Welcome to Austin, y’all. Live music capital of the world! If you’re in Austin this weekend, odds are you’ve heard about ACL Fest. For the next two weekends, Zilker Park is going to be bopping with non-stop music across 8 different stages from over 100 featured artists, big and small. Word on the street it that this year, ACL has (yet again) added even more fun to the mix. The silent disco is back, the food cart line-up has expanded, and there are even more Camelbak water stations around the park this year! Hydration hell yeah!!
ACL Fest is such a scene. Everyone in our office has been buzzing about it for weeks now, planning their schedules for music, food and even what their going to wear. I’m sure a few people (Parker) have even already prepped and polished their Instagram captions too. It’s fun to have fun, but you have to know how… so prepare yourself to have the best jam packed weekend of October. Here’s how:
ACL is undoubtedly a prime photo op for you and your girl gang. Don’t let this stress you out though, wear what you’re most comfortable in! Also, peep this graphic Kelly made to help you keep your festival best from straying down the culturally appropriative path. And don’t forget to download the ACL Fest app so that you can personalize your schedule, check out this year’s festival gear, and memorize the stage set up days in advance. Be the friend in your ACL troup who is in the know (and thank me later).
THE MAIN ATTRACTION
My favorite part of ACL is the music. This year, I’m most looking forward to seeing Justice, David Byrne and the great Sir Paul McCartney. And of the smaller caliber acts: Moses Sumney, Big Thief, Noname and Blood Orange. An eclectic group of artists make up most of my top 10 — what about yours? Who are you most excited to see this weekend?
BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE
The second best part of ACL is the food! Seriously, ACL Eats is my favorite stage. This year, in addition to the food court on the north side of the park, ACL is adding food vendors to a food court on the south side of Zilker too! Austin is such a foodie city and the all star cast making up these food courts exudes this thoroughly. Mighty Cone, Amy’s Ice Cream, Wholly Cow Burgers and Fries, Austin’s Pizza, Bananarchy, the Ruler of all that is good and vegetable in Austin Juiceland… I could go on! You guys, trust me when I say you need to plan your meals wisely. I know that the music perpetually calls, but you can and should totally make time to refuel your weary dancing bodies. You won’t regret trying out any of these local Austin vendors.
Other sweet spots to take a break from the masses and music are the ACL Wine Lounge and Beer Hall. In past years, my friends and I have made the wine lounge our designated meet up spot. Not a bad place to regroup, chill out in the shade and wine down in between shows (also a great backdrop for pics!).
There’s also the silent disco — the strangest looking event, but most unique beat happening under the Tito’s tent for sure. It’s fun to partake, but equally as fun to stand by and watch people slip on their headphones and get down to music only they can hear.
Other tips for making your ACL weekend everything and more:
- Drink water
- Wear sunscreen
- Bring ibuprofen, just in case
- Don’t forget your inflatable couch thing
- Activate your wristband before you arrive at the park
- Go cashless! Link your credit card to your wristband so you can worry about one less thing
- If you’re bringing a bag, make sure its size is ACL approved
- Ride your bike to Barton! It’s fun and eco friendly!
- If you’re going to try and get to the front for your favorite closing act, go before you go!
- Be safe and aware of your surroundings
- Take full advantage of all things Austin, TX before and after the festival