ACL Must-Have Essentials
1. Toilet Paper
We’ve all been to a porta potty at the end of any crowded night. Do yourself a favor, BYOTP: Bring your own toilet paper. You can purchase to-go TP on Amazon or grab some from home. If there is anything on this list you should bring, this is the one.
2. Baby Wipes and Hand Sanitizer
See above. Trust me, these two things will come in hand-y. Get it?
3. (Non-Drowsy) Allergy Medication
Raise your hand if you’ve ever been a victim of Cedar Fever. *Raises hand.* Fortunately, it is not quite Cedar season, but dust and grass are two of the most common allergy triggers at any time of the year.
Spoiler alert: You’ll be either walking in grass, standing in grass, sitting in grass, laying in grass, or maybe even rolling around in grass (that's none of my business).
If you’re attending ACL the second weekend, you’ll most likely be surrounded by a big crowd and a lot of dust kicked up from the first weekend.
Make the most of your time and your health by bringing an Allegra, Zyrtec, Singulair or a few.
4. Mini flashlight
Purchase a cheap mini flashlight with keychain and attach it to your belt loop or find something to tie around your neck for after dark. Most people have flashlights on their phones, but what happens if you lose yours? Maybe that was just me in 2016.
For whatever reason, it’s always good to have a backup for dark nights and dim lights.
5. Portable charger
Whether it’s to meet up with other people, record your favorite performer, or to take those epic downtown backdrop photos, you will need & overuse your phone. Make sure you have at least one extra charge. This portable charger is very inexpensive, lightweight and has always worked for me.
Tip: This may be an obvious one. To preserve your battery, turn your phone on airplane or low-power mode when not in use.
If you have to use your phone but are having trouble getting service, disable your LTE.
Why? You and everyone else is trying to get ahold of someone else on the exact same network. Disabling LTE will put you on 4G or 3G. This may be just as painful as using as your current cell service. However, it tends to be more reliable for sending messages because of less congestion or less people fighting over the same network.
#6 & #7 Face Towel & Portable Fan
With 75,000 people packed into 350 acres in 90 degree heat, it will get hot and sweaty. Bring a face towel in a ziplock bag to wet and wipe off and a portable fan to cool you down.
Best Ways to Get to the Park
A great way to get to the park is the shuttle system. It’s completely free and very convenient. The shuttles will pick you up at Republic Square Park at the corner of 4th & Guadalupe and drops off on Barton Springs Road right outside of the festival.
The lines to get on the busses to the park normally move pretty quickly so don’t be alarmed when you see a trail of people. Make sure you give yourself at least an hour before meeting up with friends or catching your favorite show to allow yourself enough time to get there.
Another convenient way to be dropped off at the park is Car2Go pedicabs. If you have a Car2Go membership, you can pick up a car anywhere near your area and drop it off at a designated location for a free pedicab ride to the park (be sure to tip!). I did this one year & it made it so easy to get where I needed to be and quickly.
Best Ways to Leave the Park
While the shuttle system is a viable means to get to the festival, it is not always the best way to exit. Unfortunately, the bus exit is a mile long uphill maze accompanied by a frenzy of people also eager to get home. Even if you’re in perfect shape, this is exhausting after a full day of walking, standing and listening to your favorite bands.
For leaving the festival, I highly recommend this pick up spot on Robert E. Lee & Lund St. It’s a short and much easier walk.
In past years, I’ve switched off as designated driver with friends going opposite weekends. If that option doesn’t work for you, walk near that neighborhood and request a lyft or uber from there.
Here are more options for transportation to & from the festival: https://www.aclfestival.com/information/
Best Ways to Meet Friends in the Festival
Pick a meeting place (the information tent, the Austin Capitol replica, or the infamous ACL photo frame) and a time you’ll be leaving that location for the next show.
Everyone will have their own agenda. Limit the time you wait in case your friends or group decide to do something else last minute.
All’s fair in friends & festivals and you deserve to enjoy your time too. Don’t waste it.
Best Way to Communicate
Make every iMessage count. If you have to use your phone to connect with friends, say everything you have to say in one detailed message.
Poor cellular service meets multiple messages equals lost friends and plans all over the place.
Have you been to Austin City Limits? What are your survival tips & must-haves for the festival?
Please comment, like or share if you enjoyed this post, felt inspired or learned something new.
Stay ACL Prepared,