The moment we’ve all been waiting semi-patiently for is here– the ACL lineup and tickets have been released! This has continuously been one of the most-exciting-drama-talking-facebook-status-posting days I’ve seen every year for the past seven years of my life. & it is with great discomfort I look at the lineup and am entirely unsure how I’m going to do it. Where am I going to stay? How am I going to get there? This post will give me, other graduates who are moving away, and first-timers peace of mind when we try to envision ourselves at Zilker come October, because we can totally make it!
¿ What to Pack ?
You’re coming from out of town, so you’ve got to plan ahead on what you’re going to wear and pack for every single moment ACL brings you. Over the past years we’ve seen mud baths, dust bowls, and freezing nights so don’t write any weather off the list. This is Texas. I think you should begin with these basics-
o Denim shorts
o Tank tops / T-shirts
o Old Vans / Converse / Combat Boots (bring extra socks)
o Bathing Suit
o Cowboy Hat / Other hat etc.
o Watch (saves phone battery life)
After you are prepared, you can plan what extras to pack. These can also include items from above, so be sure your backpack is large enough! Also, remember the volunteer staff does check your bags at the gate. I think these items will be a good start-
o 2 Sealed Water Bottles
o Easily Foldable Jacket
o Battery Operated Fan / Grab a Fan
o Pick up a Lineup list
¿ Getting There ?
For most of my years going to ACL, I’ve gotten extremely lucky and found friends to drop me off or had VIP parking. & just last year I walked there! However, my luck has run dry and I will be in Houston come this fall, so hitching a ride that far away, or even walking, is out of the question. My game plan for this upcoming festival is to crash at a friends place, and give my luck a run at finding a short ride from West Campus. Nonetheless, that plan might still fail to materialize. Other options could be booking a hotel room (which would need to be booked ASAP), camping (…), or again try your friends that live in Austin. C’mon friends!!Airborne Toxic Event 2009
After your sleeping arrangements have been made, finding a ride, walking, or biking to the grounds should come fairly easy. There are areas your friend could drop you off nearby, such as on a side street of Barton Springs Road. Also, there are two areas for you to park your bike. Pedicabs are also very, very popular during the festival. Many companies hire cyclists from other pedicab companies from Tyler and other cities, so drivers are plentiful! Also, Uber is bringing a squadron of drivers, so use my code to get a free ride! It is MERETS!
If you plan on walking, look at a map beforehand to decipher what entrance is closer. My first year going, my friends and I walked from El Arroyo to Lamar to get to the Barton Springs Road entrance. We were literally one mile away from the Lady Bird Lake entrance…Chromeo 2011
¿ It’s Finally Time ?
Be sure to give the lineup a quick look over. Some years I plan rigid schedules, other’s I play it by ear. Both ways I have an amazing time, so don’t stress yourself out! If there are two bands you want to see that go on at the same time, leave them both on your list. No need to decide now! You can decide twenty minutes before they both go on. It might depend on where in the park you are situated, maybe you are closer to one rather than the other. Also, your friends might persuade you to go to one over the other. Or, shockingly, you might see a third band you had no idea existed until you walked past them! It’s happened.
When it comes to your tickets/wristbands, be sure to pick them up early from the box office! I cannot begin to tell you how relaxed and prepared you will be to have them secured beforehand.
If you are an app-junkie, download their app! It can send you alerts to when bands you have favorited are about to go on and much more. Downside is, it drains your battery. So don’t be afraid of looking ‘hipster’ with a watch, you will be the coolest kid by the end of the day.
Before you and your group goes their separate ways to see different shows, decide on a meeting place after/during the last show each night. My friends usually meet at the White Balloon that looks like the moon. Other people meet at the Line Up build. You could meet anywhere, but be descriptive to where exactly it will be. There will be many people in the same area, and it will be dark so identifying your pals will be difficult.Band Of Horses 2010
¿After Shows ?
ACL is operated by C3 Presents, an awesome company in my book but that’s another story. This company owns Frontgate Tickets, as well as many many many venues in Austin, such as Stubbs. That being said, it is no wonder how C3 plans such an awesome event year after year! But it also helps them easily plan after shows with the bands they’ve acquired for ACL. If you are a die-hard fan of Pearl Jam and must see more of them, if you’ve just got to see Foster the People in a more intimate scene, or if there is just no way you’re making it to see MØ before 2, do yourself a favor and buy tickets to their after shows.