The Austin City Limits Music Festival (ACL) takes place annually at Zilker Park in Austin. The Austin City Limits television show is the inspiration behind the festival and had a role to play in propelling its popularity. The event features a diverse line-up and over a hundred performances every single year.
The festival began as a single weekend event in 2002. It now takes place on two back to back three-day weekends and is produced by C3 Presents, the same Austin company behind other music events like Lollapalooza. Multiple stages are set up on the venue where musical acts from different genres like indie, country, rock, hip hop, and electronica perform.
Artists like LCD Soundsystem, Dave Matthews Band, Pearl Jam, Sheryl Crow, Dixie Chicks, Run the Jewels, The Avett Brothers, and The String Cheese Incident have played at ACL in the past.
Over 400,000 festival-goers are part of the event every year. Due to its immense popularity, ACL has expanded internationally and is now held in countries like Australia and New Zealand. In addition to the great music, attendees can enjoy some great food, incredible art and plenty of other entertainment options.
Fans typically choose between single-day tickets or tickets for all three days of the Austin City Limits Music Festival. VIP passes are also available. Tickets range in price from $250 for general admission passes to $1450 for VIP passes. Events are usually scheduled throughout two separate weekends, so note your dates and what is included when planning your trip.
Austin is a cyclist-friendly city, so be aware of any bike lanes and stay clear of these as you approach Zilker Park near the Colorado River and Barton Creek. If an accident or traffic congestion occurs on one of the highways, it may be helpful to take a detour through a side road and get back on when you can if an RV-friendly route can be determined. Driving directly to the festival is not recommended since parking is extremely limited near Downtown Austin.
A limited number of paid parking passes are typically available for a fee, but these may not be able to accommodate larger rigs. It may be preferable to leave your Airstream, fifth-wheel, or similar at your campsite and plan to bike, take public transportation, or bring a tow vehicle closer to the festival if needed. Vehicles parked in the surrounding neighborhoods may be towed or ticketed. ADA parking is limited and will be provided on a first-come, first-serve basis.
The best way to get to the venue is likely by using public transportation. Several bus routes stop near the venue. Guests have the option of taking private for-hire transportation or a taxi service. Festival organizers often provide a free shuttle service that operates on all the days of the festival.
Camping on the venue grounds is not available, so it’s best to choose an Austin area RV park or campground. Motorists can easily drive an RV to a campsite near the event venue and park it there for the duration of your stay in town. Need a place to stay on the way to Austin? Texas State Parks will keep you entertained and rested along almost any route to the festival.
Some of the countries best RV parks are in Austin. At these, you’ll find amenities for every type of rig, and you can enjoy some great outdoor activities. Reserving a space in advance is advisable since the festival brings in the crowds. Austin Lone Star RV Resort is less than 10 miles from the Austin City Limits Music Festival site and has been known to accept rigs up to 45 feet in length. Pecan Grove RV Park is about a mile from Zilker Park but may fill up quickly.
Guests will need to get around the venue on foot. Bicycle, skateboards, scooters, carts, wagons, or any other personal motorized vehicles will not be allowed on the festival grounds. Free parking for cycles and scooters will be available near the main entrance of the venue. Guests with mobility disabilities will be permitted to use wheelchairs, power wheelchairs, and three or four-wheeled scooters.
Your best bet is to wear comfortable summer clothing like shorts, t-shirts, and dresses. It can get pretty hot during the day, so it's a good idea to wear clothes that are breathable and light. Bring a sweater or jacket to beat any October evening chills, and wear a pair of comfortable shoes. Maybe pack your favorite musician's garb or plan to pick one up at the festival.
Make sure you carry a few essentials like sunglasses, bug repellent, a lightweight blanket, binoculars, an empty water bottle, and a portable battery charger. These can be packed in a small tote, purse or drawstring bag. Guests are allowed to carry non-aerosol sunscreen.
Keep your face and neck shaded by wearing a wide-brimmed hat and apply plenty of sunscreen. Water fountains, trash cans, and restrooms will be provided by the organizers. Event planners ask that guests help keep the venue litter-free, try to stay hydrated, and respect other Austin City Limits guests.
Most independent RV parks and campgrounds permit cooking on the stove associated with your RV or on small portable cooking appliances. However, there may be some restrictions regarding open fires, and the amount of fuel you can bring into some of the campgrounds. Cooking on the Austin City Limits festival grounds or bringing in outside food or beverages are not allowed.
Fans can find some of the best street and fast food classics like breakfast tacos and barbecue in Austin. If fine dining is more up your alley, there are plenty of top restaurants to choose from in this diverse community. Don’t miss out on indulging in some amazing beverages like craft beer, mezcal-based cocktails, and cold-brewed coffee.
Austin City Limits will have a dedicated food court with plenty of delicious food and beverage options. Apart from carnival fare, many of the city’s top restaurants will be represented here. You can load cash on your wristband when registering it to make purchases simple and quick.
Festival staff and security personnel will be present at the entrances and patrolling the grounds. A complete TSA-style and metal detector search before entry is to be expected. Anything you're carrying will be searched, or you can choose to leave your bag at home and take advantage of the express entry lanes.
Austin City Limits Music Festival typically takes place during fall. Music lovers can expect plenty of sunshine during the day, with the temperature dropping some at night. It’s a good idea to bring warm clothing if you plan on catching the after-dark sets. ACL is a rain or shine event, so no refunds or exchanges will be given due to adverse weather.
Medical staff will be present at each entrance gate. You’ll need to clear any prescription medications with them. Accessible portable toilets will be available throughout the venue. Service animals will be allowed in as long as prior permissions have been taken. American Sign Language (ASL) interpreted music performances can be provided on special request for patrons with hearing disabilities.