ACL Survival Guide

ACL Survival Guide


There’s a big thing coming to town this weekend and hint - it ain’t Santa. It’s Austin’s most wonderful time of year - ACL. Austin City Limits Music Festival, held at Zilker Park, is a two-week long event featuring some of the biggest artists in the industry. This year’s lineup includes artists like Cardi B, Billie Eilish, and Guns N’ Roses. However, as fun as ACL can be, it can also get a little overwhelming. I’ve put together a survival guide that’ll make your weekend experience one for the books, or your top hit on Instagram.


1.    Activate your wristband

  • Make sure you activate your wristband! It’s as easy as going to the ACL website and inputting the required information. After activating it online, you’ll be able to pay for items using your wristband, and you won’t have to carry around cash or a credit card and risk losing them.

2.    Plan out your schedule

  • Find out when your favorite artists are playing so that you’re able to make it to your most anticipated performances. Sometimes your favorites’ set times will overlap so make sure you know when and where everyone will be performing so you can get to those particular stages early. Big, unruly crowds are a guarantee. 

3.    Don’t bring your car

  • Take the shuttle or an Uber to Zilker Park. No parking is allowed at Zilker during ACL, and parking in residential neighborhoods is discouraged out of respect for residents, so unless you’re willing to overpay for parking, plan to take public transportation. It’s easy, convenient and you might make a friend or two on the way. 

4.    Dress for the weather

  • Enduring the Texas heat is already a pain in itself. You don’t want to make it any more unbearable by sporting the wrong outfit. Wear short-sleeved clothing and closed toed shoes. Wearing sandals to ACL will probably end up being your biggest regret, as the crowds do get wild and people WILL be stepping all over your feet. 

5.    Remember to bring the essentials

  • Make sure you’ve packed water, sunscreen, and a portable phone charger! While charging stations are provided at ACL, there’ll be thousands of other people also waiting to use them. 

  • Most importantly, STAY HYDRATED. You’re only allowed to bring one water bottle, so I’d suggest bringing a CamelBak, as they’re easy to carry and easy to refill at the available re-filling stations. 

  • Bring sunscreen, hats, sunglasses – anything that’ll protect your skin from the 12 hours of blazing sun. 

  • And remember, there is a size limit for bags, so bring small totes or drawstrings if necessary.

6.    Don’t experience ACL through your phone 

  • Mobile reception pretty much sucks in such a crowded area in the middle of the park, and if you’re planning on spending the entire day there, your phone battery will be drained quickly. Limit time spent on your phone. Resist the urge to post too much on social media just to show everyone what they’re missing out on - trust me they’re probably already feeling the FOMO. Live in the moment.


  • Music festivals can be a hell of a good time. Don’t be afraid to dance like crazy and sing at the top of your lungs to all your favorite songs. Go with friends that you can let loose and make amazing memories with. Life’s all about having a good time.

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