ACL Pro-Tips

Hunter Jekot

By now, most Austinites know their way around a music festival. With transportation arrangements planned ahead of time and sunscreen in tow, festival-goers have gotten this down to a science, but now that the crowds are bigger than ever, Austin City Limits may throw even the most experienced attendees for a loop. The Daily Texan is here to help UT students stay on top of the game with tips for conquering the fest and its changing dynamic.

Keep up on Twitter

South by Southwest has proven that those who keep themselves in the loop through social media stay ahead of the crowd when it comes to pop-up shows and unexpected appearances. It seems like every other minute someone on Twitter is giving away ACL-related merchandise or announcing a new after-show. Attendees should make sure to follow their favorite artists in attendance, the official ACL festival Twitter account, @aclfestival, and Austin-centric accounts, such as @austin360 and @Do512. Following is the quickest way to remain up to date, not to mention the easiest way to impress friends. Another popular integration of social media is the use of the ACL hashtag, #ACL. Use the hashtag to show off cool pics and insider information.

Check out the after-shows

The ACL lineup seems to get more and more impressive each year, which has its upsides and downsides. Sam Smith and St. Vincent performing at the same time has to be some sort of cruel joke, right? Luckily, a number of artists performing this weekend, including Childish Gambino, tUnE-yArDs and Skrillex, are performing affordable after-shows in addition to their ACL sets. So don’t stress if your favorite performers are playing during the same time slots, because there is a chance one of them will be performing elsewhere. The ACL festival website has a convenient link to all of the official late-night shows.

Find an appropriate camera

Due to the sheer number of people, it’s not quite as easy to get that perfect picture of Lana to post on Instagram anymore. This year, more than ever, there was a noticeable increase in handheld devices for capturing the best pics. Attendees trying to get that photography edge should look into miniature sport cameras, such as the GoPro or smartphone-compatible camera extensions. 


This will be the first year that ACL is introducing its cashless purchasing option. By registering their wristbands, attendees can ditch their wallets and have one less thing to keep track of. This is a useful tool for the forgetful, but could be dangerous for those who get a little spend happy. Frugal attendees should only keep as much as they want to spend for the day or weekend in the bank account linked to their wristband and remember that there are a number of reasonable dining options just outside the festival grounds. From Chuy’s to P. Terry’s, hungry participants can get Austin favorites within a half mile of Zilker Park.

Strategize bathroom use

While Zilker provides a decent number of these lavatories to accommodate the crowds, some strategic bathroom use is another way that guests can maximize their enjoyment of the festival. Attendees should try their best to take care of business during the day while lines are decently short. As night approaches and more people file in to see the headliners, the lines for the bathrooms near the Honda and Miller Lite stages get crazy early on. Attendees should plan to go to bathrooms on the east side of the festival, near Austin Eats and the Samsung Stage, where there are more bathrooms available with shorter lines. Last, but arguably the most important point, is to make sure to bring a roll of toilet paper. If there isn’t room, make room or find a generous friend with space in their backpack. No doubt, the bathrooms will run out of the paper product. Toilet paper will get you through the worst of times, but only if you have it on hand.