The Ultimate Guide to ACL Music Festival

Austin City Limits will be here again before we know it, so TicketCity has created your complete guide to this year’s ACL Festival! We’ve got all the information you need, from how to get to ACL, what to bring, who to see and what to do during and after the festival, we’ve got all the info you need to have the best ACL Experience ever. 

The dates for Austin City Limits Festival this year are listed on our the ACL Festival page on our website. If you have not yet got your tickets for the festival yet, TicketCity has 3-day passes for both weekends, as well as single-day tickets.

ACL Festival Dates & Schedule.

How to Get to Zilker Park for ACL

Bicycle & Scooters

One of the most popular, and probably the easiest way to get to ACL is via bicycle and scooters! Bicycle parking near Zilker Park is available on Stratford Drive near the Mopac Pedestrian Bridge and also near the Barton Springs East Entrance. Scooter, as well as bicycle parking, will be located on Toomey Road at Sterzing Street and on Azie Morton Rd. You may also rent a bicycle with your cell phone and credit card from one of the sharing services that are prevalent downtown Austin. You can also use a rental scooter Bird, Jump, Lime, Spin and Uber. Please note: if you ride your bicycle to Zilker, do not forget to bring a chain to lock up your bicycle. 

Public Transportation

Austin’s public transportation system is another affordable way to access ACL Festival. Capital Metro has several buses that run downtown, as well as a metro rail that will be running an extended schedule during both ACL weekends. If you’re taking the bus to Austin City Limits, download the Capital Metro app on your phone to see the best routes from your area to Zilker. You may have to walk a bit from where Cap Metro drops you off, but the area around Town Lake has good sidewalks and walking trails. 


The festival offers a free shuttle service to and from the festival from the Republic Square located at 4th and Guadalupe. The shuttles run from early morning until after the shows end each day of the festival. Republic Square park is a short walk from downtown hotels, restaurants and bars. There is also paid parking within a few blocks of Republic Square Park.

Uber & Rideshares:

The festival has a designated area for drop-offs and pickups for those who choose to take a rideshare program like Lyft and Uber. You can also take a Yellow Cab (taxi) if you are fortunate enough to hail one in downtown Austin.

Driving/Parking at ACL:

Driving to ACL festival is not recommended as there is no parking available near Zilker Park. Most of the streets near the festival will be shut down and there is no parking in the Rollingwood neighborhood nearest the park. If you choose to drive to the festival, it is recommended that you park somewhere downtown, where you can then walk or take the free shuttle service to the festival. There may also be some opportunities in the Zilker neighborhood to park in someones front lawn for a small fee.

What to Bring to ACL:

    • Small, single pocket drawstring bag or small purse/fanny pack (may not exceed 14”x11”x5” and must have no more than one pocket or opening)
    • Water bottles (must be empty or sealed upon entry to the festival) or empty CamelBak hydration packs (smaller than 18 L); can use the free water filling stations located throughout the park
    • Sunscreen and bug repellent (no aerosol containers allowed)
    • Poncho (if rain is in the forecast)
    • Portable cell phone charger
    • Blankets, towels, or collapsible chairs to sit on (there are plenty of places away from the stage where you can take break but still hear the music)
    • Binoculars
    • Mask or Bandana (which can help if you avoid germs, dust and pollens)

What Not to Bring: 

    • Large backpacks or bags that exceed the sizes allowed in the festival
    • Outside food or beverages
    • Professional audio and/or video recording equipment
    • Coolers
    • Glass containers
    • E-Cigs or vaping devices
    • Pets
    • Frisbees, skateboards, scooters, wagons, bicycles (inside the festival) or any kind of motorized vehicle

Forget Something?

ACL bodegas are one-stop shops that offer most festival necessities as well as fresh fruit and snacks. If you find yourself in need of sunscreen, ponchos, or anything else stop by one of the ACL bodegas! 

Which Bands to See at ACL:

Austin City Limits Festival always has a stacked lineup, so make sure you plan ahead to see your favorite bands. Take the entire lineup and plan your day around which are your “must-see” shows so you can make sure to navigate to those stages well in advance of the show starting. You will also want to circle some of the up-and-coming acts that you want to check out, or at least performers that are new to you. The best thing about ACL is discovering that new band or musician, that instantly becomes one of your favorites. The crowds will start to congregate around the stages an hour to hour and a half before a band starts to perform, so if you want to be near the front of the stage then show up early. 

Buying Tickets for ACL:

When you purchase a ticket to ACL Festival you are actually purchasing an ACL wristband that is coded for the weekend and day(s) that you are going to attend. You will put on the wristband and then can activate if you want to associate your credit card with it, which allows you to pay for things at the festival by just scanning (the chip embedded in) your wristband.

  • Ticket Options for ACL Weekend One include:
    • 3 Day Pass Weekend 1: access to all 3 days of 1st Weekend
    • Friday Only Pass Weekend 1
    • Saturday Only Pass Weekend 1
    • Sunday Only Pass Weekend 1day only
  • Ticket Options for ACL Weekend Two include:
    • 3 Day Pass Weekend 2: access to all 3 days of 2nd Weekend
    • Friday Only Pass Weekend 2
    • Saturday Only Pass Weekend 2
    • Sunday Only Pass Weekend 2

Austin City Limits Festival Event Guide:

ACL Stages

Austin City Limits Festival is spread out across Zilker Park’s 350 acres. There are 8 primary stages at ACL, which host the 125 bands that play over two weekends. The main stages host the headlining acts, while the other stages are packed all day with great music. To get a spot close to the stage, you will need to get to that stage well in advance of the performer you want to see. ACL is an all General Admission event, which means there are no reserved seats for fans.

Places to Eat at ACL

The ACL Eats Food Court continues to expand and 2019 features the biggest ACL food lineup yet. The ACL Eats offers options from some of Austin’s favorite restaurants including Torchy’s Tacos, The Peached Tortilla, Austin’s Pizza, TacoDeli, Chi’Lantro, Shake Shack, The Salt Lick BBQ, Tiff’s Treats, and Amy’s Ice Cream, plus many others. 

Art Market:

If you want to get away from the crowd and music for a bit, ACL has an art market where you can browse various goods from both national and local artists. Some of the vendors include Blue Lux, Austin Art Garage, Greg Davis and Futurgarb.

Waterloo Artist Signing Stage:

Want the opportunity to meet some of your favorite ACL artists at ACL? Waterloo Records hosts autograph signings for various ACL artists every day of the festival for free!

Austin Kiddie Limits:

Austin City Limits is family-friendly. Up to two children ages 10 and under can enter the festival for free when accompanied by a ticketed adult. ACL has the Austin Kiddie Limits area that offers several fun activities for families. Austin Kiddie Limits is open from 11:00am-7:00pm every day.

Didn’t get enough at ACLFest? 

Some of the best artists in the ACL lineup also play the official ACL Late Night shows. The late-night shows are played at much smaller venues than Zilker Park, such as Emo’s, Stubb’s and the ACL Moody Theatre at the W Hotel. This year’s hottest ACL Late Night performers include Gary Clark Jr., Hippie Sabotage, Jenny Lewis, IDLES, GRiZ, and many more! 

Buy ACL tickets here.