ACL Festival: What Your Really Need To Know


October is here, and you know what that means: ACL fest is back! For the next two weekends, Zilker Park will be transformed into a live music haven. With a lineup featuring headliners like Drake, Foo Fighters, The Weeknd, and The Strokes, it is surely one you do not want to miss. First things first, get a plan together: The last thing you want to do is miss a band you wanted to see, or lose someone in your group. Rather than trying to decide on the fly, take a few minutes before you get to the show and get in a huddle and make a “game plan.” The day-by-day schedule is available, so get together, make a plan, and stick to it. This will take away a lot of the stress that can come from arguing at the park about who to go see, for how long, etc. PRO TIP: Don’t try to see half of one show and half of another. Instead, pick one show (yes, this is not an easy decision) and stay for the whole time. This will allow you to have one epic hour of music, with a nice view, rather than two twenty minute shows, with a ten minute sprint in between landing you in the back of both shows. Be smart with your packing: Before leaving for the festival, be sure to review all the restrictions that ACL has on items being brought into the park.

HMG must haves:

  • Backpack/Camelback 
  • Sunscreen
  • Water bottle
  • Sunglasses
  • Camera/Phone for pictures and videos
  • Cash
  • ID

Keeping your stomach happy:  Unfortunately, ACL has a strict best ice chest policy in regards to bringing in food. Luckily for you, however, they have some local favorites available inside the park. Check out Austin Eats before and during the show to cater to your stomach’s needs. We highly recommend you give Mighty Cone and P Terry’s a go at some point during the fest, as they are great carb boosters (and they taste fantastic). Best way to get to the park: As you can imagine, there is a lot of traffic in and out of the surrounding area of ACL. Zilker park is in the heart of south-downtown Austin, and parking can and is a nightmare. Fear not, however, as there are many options that are both price friendly and convenient for you to use at your discretion.

  • Biking – this is by far the easiest way to get to the festival. ACL provides FREE bike racks located right next to the festival entrance. Get there early, however, as these can fill up over the course of the day.
  • Uber – ACL has included a free ride with every single ACL ticket purchase this year. Use this coupon, as well as travel in groups to save money, and have easy and quick access to and from the festival.
  • Bus – Capital Metro is providing FREE shuttle service to and from their centrally-located downtown location at Republic Square on 4th street as well as on Guadalupe near UT.
  • Pedicab – It will be hard to miss the giant line of pedicabs waiting to snag a group of festival goers, and it’s definitely worth a go at the end of the night when your energy is drained.

Here are some more in-depth details about how to get to the park. Don’t rely on your phone: Cellphone service is few and far between during the festival. To conserve battery of your phone during the day, put it on airplane mode. This is important because your phone will no longer waste battery trying to connect to the nonexistent service towers. You can still take photos and videos, just be sure to post them after each day. Also, be sure to check out the different power stations around the park if you still end up needing a quick charge in between shows. Download the official ACL mobile app: This handy little app is your personal assistant all throughout the festival. It will not only give you insights into bands that you may know nothing about, but it allows you to plan your own schedule so you never miss a show. Be sure to “opt-in” to their notifications settings to stay up to date on changes and emergencies as they occur. Live Stream (for those who can’t make the festival): Last but not least, if you are unable to attend the festival this weekend, ACL’s got you covered. Live streaming of bands like The Strokes, A$AP Rocky, Gary Clark Jr. and more will be available to you on the ACL website. Head over to the streaming website to get more details on all the great bands available this weekend!

Hopefully these tips help you prepare for the fun that is to come over the next two weekends. Did we forget anything important? If so, let us know some of your tips for planning and attending ACL in the comments below!