One of the easiest way to find yourself having a crummy time at a festival is to not prepare ahead of time. It’s as important to know things like what’s prohibited at a festival, your transportation options, etc. as it is to know what time each band is playing. Spend a few minutes checking out this handy information from the City of Austin, as well as the ACL website before you go to ensure that you have the best festing time you possibly can.
Before You Go: Get These Five Must Know ACL Tips
1. About Zilker Park
Parts of Zilker Metropolitan Park are closed starting in September. This usually includes 11 days of festival set up, two event weekends, a week to remove staging, and typically at least one week for the annual Parks and Recreation Department’s post-event maintenance which is dependent on weather conditions.
Some of Zilker Metropolitan Park will be accessible prior to the festival, and between event weekends. This includes the Rugby Field, Polo Field, Zilker Playscape, Barton Springs Pool, Zilker Botanical Garden, and Austin Nature and Science Center.
Zilker Metropolitan Park and the Zilker Botanical Gardens will be closed to the public during the six festival days only.
Click here for more details.
2. About the bag policy
First of all, know that there will be lines at the festival entrance for bag search. Be prepared! This could take a while, especially if you are entering the fest at one of the most popular times. ALL bags will be searched before entry. Small clutch purses and fanny packs that are 6″ x 9″ or smaller do not need to be clear, but can have no more than one pocket. All other bags larger than 6″ x 9″ must be smaller than 12″ x 6″ x 12″ and clear. Hydration packs are allowed and do not need to be clear, but must be emptied of all liquid and have no more than two pockets in addition to the one holding the water reservoir.
3. About transportation options
Note: The City of Austin (and Austin.com!) encourages carpooling and use of mass transit when attending all events.
- Go by bus using the Cap Metro Trip Planner
- Hike along downtown trails using the Austin Trail Directory
- Bike to the park using Biking in Austin
- Festival shuttles are free! Use the ACL page to find out more
- Drive using the downtown event parking map (though we don’t recommend it) and other non-park and nearby street closure information. There is NO parking at the park, and extensive restricted parking areas in outlying areas. Festival attendees should not drive to the park.
- Use a rideshare service. Uber is the official partner of the fest. Here’s what you need to know:
- Getting To the Fest: When you’re ready to go to the fest, type “Austin City Limits Music Festival” or “Zilker Park” into your app as your destination. This will update your dropoff to the nearest dropoff point around the festival.
- Leaving the Fest: In order to request a ride you must first exit the festival and walk away from Zilker Park to get outside of the restricted area. You will be able to request a ride as normal in the app once you’ve crossed the River, South Lamar Blvd or Frontage Rd.
4. About Barton Springs
Barton Springs Pool is open at all times during normal hours. During festival days parking is protected at the south gate lot off Azie Morton Road for pool swimmers. In addition, Auditorium Shores will be open at all times for general and off-leash use.
5. About ADA Parking
We strongly encourage using the Festival’s free shuttle buses, which are equipped with lifts for wheelchairs. There is limited accessible parking available near the festival on a first-come, first-served basis to vehicles displaying a state-issued handicapped plate or placard. The person to whom the placard or plate is issued must be present in the vehicle, as a driver or passenger. As part of gaining access to accessible parking, identifications will be checked to ensure legitimate use of these items. For more instruction on accessing parking, click here.
Public safety personnel will be routinely patrolling and towing in the affected areas.