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ACL Survival Guide: 7 Tips for ACL Music Festival Attendees

Since people are beginning to gear up for the Austin City Limits Music Festival, we’ve put together some tips for those who plan to attend the Festival this year. If you have any helpful tips of your own to share, please leave a comment below!

1. Plan ahead.

Because there is so much activity in and around Zilker Park during ACL Music Festival, it’s best to do your research and plan ahead as much as possible.
  • Download the ACL Music Festival Mobile App. It provides a park map, artist info, real-time updates and the ability to create your own custom schedule.
  • Activate/register your wristbands.
    • Each wristband is equipped with RFID technology, so it will be personalized to you. According to the ACL website, registered passholders will receive quicker assistance in the event they encounter any issues entering or exiting the festival grounds.
    • ACL Cashless enables you to link your credit or debit card to your wristband so can use it as a method of payment within the Festival. With ACL Cashless and the tap of a wrist, you could grab a cold beverage or score your favorite food from Austin Eats. This would be a nice alternative to carrying cash or paying high ATM fees at the Festival.
    • Full details about registering your wristband and using ACL Cashless
  • Consider several options for parking and/or taking shuttles. It’s best to map out parking destinations and shuttle services beforehand, in case you are unable to park where you originally intended. ACL Music Festival provides information about parking and shuttles.
  • Pre-determine meet-up locations with your group. Because cell service is usually spotty within Zilker Park, it’s a good idea to discuss where and when you’ll meet in case you get separated or decide to split up for any reason.

2. Pack a bag.

It’s wise to be prepared for anything – especially when it comes to the weather. As witnessed by Festival-goers over the past few years, conditions tend to be unpredictable and you do not want to get caught in a torrential downpour without a poncho or umbrella.
Suggested items include:
  • Blanket
  • Camera
  • Empty CamelBak, hydration packs, plastic or aluminum water bottles*
  • Water*
  • Portable/collapsible chair
  • Umbrella
  • Rain poncho
  • Bug spray
  • Extra socks
  • Baby stroller - If you’re a brave enough parent, children 10 years-old and younger are admitted free of charge with a ticket-holding adult!
Prohibited items include:
  • Coolers
  • Drones or any other flying device
  • Glass containers of any kind
  • Outside food or beverage*

3. Dress appropriately.

Although you’ll see all types of ensembles at ACL, we recommend erring on the side of comfort with:
  • Comfortable walking shoes. Remember, flip-flops can be problematic if it rains and Zilker Park becomes a mud pit (we’ve heard numerous stories of lost shoes). Also, save your feet and forgo wearing brand new shoes –getting blisters on the first day of the Festival is no fun.
  • Hat and/or sunglasses. Shade is a precious commodity during ACL Music Festival, so do your best to limit sun exposure by donning a hat or sunglasses. Also, wear sunscreen and bring some extra to reapply throughout the day (aerosol spray containers are not allowed).

4. Stay informed.

In the event of inclement weather or possible emergency, be sure to check ACL Music Festival’s official pages for news related to the Festival.

5. Stay hydrated.

In Texas at the beginning of October, temperatures are typically in the range of very-warm to hot. Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated throughout the day. You're allowed to bring 2 factory sealed bottles of water into the park and can refill any water containers at the CamelBak refill stations.

6. Explore.

There are numerous attractions other than music to investigate while at Zilker Park for the Festival. For example:
  • AT&T U-verse Art Lounge: Charge your phone and other devices.
  • CamelBak Filling Stations: Fill your water bottles with free, freshly filtered water.
  • Austin Eats: Over 25 Austin eateries will be on-hand during the Festival. It’s a great opportunity to try food from premier local restaurants you’ve heard about or nosh on your favorite fare. ACL Music Festival’s website has information on all of the food vendors.

7. Enjoy!

For some people, ACL is an event they attend annually. For others, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience. No matter what category you fall in, our best advice is enjoy yourself. There is truly something for everyone at the Festival. We encourage you to dance, sing, eat, shop, people-watch, take pictures and make memories. 
*You may bring two factory sealed bottles of water into the Festival. You can refill water containers throughout the day at free water filling stations within the park.
This blog post is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Austin City Limits Music Festival (ACL).

Please note that these are just our personal suggestions. The best source for details about ACL Music Festival is their website.