@VibeWithAde here to tell you why Austin City Limits is my favorite time of year in Austin, Texas. I’ve lived in Austin for two years and this will be my third ACL. The city comes alive during this music festival and it’s a fun weekend filled with music, friends and bomb food. Here are the top tips for ACL if you are attending for the first time.
1. Weekend 1 vs. Weekend 2?
There isn’t too big of a distinction between weekends other than the acts that play on weekend one versus weekend two. On the lineup, it will say whether an artist is playing the first or second weekend. Tickets do tend to sell out faster for the first weekend due to more University of Texas students attending since there is an away UT football game the second weekend that a ton of students travel for.
2. What to Wear
Wear whatever you feel comfortable in! The festival can get very hot during the day so wear something you can dance in, sweat in and walk all day in.
Make sure to wear comfortable shoes as the venue is HUGE. You will do lots of walking. Add some Dr.Scholls gel insoles to your shoes to add some comfort to your feet. Here are some outfit ideas to spark some inspiration.
3. What to Bring
Make sure to check the website for what’s allowed and not allowed into the festival. ACL also has some bag limitations, but like most festivals, Vibedration’s hydration packs are approved to use at Austin City Limits!
- Wallet & ID
- Chapstick and gum
- Hydration Pack or Fanny Pack
- Earplugs (my go-to is Zound Earplugs)
- Fan or spray bottle to keep cool
- If you'd like to hang in the grass, bring a blanket or inflatable couch
4. Stay Hydrated and Keep Cool
The festival is super hot and staying hydrated throughout the day is a MUST. There are a ton of free water stations to refill your hydration pack throughout the venue. Utilize fans, spray bottles, and cooling towels to stay cool. The venue is in a park, so take advantage of the shade and take breaks when you can to avoid dehydration and heat exhaustion.
5. Best Entrance for Security
Security can be a quick process depending on the time you enter or can take over an hour if you enter at peak times from 4pm to 5 pm. There are three main entrances into the festival with the busiest one being Barton Springs East Entrance. The Barton Springs West Entrance and Lady Bird Entrance are typically less busy.
6. Enjoy the Food
ACL Eats has some of the best food in Austin! From the best barbecue, to acaí bowls, to hamburgers at Shake Shack, ACL’s food is diverse and yummy. Take time to eat and enjoy the food to fuel your body each day. Also, the popsicles at GoodPop are amazing!
7. Explore Austin
Arrive a day or two early and take time to explore the wonderful city of Austin. Check out the downtown area, the capitol building, the shops and restaurants in South Congress and walk along Lady Bird Lake. And make sure to stop by Franklin Barbecue for some bomb food and stumble into a bar on 6th street with live music!
8. Keep the Party Going
ACL finishes at 10 pm and if you’d like to keep the party going you have a couple of options. You can go out to the infamous Dirty 6th St., go out to Rainey St. or head to West 6th St. Each area has its own vibe depending on what you’re looking for. Dirty 6th is typically for tourists and college kids. Rainey St. has a mixture of low-key and high energy bars. West 6th has a lot more bars for dancing. You’ll be able to find a bar that’s suited for what you’re looking for.
I hope these tips are helpful to get you prepared! I’ll be at ACL this year so follow me @vibewithade and I hope to see you there! Check out my YouTube Channel for fun videos on Austin City Limits and don't forget to pick up your hydration pack before the fest!