How To Live Your Best Life At Austin City Limits

How to stay hydrated, healthy, and happy at the greatest music festival that Texas has to offer.

1. Before going to Austin

  • Buy tickets online as soon as they are released. I bought mine before I even knew the lineup and set up a payment plan (with no interest) to pay them off quickly without paying a lot of money per month. It's much better than waiting until the last minute and shelling out $350+.
  • If you're a college student, choose what weekend works best for you per your academic schedule or football schedule. Also, get AHEAD of your assignments, so you are not feeling guilty or stressed while enjoying time at the festival.
  • Invest in a clear fanny pack (with one pocket-per bag policy).
  • Convince your friends to go with you…nobody wants to go to ACL alone. If you need help convincing them, I made this PowerPoint to persuade my roommate.

2. Pre-festival

  • Know what artists you want to see. This will help when you are mapping out your day/ eating schedule. For example, if you know there's an hour break between two of your favorite artists, use that opportunity to grab a bite to eat!
  • Download the ACL app and screenshot what stages your favorite artists will be on and when they perform. Unfortunately, the service is spotty at best, and it's good to have a backup plan if you cannot pull it up.
  • Activate your wristband! My roommate's wristband did not come in the mail in time, and she had to carry a debit card around the festival with her. The first night though, she lost it and had to cancel it. So if you can, make sure the wristband is activated, and you're ready to go.

3. Transportation

Parking downtown isn't easy, especially in Austin. I parked at the Seaholm Garage, which is connected to Trader Joe's. All-day parking is $21 and a 5-minute walk to the shuttle at Republic Square. Download the app Metropolis before you leave for ACL, and make sure to input all of your information.

The first night we got there, my internet was not working, and the app was crashing. So, I recommend getting your parking situated before ever leaving to drive downtown. You can even do it days before the event. Then, you can walk to the shuttle, and it will take you to the festival for FREE. Or, another option is to rent a Bird scooter or walk to the festival if you're feeling the need for an extra bit of cardio!

4. Health

  • Put on sunscreen- LOTS of it!
  • Pre-game with water.
  • Wear comfortable shoes. Twenty-five thousand steps later will THANK you for it.
  • Take breaks and sit down. This is one of the most important things I've learned as a festival attendee. It's so easy to be hyped up at 11 am when you're on your way to the festival, but once the 4 pm slump rolls around and you are exhausted and hot, it's hard to find that hype again. So get some ice cream, sit down, and enjoy the shade while you can.

5. At the festival

  • Buy their merch water bottle, or bring your own!
  • Make use of the hydration stations. Trust me, the water is free and will keep you going throughout the whole day. If you don't have a water bottle, their cans of water are $5 each, and it adds up.
  • Go to the Bodega. This is a place that houses fresh fruit, water, sunscreen, bandaids, etc.… We went and bought Cliff bars to keep us going in the middle of the day.

6. After the festival

  • Take shuttles back, but be prepared to wait in an extremely long line. If you leave after the last artist is done performing, like thousands of other people, you will be caught in the lines trying to get out more often than not.

7. General Tips To know

  • Uber may seem like a good idea to get to the festival, but our Uber driver dropped us off in the middle of the highway, and we still had to walk another mile or so to get to the festival grounds.
  • RE-APPLY sunscreen. The first coat will not last you all day, especially if it's a sunny day. I had a sunburn for a week solid afterward.
  • Most importantly, have fun. It's a music festival, and it deserves to be celebrated!

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Formerly known as Texas A&M Odyssey

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Emma Stinnette

Emma Stinnette

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