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Austin City Limits Musical Festival Guide

Image of Dave Grohl playing the guitar Music Festivals

Get ready to see your favorite acts in one incredible setting at the annual Austin City Limits Music Festival. With this guide, you’ll learn all of the different tips and tricks to make your festival experience memorable. Austin City Limits is typically held in early October at Zilker Park and will feature more than 100 performances across eight stages over two weekends. Past headliners at ACL have included P!nk, SZA, The Chicks, Red Hot Chili Peppers and more.

Austin City Limits is ultimately a celebration of the culture in Austin. Along with national and international touring acts, you can find local up-and-coming artists performing as well. Between concert sets, check out the ACL Art Market and connect with local artisans and creators. Or grab a bite from a restaurant in the ACL Eats area. Read on to discover more details about this popular music festival hosted in Austin, Texas.

2023 Austin City Limits Festival Lineup

Image of Austin City Limits music festival lineup

ACL Festival Schedule

The first act usually hits the stage between 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. each day, with the final set ending around 10 p.m. Since there are so many stages and performances that can overlap, you may want to get together with your friends and make a plan for the day. During the day, there may be up to four active stages at the same time. And after the gates close, you can check out some of the bands from the festival putting on after-party shows across town.

Returning to Austin City Limits will be the beloved Austin Kiddie Limits, a parallel festival experience that is perfect for festival-goers attending with young children. AKL takes place every day throughout the ACL festival weekends, between the hours of 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. Kids ages eight and below get free entrance if with adults that have festival wristbands. In this section of Zilker Park, fun activities like arts and crafts along with dance parties for kids take place throughout the day. There are also rest areas for anyone needing a break from the hustle and bustle of the festival.

Single-Day vs. Weekend Passes

If you can’t grab ACL Festival weekend passes before they’re sold out, don’t worry. There are still plenty available on TicketSmarter’s marketplace. A weekend pass gives you access to all of the performances during the weekend of your choosing. This is a great option if you want to enjoy music from as many different artists as possible. 

Another option is to buy single-day passes for any of the six festival days. Single-day passes are best for people with schedule conflicts during their chosen festival weekend or for people who only want to see a limited lineup. You can also purchase multiple single-day passes to mix and match your days.

Keep in mind that while the lineups differ on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, they are largely duplicated the following festival weekend. 

Premium Experiences at Austin City Limits

Like many festivals, your general admission ticket guarantees entry, but not a specific seat. If you are looking to upgrade your experience, you have a few different options ranging from GA+ to VIP and Platinum. A new option that will be available for ACL in 2023 is Platinum Kids tickets. With this ticket, you will be able to bring the kids along to the premium experience areas. 

Make sure to read through each list of benefits to find the right experience that will suit your festival needs. Some amenities include air-conditioned areas, complimentary food and drinks, elevated viewing platforms to view the stages, etc. These premium options are also available for both single-day and weekend passes. 

One tip for new festival goers is to rent a locker once you choose your ticketing sections. Lockers at the ACL Festival are provided by Entertainment Lockers and are available to guests during festival hours. If you opt to rent a multi-day locker, you can leave your belongings overnight.

Parking & Transportation at ACL

Festival attendees should note that there is NO PARKING at Zilker Park or in any of the nearby neighborhoods. When arriving at the ACL festival grounds, guests should take advantage of alternate transport options like the festival shuttle, bus, or a rideshare service. Festival attendees can board the shuttle at Republic Square Park on the corner of 4th & San Antonio, before being dropped off outside the Barton Springs West Festival Entrance. The shuttles will run from noon on Friday and from 11 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

Extra Tips & Info for Austin City Limits

It’s important to have the right gear when attending festivals like ACL. We recommend wearing comfortable shoes that you can walk in for long periods of time. Monitor what the weather will be like for your festival day(s) and dress accordingly in ponchos, raincoats, etc. Double-check that you have your ID ready and that any prescription medications and dietary restrictions items are in your pack. Festival wristbands must be worn throughout the entire festival. Wristbands will be scanned at the exit, allowing attendees to leave and re-enter the festival only twice a day.

Allowed Items:

  • Chairs 
  • Blankets and Towels 
  • Frisbees 
  • Small clutch purses or fanny packs with no more than 1 pocket (Must be smaller than 4.5″ x 5.5″)
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunscreen (Non-aerosol only, less than 3.4 oz.)
  • Binoculars
  • Basic point-and-shoot cameras (No monopods, selfie sticks, tripods or GoPro mounts allowed)
  • Portable charger
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Factory-sealed Naloxone/Narcan kit
  • Baby Strollers
  • Reusable water bottles and hydration packs (Must be empty)
  • Plastic or aluminum water bottles (Must be empty)

Free Hydration Stations will be located throughout the festival grounds along with shaded rest areas so you can stay cool and hydrated. Outside food and drinks are prohibited, but there will be food vendors on the festival grounds and within the local Austin community. 

Both uniformed and plan-clothed security personnel will be present throughout the festival if you need assistance. And there is a Lost & Found located at Guest Services.

Get Austin City Limits Tickets Now

Grab your ACL Festival tickets now and get ready to attend one of the hottest parties in Texas. As soon as you get your day or weekend passes for ACL, schedule your travel plans. Check out HotelPlanner for all of their exclusive Austin travel deals.