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Austin City Limits 2023 Festival Guide – 10 Helpful Tips

Last weekend, we hit up the Austin City Limits 2022 festival. Here is what we learned and the things you must bring before hitting up Zilker Park in 2023.

While the ACL Fest 2022 ended it’s second weekend, last week – maybe you already have your sights set on the Austin City Limits 2023 Festival. Whatever the ACL reason you landed here, we are sharing all the things to pack, tips to know and yes, even funny memes.

austin city limits 2023 festival guide
austin city limits 2023 festival guide

We are sharing what we learned from our first time attending and everything we know about the ACL Music Fest 2023. Buckle up, y’all – this is a lot to download but we are going to make it as informational but bite-size and entertaining as possible.

Austin City Limits 2023 Festival

Lets first talk about Austin City Limits Festival 2023. ACL Fest will be back to Zilker Park in Austin, TX for two weekends in 2023.

austin city music festival 2023
austin city music festival 2023

If the festival is anything like this year – the first and second weekend will host the same musicians both weekends, with nearly identical line-ups and schedules.

When are the Austin City Limits 2023 dates?

Austin City Limits 2023 will be October 6-8 and October 13-15, 2023 at Zilker Park in Austin, TX.

When can you buy tickets to ACL Fest 2023?

The official release date of 2023 ACL tickets has not been announced. That said, last year Austin City Limits 2022 tickets dropped on May 10 at 9 am CDT.

How can I get early access to ACL tickets ?

In 2022, American Express card holders were able to purchase ACL tickets 4 days before the general republic. It has not been announced yet if they are a sponsor for 2023 or if they will again have this early ticket sale for AMEX card holders.

When is the 2023 Austin City Limits Lineup Announced?

ACL typically drops the lineup list of musicians shortly before tickets go on sale.

This year, we decided to do the drive from Dallas to Austin on the second week, last day of the event. We bought our one-day ACL Fest tickets second-hand at noon, drove straight to the event and then home afterwards.

ACL Music Festival Packing List

While we were last minute, I did do plenty of research the week before just in case we did go.

austin city limits packing list
austin city limits packing list

Here are the things that we brought or wish we would have brought to make the best out of the exhausting but super fun event. Use this as your Austin City Limits 2023 packing list for the festival.

Empty Water Bottle

Bring a Yeti or some other type of reusable water bottle to fill up at the hydration stations around Zilker Park. It is Texas, y’all so it is HOT.

drink water all the water pee all the time
drink water meme

Stay hydrated, especially if you are consuming alcohol. I was able to bring in a few packets of Liquid IV, no problem. You will have to dump out ANY liquid that you have in your water bottle before going thru security.

Sunscreen

We arrived for the evening shows, but the husband and I are both pale. Sunscreen is a must – especially if you are experiencing the entire 3-day music festival. No aersol sunscreen allowed, just lotion!

where sunscreen they say i never burn you say
sunscreen meme

Clear Backpack

Fanny bags (think the Lululemon belt bag) size bags and clear bags are allowed into ACL. When we were at The Chicks concert at the Toyota Music Factory the week before, I happened to get a clear backpack and it was absolutely perfect for our Austin City Limits adventure,

Blanket or Towel That Rolls Up

I had purchased this roll-up towel for our cruise this past summer, and it worked perfectly the few times we opted to sit to listen to music. Come the second weekend at Zilker Park, the grass is non-existent and there is a TON of dirt.

Bandana or Mask

There were various theories on this year’s ACL black cough that was trending, and the most logical theory aside from ragweed allergies is the mulch and dust kicked up from the crowd. Throw a bandana or mask into your clear backpack – just in case.

Flashlight

I had read a tip to bring a flashlight and I am so glad we did! While, sure your phone can be used as a flashlight – it’s not that powerful. I packed a small LED flashlight and used it multiple times.

acl flashlight
acl flashlight

Most notably to shine on the ground when walking from one show to another to avoid stepping on anyone. Come Sunday night, there are a lot of passed out people.

Lastly, the flashlight was a gem as we were hiking out of Zilker Park to downtown parking. The route had us thru a dark wooded trail. While we never felt unsafe and were with a group of random people from the show – it was super helpful to be able to actually see where we were going.

Battery Powered String Lights

While I didn’t bring these, I will say battery powered string lights would be super helpful when in a crowd trying to find your friends. It gets DARK out in the Zilker park fields and trying to identify your friend after a bathroom trip or when getting drinks isn’t easy.

Comfortable Clothes, Shoes and a hat.

Next on the Austin City Limits packing list is comfort. While the days of my youth are slowly fading, I remember all too well the hours spent trying to find the perfect outfit for Lollapalooza back in the day. This isn’t an ACL OOTD post, keeping it practical.

when you wear cute shoes even tho  you know they will kill your feet
cute shoes meme

For Austin City Limits 2022, opted for a comfortable shoes and outfit with a shirt, skirt and slide on Vans. Fashionista? NOPE, but comfortable with zero blisters is a success. This is what you call adulting, kids. Also, ACL while fashionable isn’t Coachella! Austin folk are laid back.

Power Brick Phone Charger

This is something that is just a requirement anytime we go anywhere now a days but make sure a power brick battery pack phone charger is one your ACL Fest checklist.

when your phone battery dies and you cant just enjoy the concert
dead phone meme

While there may have been charging stations in some of the sponsor suites and activations, we did not see any widely accessible to the public.

The Anker MAG-Go will wireless charge your iPhone using the magsafe. Bonus, it’s not bulky and heavy like a typical phone power pack and there is no need for a lightning cable!

Hand Sanitizing Wipes

Next on our Austin City Limits packing list, hand sanitizing wipes. I can’t tell you how dirty you get being in the Zilker Park fields with hundred of thousands of other people. While there is plenty of room to stretch out, nature has a way of making you feel dirty if they thousand of people don’t.

Deodorant Wipes

Somewhere down the random rabbit hole I fell into last week on TikTok was a suggestion to bring deodorant wipes to ACL. I threw them in the clear backpack and I am so glad I did.

bad body odor you have deodorant is a must
body odor meme

While it’s rude to pass deodorant wipes out to all the smelly people around you – at least you can do your part and not have to stink smelling your own body odor. Lume Deodorant wipes are a must-have for your purse/car.

If you have any other ACL Fest packing list must-haves, drop them in the comments and we will get them added!

Random ACL Fest Tips

With this being our first trip to Austin City Limits, I’m super happy with the entire experience. To be honest, most likely because this introvert didn’t have to wait around for my bands to play nor spent 3 days in the hot Texas sun.

best tips for austin city limits music festival
austin city limits tips

That said, I’m older than the average ACL bear so totally get these ACL fest tips not be applicable to everyone.

Bringing in Medicine

If you are bringing prescription medicine, make sure to have at least one of the prescription bottles. My husband is on an array of medications and usually keeps his emergency pills in a little pill bottle.

While the ACL staff at security was kind and didn’t confiscate his prescriptions (she was carrying a BOX filled with prescriptions) – she did recommend next year bringing at least one of the actual prescription pill bottles.

In and Out Privileges

If you are familiar with the downtown Austin, Texas area, you know that Zilker Park is smack in the middle of great restaurants and stores. With your Austin City Limits festival wristband, you have in and out privileges to come and go as you please throughout the weekend.

acl fest wristband 2022
acl fest wristband 2022

Read about the in and out, plus wristband policy.

All Ages

I read an article saying something about the old people at ACL, referring to the 30-somethings. This weirdo could careless about being the oldest person at the show but also uh, I’m pretty sure the median age for ACL was around 35 years old.

acl fest ages
acl fest ages

It was so great to see people of every color, shape, size and age enjoying an amazing line-up of artists. So if you think you are too old for Austin City Limits, think again (and stop worrying about what other people thing!)

Security Lines

While yes, ACL Fest has in and out privileges – do know getting back in through security is a BEAST. We arrived at 5:00 pm and didn’t get through security until 5:40 pm.

special acl fest announcement samson your mother is here to pick you up at the barton springs east entrance. She looks mad.
acl fest meme

That is a long time to be standing in the heat next to crowds of largely intoxicated people. Entertaining, yes – but when you just want to get to the show, it’s something you have to plan for.

Benefits and Perks

When more details of the Austin City Limits 2023 festival are announced, we will drop more ACL fest perks here but wanted to make sure you kept on the look out for these.

amex meme
amex meme

For instance, for ACL Fest 2022 American Express card holders had early access to buying tickets. In addition to that, there was an AMEX suite for cardholders. And yes, it had air conditioning!

Another perk that we say, T-mobile users were offered side stage access to watch shows at their stage. As we learn more about what perks and benefits there are for 2023, we will post them here.

Food and Drinks

There are numerous food options on the ACL festival grounds at Zilker. Of course, like any event – expect to pay a premium. Alcohol is readily available with bars everywhere. El Arroyo taking shots at the Californication of ATX. (See our Texas memes for more funny!)

el arroyo austin meme - austin texas dream of californication
el arroyo austin meme

Soft drinks are much harder to find. During the Red Hot Chili Peppers set I was craving a Diet Coke. Headed over to the ACL Bodega and while they were out of my drink of choice, did pick up a bag of $4 Doritos. “We’ve been out of Diet Coke for hours.”

Tipping

I have zero problems with tipping when appropriate. Though call me whatever, I felt it’s tacky to ask for a tip when buying concert merch.

austin city limits tipping be like
austin city limits tipping meme

Was someone actually helping me, showing merch options and doing a service? NOPE! I was slightly taken a back when I bought my $40 ACL shirt and then the dude turns the screen around prompting for a tip. We are ALL dealing with inflation – but asking for a tip from a cashier for a concert t-shirt just felt tacky and too far of a grab.

Austin City Limits Parking

Let’s be honest, anywhere in downtown ATX, parking can be a nightmare. While we scoped out some of the ACL parking reddit suggestions, we found ourself parking in the Trader Joe’s garage next to the Austin Power Company.

one does not simply find a parking spot in austin texas
austin parking meme

Parking was $18 and there were only 3 other cars in the parking garage level. Access was super easy and felt very safe.

ATX Electric Scooters

To get back and forth to Zilker Park, we used the Bird Scooters. Be careful, and I know a lot of people hate the electric scooters – but they are a LOT of fun when used correctly.

electric scooters everywhere
electric scooters meme

Both Bird and Lime scooters were readily available and charged! There is actually scooter parking right outside of Zilker Park. Representatives from all scooter companies had parking and were recharging the electric scooters so that you could return after the event if you wanted to use on the way back to parking.

Pedi-Cabs

Another option to get to and from Zilker Park is using a pedi-cab. These are the bicycle taxis that are often lit up with LED lights. We have used these several times in the past, but leaving ACL we thought we would catch one downtown rather use an electric scooter.

austin pedicabs
austin pedicabs

Let’s just say that after being quoted $150 and then $200 to go less than a mile, we used the Bird Scooters instead.

ACL Festival 2022 Review

With a career with over 15 years in event marketing, I’ve been to a TON of concerts, festivals, conferences and events. Walking away from Austin City Limits 2022 – it was one of the best experiences from a festival go-er.

rhcp austin city limits 2022
rhcp austin city limits 2022

The ACL team (staff and volunteers) is highly organized, helpful and can be easily seen through-out the festival grounds. 2022 marks the 20th year from Austin City Limits festival. It’s a well oiled machine, which makes the experience all the better.

acl fest 2022 kacey musgraves
acl fest 2022 kacey musgraves

We managed to catch Paramore, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Marcus Mumford and Kacey Musgraves all in the final nights of Austin City Limits 2022. While the sound was awful for part of RHCP, no problems elsewhere. Great crowd and amazing music – if you get the chance to attend, do it.

Sign up for updates to learn when the 2023 lineup is announced and when tickets will go on sale.

See You at Zilker Park 2023

As more details about Austin City Limits 2023 drop, I’ll continue to add the information here. We do know it will be 2-weekends and 3-days both weekends. Mark your calendars, October 6-8 and October 13-15, 2023 in ATX Zilker Park.

Have questions or tips to help other ACL Fest attendees? Drop them in the comments!

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Austin City Limits 2023 Festival Guide – 10 Helpful Tips