Guide to navigating buses, shuttles to ACL Fest

Brooke Sjoberg

As one of the largest annual events held in the city, Austin City Limits Music Festival draws crowds which can make simply navigating to Zilker Park an
intimidating experience. 

Attracting about 75,000 people per day to one of Austin’s largest public spaces, ACL promises both good times and traffic congestion in and around the festival grounds. With a limited number of entrances, preexisting traffic made worse by the weekend rush, getting into the festival once in line to be searched can feel like a small eternity. 

In order to avoid long wait times and sitting in traffic (potentially missing a favorite artist or two), try these tips and tricks getting  into ACL. 

Getting to Zilker from campus may at first feel like a daunting task, but a quick look at Capital Metro’s map disproves that. Students can get on the southbound MetroRapid 803 either at the UT West Mall station in front of the University Co-op, or the UT Dean Keeton station in front of Kerbey Lane Cafe. Get off the bus at the Barton Springs station, just off the intersection of  Barton Springs Road and South Lamar Boulevard. 

Farther down Barton Springs Road, past Chuy’s, JuiceLand and many other restaurants, the Barton Springs East entrance is the most commonly used and therefore has the longest wait time. Alternatively, taking a right at the intersection of Barton Springs and Andrew Zilker Road will lead to the Barton Springs West entrance. This area is less well known and trafficked, which should yield a slightly shorter wait time. 

The third entrance, the Lady Bird entrance, is accessible via Stratford Drive. The easiest way to get to Stratford is to have a friend drive or use a ride-hailing service such as Uber, Lyft or RideAustin. However, it is still accessible via bus. Take the southbound 10 South 1st/Red River from the stop at 24th Street and San Jacinto in front of the art building, getting off at 1st and Riverside. Transfer to the 30 Barton Creek Square and get off at the Barton Springs stop, which is around a 5 to 10-minute walk from the park. This route, while going to a less trafficked entrance, is the longest, clocking in at around an hour according to Google Maps and CapMetro system data.