ACL 2023: a Guide to One of Austin’s Favorite Music Festivals
Written by Amarylis Rodriguez on August 31, 2023
While this date is a couple of months away, it is important to plan ahead to stay at ease in a busy environment. Here is a mini list of all the things that might be helpful to know before going to the festival!
Tip #1: Know the Best Modes of Transportation
This first tip is a big one, especially since many attendees come from outside of the Austin. An important thing to know is there is no parking around or near festival grounds. However, based on previous years, ACL does provide a variety of different options to get you to and from Zilker. Here are a few to consider:
ACL has a complimentary shuttle service that runs back and forth from Downtown Austin all the way to one of the festival’s entrances. In the past, the shuttle service started at 12PM on Friday and 11AM on Saturday and Sunday.
Though there is no parking for your cars, there are many spots located on the outskirts of the festival where you can dock your bicycle or scooter for free. If you choose to get to the festival on bike, the Ann and Roy Butler Hike-and-Bike Trail in Zilker that will take you directly to one of the entrances. If you don’t want to take a personal bike, there is also the option of MetroBike. If choosing to take one, there will be staff and valet at the festival to park the MetroBike for you.
Tip #2: Know the Grounds
One of the best things you can do before arriving is knowing the layout of Zilker. ACL will cover forty-six acres of the beloved three-hundred and fifty-one acre park. While the exact map for the 2023 festival is not available yet, above is last year’s map to get a general idea. The titles of the areas may differ, but the location of the nine stages have remained the same throughout the years.
Tip #3: Keep Policies in Mind
Considering the huge size of the festival and the number of attendees each year, there are many precautions and rules that are put into place to ensure the safety of you and everyone else in attendance. Here are some of the most important policies to remember:
You don’t want to get caught outside the festival because you do not have a proper bag for all your things! For ACL, you can only bring clear bags that are no larger than 12″ x 6″ x 12″. If you do bring a non-clear bag it has to be very small with no more than one pocket and does not exceed the size of 6″ x 9″.
There is limited re-entry at ACL. Attendees are allowed to leave and come back for a maximum of two times per day. Re-entry is tracked by scanning wristbands at the gates.
For both weekends, the gates will open at 12PM on Friday and 11AM on Saturday and Sunday.
There are lots of everyday items that might seem helpful for a festival, but for safety reasons are not allowed. Some of the items that you want to leave at home would include umbrellas, tents, coolers, wagons, selfie sticks and aerosol cans, so no spray deodorant or sunscreen!
Tip #4: Plan Out Your Show Schedule
The ACL 2023 Show Schedule has officially been announced! You can locate the schedule day-by-day for each weekend here. Create a schedule to make sure you have enough time to see all your favorites and then some!
Other Helpful Things
Now that you have some of the basics, here are a few extra things ACL provides for guests to maximize enjoyment all around:
If you have important belongings to take with you, but don’t want to worry about keeping track of, ACL has lockers for anyone to rent before you get there.
Weekend 1 lockers can be rented here.
Weekend 2 lockers can be rented here.
Exclusive Hotel Rates
With all that is going to be happening in the area, booking a hotel during ACL weekends are definitely not going to be cheap. To help with that, ACL offers exclusive rates to those coming from out-of-town or those want to be closer to the festival.
See Weekend One rates here.
See Weekend Two rates here.
While not available right now, there will be an app for attendees to download to keep track of everything happening at the festival.
Find the most up to date information about the app here.