Austin City Limits will be here in less than 24 hours. This means two marvelous weekends of music, moshing, madness, and memories. ACL is especially meaningful to me because it was just last year (check out my 2014 post) I had a last minute job interview the Monday after ACL weekend. I ended up getting the job and uprooted my life from Houston to my new home in Austin, Texas. I can’t believe it’s already been a year…at the same time it feels like 5 years!

Childish Gambino at ACL

Here are 9 ACL hacks to make the MOST of your adventurous weekend:

  1. Portable battery chargers are your lifeline. If you plan on being at the festival all day, expect your battery to run dry. There are charging stations around the festival, however, there’s usually a ridiculous line and the stations shut down after a certain hour. A portable battery charger will be your saving grace. The one I use is by MOTA and it nearly charges my entire battery from empty to full.
  2. Get $20 off your first Lyft ride. Traffic and parking for ACL is cray. Do yourself a favor and opt to ride share. If you haven’t used Lyft, it’s just like Uber, but better (in my humble opinion). If you have never used a ride share, it’s just like a taxi, but better (in most people’s opinion). If you do use Lyft at ACL, be sure to enter the promo code SARAH899633 and you will get a $20 credit towards your first ride.
  3. Toilet paper is as good as currency. Be sure to bring extra napkins and toilet paper with you. You’ll be the hero among your friends and strangers in line at the porta potty. Don’t be stingy, you can spare a square!
  4. Identify the popular acts, then go the opposite way. Towards the end of the evening, navigating between amazing artists that play at the same time gets tricky. If you want a better view and concert experience, opt for the act that has less of a following. The masses will swarm to the other stage and you will score a preferable spot.
  5. Prep for weather. Last year it rained unexpectedly during Weekend 2 and Zilker was transformed into a muddy mess. As I waded through piles of mud, I yearned for my Hunter boots that were neatly tucked away in my closet back at home. If you’re traveling to Austin, be sure to pack rain boots, tennis shoes, and a light jacket or sweater. This is Texas and even the weathermen don’t know what tomorrow’s forecast will hold. Your cute shoes will thank you.
  6. Some people, who shall remain nameless, sneak in alcohol. Not that I would ever encourage this type of behavior (wink wink) but I have witnessed individuals sneak in the venue tiny wine bottles and even booze tubes disguised as tampons. ACL vendors typically charge $5 for a can of Bud Light! So really, who’s cheating who?!
  7. But you don’t have to sneak in H2O!  ACL allows you to bring two factory sealed bottles of water and refill them throughout the day at their free water filling stations. You may also bring refillable containers for water, such as aluminum water bottles or CamelBaks.
  8. Piggy-back off of totems. Initially, I was annoyed by the giant poles with posters or stuffed animals dangling off of them. Then I realized what a nifty way for my group to find me among the chaos. I don’t need to erect my own 12 foot totem pole, I’m not about that life. I will just stand really close to one and when I’m separated from my group, I’ll send out a mass text describing the totem I’m standing near.
  9. Free stuff. There are tons of freebies at ACL early in the day. But don’t count out the end of the night either. I’ve scored free food from vendors who are trying to get rid of their remaining inventory for the day. At the end of the evening, be sure to stroll by the food stands and just ask if they have anything leftover you can indulge in. Ask you may receive.

Hope these hacks help your ACL experience. Be sure to check out Style.Edit.Repeats. latest video on Music Festival Looks.

Have a safe and FUN ACL 2015. Be sure to look for me among the crowds, most likely near a stranger’s totem, and say hello 🙂