The Ultimate ACL Festival Guide
The Ultimate Austin City Limits Music Festival Guide
Austin City Limits is almost here, and 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 2016 Austin City Limits Festival takes place over the next two weekends, September 30-October 2, and October 7-9. If you have not gotten your tickets for the festival yet, TicketCity has 3 day passes for both weekends, as well as single day tickets, which can be found here.
How to get to ACL:
One of the most popular, and probably the easiest way to get to ACL is via bicycle! The festival has bike racks at each entrance of the festival. You may also rent a bicycle from B-cycle, which has 50 stations around the downtown area.
Austin’s public transportation system is another great and affordable way to access ACL Festival. Capital Metro has several busses that run downtown, as well as a metrorail that will be running an extended schedule during both ACL weekends. Capital Metro will also be the one providing the free shuttle services from Republic Square Park.
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 10am-11pm every day of the festival.
Taxis & Rideshare:
The festival has a designated area for drop offs and pickups for those who choose to take a taxi or rideshare programs such as Fare, Fasten, and Ride.
Driving to the festival is not recommended as there is no parking available and most of the streets near the festival will be shut down. 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.
What to bring:
- Backpack (no framed backpacks will be accepted)
- Water bottles (must be empty or sealed upon entry to the festival), or empty CamelBak hydration packs. There will be several free water filling stations located throughout the park.
- Sunscreen (No sunscreen in aerosol containers allowed)
- Poncho & handheld umbrella
- Portable cell phone charger
- Blankets, towels, or collapsible chairs to sit on
What not to bring:
- Outside food or beverages
- Professional audio and/or video recording equipment
- Glass containers
- Selfie sticks
- Skateboards, scooters, bicycles(inside the festival), or any kind of motorized vehicle
ACL Bodegas are a new addition to ACL. The bodegas are one-stop shops that offer most festival necessities as well as fresh fruit and snacks. If you find yourselves in need of sunscreen, ponchos, or anything else stop by one of the bodegas!
The State Farm #HereToHelp tent is another place to stop by if you’ve forgotten something. The air-conditioned tent offers cell free cell phone charging and wi-fi as well as free sunscreen, sunglasses and more!
What to do:
Bands to see:
Obviously the Austin City Limits Festival is all about the music, and this year’s festival features Radiohead, Kendrick Lamar, and Mumford & Sons as the headliners. With over 100 artists performing at the festival it can be hard to choose which bands to see, so we’ve narrowed down the list to some of the festival’s top non-headlining performers.
Major Lazer’s late night ACL show sold out almost instantly, and they are by far one of the hottest acts at the festival. The electronic group is most known for their songs “All My Love”, “Lean On” and “Cold Water.” You can watch Major Lazer at 8:00pm on the Honda Stage.
Band of Horses
Band of Horses may be one of the most underrated bands in the ACL lineup. They are most known for their songs “The Funeral” and “No One’s Gonna Love You”. Whether you were a fan of them or not, after witnessing them live you will be sure to walk away as one. Band of Horses play at 7:00pm on the Miller Lite stage.
The Struts (Week 2 Only)
The Struts play ACL during week 2 only, and they are a must-see for that day. The up-and-coming act is known for their glamorous classic rock vibe and their catchy songs “Could’ve Been Me and “Kiss This”. The Struts play at 5:00pm on the Miller Lite stage.
The Chainsmokers are one of the hottest DJ duos in music. The pair broke out in 2014 with their single “Selife” and have since had hit songs such as “Roses”, “Don’t Let Me Down”, and “Closer.” The Chainsmokers will be bringing the house down at 7:30 on the HomeAway stage.
Cage the Elephant
Cage the Elephant have been one of the biggest rock bands to emerge in the past decade, and you can expect a phenomenal and highly energetic live performance from them. The band is most known for their songs “Ain’t No Rest for the Wicked”, “In One Ear”, “Cigarette Daydreams” and “Mess Around.” Cage the Elephant play at 6:30pm on the Honda Stage.
Catfish and the Bottlemen
Catfish and the Bottlemen are an up-and-coming act who are known for their amazing live performances. The band is most known for their songs “Kathleen” “Cocoon” and “Soundcheck.”
You can catch Catfish and the Bottlemen at 4:30 pm on the Honda Stage.
Willie Nelson (Week 2 Only)
Austin is known for its music, and Austin’s most iconic musician, Willie Nelson, will be playing ACL this year. Willie be playing the second week of ACL only, and you can catch him at 6:00pm on the Samsung Stage.
Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats
Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats are a folk-rock band who have been picking up steam over the past couple of years due to their amazing live performances. The group is known for their songs “S.O.B”, “I Need Never Get Old” and “Howling at Nothing.” Don’t miss Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats at ACL by catching them at 4:00pm on the Samsung Stage.
Haim is a pop rock band that consists of three sisters who are known for their phenomenal hard rocking shows. The group is most known for their songs “Falling”, “The Wire” and “Don’t Save Me.” Haim will be playing ACL at 7:00pm on the HomeAway Stage.
Shopping & Other Activities:
Places to Eat:
The ACL Eats Food Court offers a wide variety of food and drinks from some over 30 of Austin’s top restaurants! Fill up with food from Torchy’s Tacos, The Peached Tortilla, P. Terry’s Burgers, or cool down with Amy’s Ice Cream and GoodPop Popsicles.
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, Moniker Guitars and Futurgarb.
Waterloo Records Honda Artist signing shack
Want the opportunity to meet some of your favorite ACL artists? The Waterloo Records Honda Artist Signing Shack hosts autograph signings for various ACL artists every day of the festival for free! Those that swing by the shack to get autographs will also have the chance to win a new car!
Miller Lite Game Hall
The Miller Lite Game Hall features various vintage and modern arcade games, a photo booth and phone charging stations!
Austin Kiddie Limits
Austin City Limits is family friendly. Children ages 10 and under do not need a ticket for ACL and 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 are also playing the official ACL Late Night shows that are during the nights surrounding and of the festival. The Late Night Shows are played at much smaller venues than Zilker Park, such as Emos, Stubb’s and The Moody Theatre. This year’s ACL Late Night performers include artists such as Major Lazer, The Chainsmokers, Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats, Band of Horses, Cold War Kids, Porter Robinson & Madeon, Haim, LL Cool J, M83, Two Door Cinema Club and more! Check out all of the ACL Late Night shows and purchase tickets here.