It’s time again for Austin City Limits (ACL) music festival here in beautiful Austin, Texas! New to ACL? New to Austin? Check out this last-minute guide from our ACL veterans before you go!
Make sure you can get in:
ACL security is strict and the company works hard to innovate ways to make sure those attending have paid fair and square for access to the event.
- Activate your wrist band: Registering your wristband online is required, and helps speed the festival entry process along. Tip: through a new system, ACL Cashless, you can also link your wristband up with your credit card so you don’t have to bring (or lose) your wallet at the fest.
- Keep your access pass to yourself: Removed or exchanged wristbands are invalid. After a wristband has been worn, do not buy that wristband or exchange wristbands. Security does occasionally check to ensure the wristbands show no signs of tampering.
- Double-check what you are allowed to bring with you (purses, pockets, etc.): The last thing you want is to have to give up your stuff at entry, right? Avoid that headache and review the list of prohibited and eligible items. Here are some highlights:
- 2 sealed bottles of water
- Standard backpacks
- Empty CamelBak bottles/bags
- Non-professional cameras
- Drones (or flying devices)
Figure out a plan to get there:
The surrounding roads around Zilker Park will turn into a cluster of bikers, walkers, pedi-cabs, cabs, Car2gos, unicycles… and any other form of transportation you can imagine. Depending on where you’re staying, there are a few options for getting to ACL.
Walking or biking the hike and bike trail
Car2go has parking spots within 5 – 10 minute walking radius of the park, which normally fill up pretty quickly. They’ve also secured a parking lot by our Barton Springs MedSpring location which is about 10 – 15 minutes walking.
Make an ACL Day-Of game plan
For music: Plan out which bands you want to see; the ACL website has the weekend one and weekend two schedule, or view them on the ACL mobile app. We recommend downloading the app as you can create your own custom ACL schedule and it will provide you real time updates while you’re at the festival. When planning your music schedule, keep in mind that for bigger names you’ll want to get to the stage 30 -45 minutes (or more) before their start time to get a prime location. For evening headliners, some folks start staking their spots by the stage before lunchtime.
For food: Along with figuring out if you’re going to choose The Avett Brothers over Lana Del Ray on weekend one, you’ll want to coordinate your breaks for food between shows. Lines for food can get long, and may be on the other side of the festival from your stage so plan accordingly. And, if you want ice cream… prepare to wait even longer. Refill your CamelPaks with every stop so you can stay hydrated and healthy – the water refill stations are free if you BYO bottles.*Hygiene note: with an estimated 75,000 people at the festival every day, germs are everywhere – make sure you rub on hand sanitizer before eating.
For friends: Cell phone service is notoriously non-existent around the park, so have meeting points with friends. You’ll see a lot people charging around the festival holding a long extension pole with a giant flag, which is a great idea to gather your group of friends – just beware, in some stages your flag may disrupt the videographer so make sure it’s on a pole that can be compacted.
For weather: Typically ACL goes on rain or shine, so throw a poncho into your bag and wear weather-friendly clothing. Austin weather can be really unpredictable, and while it looks like weekend one is going to be mid-80s, it could feel like a scorcher. And don’t forget sunscreen!
Whether you’re a native Austinite or visiting our city just for the festival, Austin City Limits is an exciting and busy time. Stay safe, enjoy the music, meet new people, and appreciate the city! If you have any other tips to share, Tweet us @Medspring. We would love to chat with you!
Need medical attention? MedSpring Barton Springs is just around the corner at 517 South Lamar Boulevard to help with injuries or illnesses that are not able to be addressed inside ACL.