Students offer advice for Austin City Limits

The neon ACL sign adorns the entranceway to the three-day, 137 band music festival that hosted daily crowds of more than 65,000 in 2010.
Lariat File Photo

By Hayley Gibson


Austin’s famous Zilker Park will soon be filled with thousands as the largest music festival in Texas, the 11th annual Austin City Limits, prepares to kick off this weekend.

The sold-out festival will be held Friday through Sunday, with music from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. each day.

Headliners are The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Neil Young and the Crazy Horse, The Black Keys, Jack White, Florence and the Machine and the Avett Brothers, among others.

The festival will have eight stages varying in size and prestige with continuous music from the 130 artists that will perform throughout the weekend.

Although passes are sold-out, three-day wristbands and one-day passes can still be purchased on third party sites such as and

Parking at ACL will be provided at One Texas Center for free on Friday after 5 p.m., and for $10 on Saturday and Sunday.

Parking is also available at the Palmer Events Center and at Republic Square with a shuttle service.

ACL veteran and Austin junior, Rachel Woodfin, has attended the festival twice including last year, and plans to go this year for Saturday as well.

“Pack light, dress comfortable and be prepared for really big crowds,” said Woodfin, who advises that festivalgoers make a plan rather than just wandering through the festival.

With eight different sets to choose from, it is advised on the ACL website to study the schedules and form a plan. Sometimes, however, breaking that plan leads to the most fun discoveries.

“Chances are you won’t know all the bands… but it’s really exciting when you find new bands you’ve never heard of,” Woodfin said.

Woodfin also advises that people bring camelbacks to refill with water for free, shop at the merch tables early to get the right size and be prepared for food to run out fast.

For those who need a break from the music, there will be an ACL Art Market featuring various vendors.

There will also be activities throughout the festival grounds including the Rock Island Hideaway, where all of the weekend’s big sporting events will be shown live.

Cedar Park junior Trevor Pyle advises those going to ACL to bring cash since there are few ATM machines and to plan ahead for parking. Pyle said that the most convenient way to get around during ACL is renting a bike or carpooling.

Pyle’s favorite part of the festival is the evening performances, and he recommends getting to them early because of their popularity.

“Night shows are awesome,” Pyle said. “I love the lighting and being able to see Austin’s skyline.”

The festival will be outside, and weather for the weekend is expected to be in the 80s.

Pyle suggests wearing things that can get dirty and will be appropriate for warm weather.

Fans can stay connected whether they are at the festival or not. There will be live streaming on YouTube for those who do not have a ticket.

For those who will be at the festival, there are interactive apps for iPhone and Android that will help keep fans up to date with all of ACL’s happenings in addition to providing a map of the festival grounds and a complete schedule of the bands.

For more information, visit, or download the app on your mobile device.