A Guide to Austin’s Best Festivals
Been-there tips to help you get the most out of Austin’s best festivals.
Austin City Limits
ACL is a three-day outdoor music festival in October where bands and solo artists from all over the country gather to share music. You must purchase a wristband to attend. ACL doesn’t cater to any specific genre of music; expect to see everything from The Head and The Heart (a folk band) to the infamous Kanye West. The stages are scattered across the vast greenery of Zilker Park, and you get a nifty pamphlet upon entering the festival that tells you who’s performing where.
Even though it’s fall, do not – I repeat, DO NOT – underestimate the Texas heat. After three days of walking around without sunscreen, I was badly sunburned. I looked like a Roma tomato for the next week and a half. (And scrunching my nose was painful!) It isn’t uncommon for people to pass out from dehydration in the above-100-degree temperature, so make sure you bring a water bottle. (Or better yet, bring a jar to avoid dirty looks from locals who believe plastic is the devil.) Besides the relentless heat, the only stressful part about ACL is choosing which sets you really want to see. Stevie Wonder? My Morning Jacket? I debated this with myself all day, pondering the dilemma until the sun went down and I had to make a choice. I chose Stevie Wonder because I’m a sucker for classics. When he sang “Isn’t She Lovely,” I knew I’d made the right decision. My ACL experience was Wonder-ful.
- Security people check your bag at the entrance, so don’t bring snacks. They will confiscate your expensive energy bars to be returned never.
- Food trailers are everywhere, selling everything from sushi to tacos. Bring cash.
- Don’t stand behind tall people. You’ll miss the whole show.
- But just because you’re short doesn’t make it okay to sit on a guy’s shoulders. Don’t be that girl. Nobody likes that girl.
- Bring either a backpack or a cross-body bag. Tote bags and handbags become tiresome and annoying.
- When the music swells, put your hands up and dance. Be that girl. Everyone loves that girl.