12 Austin City Limits essentials

Among the essentials for Austin City Limits are collapsible water bottles, sunglasses and comfy shoes. Photo Credit: Liesje Powers | Photo Editor

By Bradi Murphy | Arts & Life Editor and Lindsey McLemore | Reporter

Austin City Limits (ACL) is right around the corner. Starting today through Sunday and Oct. 7 through Oct. 9, many festival-goers will invade the music capital of the world to see artists such as Mumford & Sons, Kendrick Lamar, Willie Nelson and The Chainsmokers. We have compiled a list of 10 essential items everyone should take with them to ACL.

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The ACL music festival official app (#aclfest) provides tips and tricks attendees should know. Photo Credit: Liesje Powers | Photo Editor

1. ACL music festival official app (#aclfest)

Download the #aclfest app for wristband activation, festival updates, schedule, creating a personal schedule and even shopping in the online store. There’s an interactive festival map showing water stations, Wi-Fi hotspots, food and more. Tapping ‘tap on a stage’ on the map within the app will show you the lineup for that stage each day. The app also features a schedule of autograph signings, which changes daily. Turn on notifications, so you don’t miss anything for any secret signings or pop-up shows during the day.

2. Wristband (Go Cashless!):

Your wristband is your ticket, so don’t leave home without it. Activate your wristband in advance by using the #aclfest app. If you have any issues using your wristband, ACL officials can trace it back to you and get you a new one if necessary. Activating your wristband allows you the option to sync your social media and check in to the festival on Facebook just by scanning in your wristband. Sign up for ACL Cashless after activation and pay with a tap of the wrist. Linking a credit or debit card to your wristband provides you with a safe and easy way to pay for food, drinks, merchandise and vendor products inside Zilker Park during the festival without needing to take your wallet out of your bag or pocket.

3. Drawstring bag/Fanny pack:

The lightweight durability of these bags are what makes them a go-to for music fans. A drawstring backpack provides the ability to be hands-free as you embark upon your festival-going, and they’re safer than a standard zipper backpack, since they can’t be opened without the wearer knowing. Fanny packs are a fun fashion choice that comes in a lot of vibrant colors and are small enough to hold essentials. Although these bags aren’t as big as a standard backpack, less is more when you’re wandering Zilker Park.

4. Sunglasses:

It’s going to be sunny every day of ACL this year, so sunglasses are especially important. Bring a pair of sunglasses you aren’t afraid to lose, because the crowds can get pretty rowdy. If your sunglasses fall off or you drop them, your chances of being able to bend down and pick them up are slim. Don’t risk losing a pair you would truly miss.

5. Flash tattoos:

Flash tattoos are temporary tattoos that are commonly metallic or brightly colored and designed to look like jewelry. The are great for ACL because you can have the look of jewelry without the concern of losing expensive pieces. Made popular in 2013 by Miranda Burnet, you can purchase these unique accessories online or in stores like Sephora, Target and many fast fashion stores in the mall.

6. Bandana/Flower crown:

Bandanas and flower crowns are music festival staples. Soaking a bandana with water and wrapping it around your head, wrist or neck will help you stay cool throughout the day. Bandanas and flower crowns are a great way to keep hair out of your face and add some color to your look.

7. Instant film camera:

This classic camera produces great retro additions to your photo album. For ACL, an instant camera, such as a Polaroid or Fujifilm Instax, is useful if you want to give away pictures or have something unique and different from a standard iPhone picture. Do be careful, though: These cameras can be expensive. If broken or damaged, they are hard to replace. Try and keep the camera in a small bag that can also hold photos.

8. Festival toys:

Festival toys such as hula hoops and light-up gloves are fun ways to enjoy the music while not being deep in the crowd. A festival toy doesn’t necessarily have to be a toy, just a fun way to spend your time between artist performances or in open spaces. Hula hoops, light-up gloves and Frisbees are common sights and an interesting way to meet new people. Many hula hoops are collapsible to take up little room. Music festivals are the perfect opportunity to try something new or old and make new friends.

9. Reusable water bottle:

ACL allows festival-goers to bring in reusable water bottles. Bring a collapsible bottle, so you aren’t carrying extra weight or taking up unnecessary space in your bag when you run out of water. An interesting fact is that collapsible plastic bottles were created by a Baylor alumna. Refill stations are located throughout the festival grounds, and you can also look for refill stations on the map when using the #aclfest app.

10. Portable charger:

For any long event, Snapchats and other social media posts drain your phone within the first few hours. Putting your phone on airplane mode then posting at a later time is a great way to save battery power, but portable chargers can also reboot your lifeline. These are small, affordable and worth the investment.

11. Comfortable shoes:

As you probably know, you will be standing a lot, so comfortable shoes are important. Whether you have running shoes, boots or sandals, support is essential when standing for long hours. While your strappy platforms may be stylish, the blisters you get from wearing them are not. Give your feet a break and enjoy some good music with comfortable style.

12. Sunscreen:

Sunscreen is essential for ACL because you aren’t just in the Texas heat for a day — You’re in it for three days. Regardless of how exciting ACL is, it is not fun to see your favorite artists with a bright red, stinging sunburn. One coat of sunscreen in the morning is not enough. Bring sunscreen with you and take the time to reapply throughout the day.