The Ultimate ACL Festival Guide

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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… oh, and don’t forget about the late addition of Weezy F on Saturday of Weekend 2.

The 2018 Austin City Limits Festival takes place October 5-7 and October 12-14. 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 There

Bicycle:

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.

Public Transportation:

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.

Shuttle:

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:

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:

    • 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); there will be several free water filling stations located throughout the park
    • Sunscreen and bug repellant (no aerosol containers allowed)
    • Poncho
    • Portable cell phone charger
    • Blankets, towels, or collapsible chairs to sit on
    • Binoculars

What Not to Bring: 

    • Backpacks/bags with multiple pockets or larger than 14”x11”x5”
    • Outside food or beverages
    • Professional audio and/or video recording equipment
    • Coolers
    • Glass containers
    • E-Cigs or vaping devices
    • Pets
    • Selfie sticks
    • 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 bodegas!

The State Farm #HereToHelp tent is another place to stop by if you’ve forgotten something. The air-conditioned tent offers free cell phone charging and wi-fi as well as free sunscreen, sunglasses and more!

Bands to See

Obviously, the Austin City Limits Festival is all about the music, and this year’s festival features Paul McCartney, Metallica and Childish Gambino 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.

Friday:

Greta Van Fleet (Weekend 1 Only)

Greta Van Fleet is the biggest up-and-coming band in music right now. They have taken the world by storm and their concerts have been selling out all year. The band is known for their similarity to Led Zeppelin and for bringing the classic rock sound back into modern rock music.

Bishop Briggs

Bishop Briggs is a new alternative artist out of the United Kingdom who released her debut album earlier this year. She has grown in popularity just this year and is most known for her song “River”.

Alvvays

Alvvays have been growing in popularity in the past couple years as word travels of their upbeat live performances. Especially popular among college students, this indie pop band is one you will not want to miss.

Saturday:

St. Vincent

St. Vincent is an alternative rock artist known for her distinct musical style. While she has been active in music for over a decade, she broke out in 2014 with her self-titled album that won a Grammy for best alternative album, and she has been a must-see artist ever since.

Wallows (Weekend 2 Only)

Wallows are an alternative rock band fronted by Dylan Minnette, the star of Netflix’s TV series “13 Reasons Why.”

Chvrches

Chvrches have become an ACL favorite ever since they first played the festival a few years ago. The synthpop band are known for their electric live performances.

Sunday:

Shawn Mendes (Weekend 2 Only)

Shawn Mendes is a pop star that has taken the world by storm. He has been on an extremely successful 2018 tour that will continue in 2019, and this is his only stop in Austin.

Vince Staples (Weekend 2 Only)

Vince Staples is one of today’s most popular rappers, having collaborated with Kendrick Lamar on the “Black Panther” soundtrack. He is only playing ACL for one weekend.

Wilderado (Weekend 1 Only)

Wilderado is probably the most underrated band on this year’s ACL lineup. The alternative indie group has a unique sound that is a mixture of alternative and country/folk rock. Take my word for it, they’re just good.

Shopping & Other Activities

Places to Eat:

The ACL Eats Food Court has added a second location for 2018. The first food court offers Torchy’s Tacos, The Peached Tortilla, P. Terry’s Burgers and Amy’s Ice Cream, among others. The second area – on the north side of Zilker Park – includes Burro Grilled Cheese, Tino’s Greek Café and Good Pop.

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.

Honda x Waterloo Artist Signing Stage:

Want the opportunity to meet some of your favorite ACL artists? The Honda x Waterloo Artist Signing Stage 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 Moody Theatre. This year’s ACL Late Night performers include Sofi Tukker, St. Vincent, The Wombats, Houndmouth, X Ambassadors, Brockhampton, San Holo, Lisa Loeb, Bishop Briggs, Alvvays, The National, ODESZA, Manchester Orchestra and more! Check out all of the ACL Late Night shows and purchase tickets here.

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