Austin City Limits, also known as ACL, is an outdoor music festival located in beautiful Zilker Park, and it continues to outdo itself year after year. Outdoor music festivals definitely have their advantages and their disadvantages, so if you’re one of the many music lovers planning to go to the Austin City Limits Music Festival, here are ten tips that might help make your weekend a successful one.
First, find a place to stay in Austin for ACL
Make The Most Of Austin City Limits With These 10 Tips
Image credit: Martin Alaniz/Flickr CC-BY 2.0
1. Forget the cash
ACL Cashless allows you to use your wristband to make on-site purchases including food, beverages and merchandise, and you can activate your wristband online. Samsung Pay is also now the official mobile payment solution for the festival. You can use your Samsung phone at all bars, food vendors and the official ACL Festival merchandise store.
2. Leave your car at home
There is no parking at ACL Festival, but there are plenty of bicycle racks. There is also a free ACL Fest Shuttle at Republic Square Park, and MetroRapid 803 is the best option if you're looking for a ride straight to Zilker Park.
3. No selfie sticks!
ACL is cracking down on the selfie sticks, so don't be that annoying person blocking the concert. Cell phones are still welcome and crucial to connecting with your group and snapping pictures. In fact, AT&T sets up two mega cell towers on wheels and free solar charging stations to accommodate the crowds.
4. Bring the right gear
Anything can happen in central Texas, so bring a hat, bandana, sunscreen, a light rain jacket, closed-toe shoes you don't mind trashing, layered clothing, and some bug spray. Put your phone in a Ziploc bag and bring some plastic grocery bags and rubber bands for some makeshift rain boots. A swimsuit is also a great idea because if you get wet, you'll dry off fast. Plus,. Barton Springs runs right through the festival grounds, and there's no better way to cool off on a hot day!
5. Slow down on the day drinking
We all know that staying hydrated is important. The fastest way to dehydrate yourself is throwing 'em back with the Texas sun beating on you. Drink lots of water throughout the day and save the partying for when the sun goes down. If you bring a reusable water bottle or CamelBak, you can fill up for free at any of the water stations. Also keep in mind that you're not allowed to bring in alcohol and one beer can run you close to $14!
There's a good chance that two of your favorite bands will be performing at the same time. If you missed someone, there's a good chance they'll play one of the official ACL bonus aftershows happening in various venues throughout Austin and even in Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio. Sometimes artists who are in town to perform will often put on secret shows at local venues after the festival is over. Information about these shows is often by word-of-mouth, but if you come across a juicy bit of info about a great show, it's worth your time and money to check it out.
7. Hit the food court
The food at ACL is phenomenal, and it's not your usual festival hot dogs and popcorn. Besides music, Austin is known for its diverse food scene and many of the restauranteurs make an appearance at the ACL Food Court.
8. Don't lose your wristband
You exchange your 3-day ticket for a wristband, and as long as you're wearing your wristband, you can come and go as you please. Unfortunately, if you only have a single day ticket, you won’t receive a wristband and, therefore, you won’t be allowed re-entry.
9. Bring a flag
This one may sound silly, make your meeting place an easy one by bringing a flat or other large identifying marker for your group. Some people blow up pictures of television characters, athletes, memes and a string of other images. As long as the flag or poster is not inappropriate or harmful, the festival will allow you to bring it in.
10. Let loose and have fun!
Don’t be rude. You're not at a private concert, and you're going to have way more fun if you're sharing the experience with those around you. It's also always great to have a plan, but you never know what can happen. Whether it's losing your friends or getting poured on, roll with the punches and have some fun!
This article was written by Lauren Gaw.
Hero image: karlnorling/Flickr CC-BY 2.0