The ACL Music Festival may have evolved to be a massive event over the years, but there are still many ways to stay true to Austin if you attend. We’ve rounded up the most ATX-cellent things you can do while on festival grounds. From drinking and dining to supporting a cause and shopping some of our favorite local businesses, here’s how to have the most Austin experiences at ACL Music Festival 2019.
Support The Sponsors
While American Express is a major international company, they stay true to their cause of supporting small business at the fest. The American Express Experience at the festival (open to all fans) features a Waterloo Records store pop-up, fresh juice options from JuiceLand, and airbrushed tattoos from local Austin artist Michael Williams of Resurrection Tattoo.
Other Austin companies sponsor stages and experiences as well, including Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Vrbo (formerly HomeAway), High Brew Coffee, and, new for 2019, a Find Your Festie experience by Bumble BFF.
There’s no shortage of local restaurants to dine with at the ACL Eats areas. With pizza from Austin’s Pizza and Southside Flying Pizza, barbecue from Micklethwait, Salt Lick, and Chi’Lantro, plus offerings from East Side King, Scholz Garten, The Peached Tortilla, and so many more, you may find yourself eating as often as you can.
And if you’ve got a sweet tooth, top off your meal with a little something from Amy’s Ice Creams, Tiff’s Treats, Tiny Pies, Sno-Beach, or Bananarchy.
The festival really does offer something for everyone, even the shopaholic. Local artists like Austin Art Garage and EXIT82ART sell Austin and music related merch at the event. You can also up your festival look with items from local shops like Espacio Handmade, Mana Culture, and Ornamental Things. Of course, there’s plenty of festival swag on hand as well from Aviator Nation and the official festival merch shop (which we recommend hitting early because items do sell out and that line can back up quickly).
In addition to the always popular Austin Park’s Foundation’s Rock and Recycle Program, you’ll find a variety of local non-profits at the festival, handing out swag and educating festival-goers on their causes. Some of our faves include Health Alliance for Austin Musicians (HAAM), KLRU, Austin’s PBS Station, SIMS Foundation, and Austin Allies.
Enjoy the Tunes
Of course, you wouldn’t be attending the fest if you didn’t want to hear some live music! Be sure to check out some of the Austin artists/ groups who will be playing the fest like Barton Hills Choir, Asleep at the Wheel, School of Rock, and Black Pistol Fire. We also recommend Thomas Csorba, who actually hails from Waco, but close enough! There are a couple of headliners with ties to Austin as well: Gary Clark Jr. and Kacey Musgraves.
And there you have it… the best ways to have the most Austin experience at the ACL Music Festival. Oh, and one more thing, if there isn’t a picture, it didn’t really happen, right? Be a little ATX-tra and snap a photo in the ACL Fest Frame with the skyline in the background. It’s worth the wait.
Still need tickets for ACL Music Fest? Click here to see what’s still available on the official festival site.