ACL Music Festival Tips

Known as the live music capitol of the world, it’s no shock that Austin hosts a music festival in Zilker Park that lasts two consecutive three-day weekends. The annual Austin City Limits Music Festival, or ACL for short, is perfect for individuals of all ages, even kids, and brings its fans eight stages with more than 140 bands and artists.

Francie Little, an agent with Austin Portfolio Real Estate, a luxury real estate boutique branch of Keller Williams Realty, is a music enthusiast and veteran ACL attendee. Since it’s easy for first-timers to become overwhelmed and get lost in the crowd and excitement, Little has compiled a list of her top tips for surviving (and enjoying) the electrifying and captivating ACL Music Festival.


Visit the ACL Music Festival website and look at the band schedules. If you are unfamiliar with a band, the site has links to their music so you can see if you like them. Choose the bands you want to see, look at their set times and make note of which stage they’ll perform on.

“With 8 stages,” Little says, “it can be easy to get turned around and end up missing a band you wanted to see.”


If you’re going with a group of friends, you may want to take, what Little refers to as, a “friend finder.” It’s basically a long pole with some sort of distinguishing item at the top.

There are a lot of people so it's easy to get disoriented in the crowd. If you have a “friend finder,” it will help you find your group. When staying for the late shows, Little suggests adding lights to the top of your “friend finder.”

"I love the bamboo ones,” Little says. “If you don't want to take the time to make a friend finder, just cut down a stalk of bamboo from your yard!”


The weather in Texas is reliably unreliable so it’s always a great idea to be prepared for inclement weather and/or hot, sunny days. A small umbrella can shade you from the rain or shine, whatever the Texas weather provides.


Collapsible lawn chairs will make your concert experience more comfortable if you are there for several hours. Little adds that you can also see the bands better than if you are just sitting on the ground.


Trash cans are everywhere to make it easier on event goers to throw trash away.

“Pick up your trash, please” Little says. “Nobody wants to step on your leftover nachos.”

If everyone picks up after themselves, Little points out that no one has to worry about stepping on or sitting next to someone else’s garbage.


Don’t be scared to snap photos!

“Take some photos of our beautiful city skyline beyond the big headliner stage,” Little suggests, “particularly at dusk.”


Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. With water.

Yes, there are plenty of other beverages to sip and savor such as the red, white and rose selections from around the world at the ACL Wine Lounge, but you can’t forget the clear liquid that will help keep you hydrated in the (possibly) hot Texas heat.