Baylor students share tips and tricks for best ACL music festival experience

This photo was taken at last year's Austin City Limits music festival on Sept. 30, 2016. Jessica Hubble | Multimedia Journalist

By Jennifer Smith | Reporter

Austin City Limits’ 15th annual two-weekend music festival will kick off today at Zilker Park in Austin, Texas. ACL is a three-day festival dedicated to a variety of musical genres, located in the heart of the world’s live music capital. Three days spent among crowds in the Texas heat can be tricky. Baylor students weigh in about some tips and tricks to having a successful ACL experience.

Washington senior Emily Guard will be attending her third ACL this year. She said the best part about music festivals is not only seeing your favorite bands, but also getting to discover new ones.

“I’m kind of a music-dork, so for festivals I make spreadsheets or schedules of the times of shows I want to see each day,” Guard said. “If you print your schedule out and put it in your bag, you’ll save your phone a lot of battery from constantly checking to see who’s playing and where you’re going.”

The Official ACL Music Festival Mobile App for Android and iPhone helps festival-goers organize their schedule easily.

In Guard’s experience, she said there are three things worth investing in for ACL: a CamelBak to store small items in while staying hydrated, a portable phone charger to avoid low battery and a buddy to stick with at all times.

Dancing, singing and walking outside in the sun for three days can wear you out. Guard said the exhaustion is by far the hardest part about ACL.

“I always try to make sure to drinks lots of water, eat healthy meals and allow yourself to sleep in at least one of the mornings,” Guard said. “You also just have to get up and get going. You already paid the cost for three days, so you should make the most of it.”

Arizona senior Kelly Beall said the most daunting part of the festival is trying to find a spot close enough to see the performers.

“If you want to see an artist really badly, I would suggest getting to that stage at least an hour before they come on,” Beall said. “Waiting around is never fun, but in order to ensure a good spot, it’s just something you have to do. Use the extra time to rest.”

Because the festival is so crowded, leaving can be a huge hassle, Beall warned.

“Walk as far as you can away from the festival and then call your UBER, Lyft or a taxi to pick you up. It’s total mayhem trying to drive close to Zilker during ACL,” Beall said.

Houston senior Alex Dorris said his favorite part about ACL is attending with a large group of friends. Although going in a group is fun, he said using a group marker is the best way to find and keep track of your friends.

“We always go with a group of 10 to 20 people and it can be easy to lose each other while you’re in the park,” Dorris said. “If you’re going to try to separate and relocate with your group, I highly recommend assigning a group leader to carry around a flag, balloons, or some kind of marker people can look for to find each other.”

For the complete lineup and other information on ACL click here.

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