then it got a whole lot greater in the last couple of months. That was my most fearful moment of the day, standing side of stage at 9.30, and everything had gone so well, and then Kendrick's techs are saying 'We've got a patch problem' and I'm thinking, 'It can't possibly all fall over now can it?' That 20 minutes when we were trying to get his gear repaired was pretty nerve-racking. But it all came together, and I think his performance really topped things off."