The Austin City Limits (ACL) music competition takes over Austin’s Zilker Park for 2 weekends annually, with this 12 months’s dates touchdown on Oct. 7-9 and Oct. 14-16. About 75,000 folks attend every day, so that you gained’t be alone — or have lots of elbow room. However you may be amongst a fun-loving crowd wanting to see exhibits and discover Austin.
Earlier than you enterprise out into the fray, right here’s what it’s worthwhile to know, from headliners and accepted objects, to the place to eat and sleep between exhibits.
Over the course of the 2 weekends, the lineups are principally constant, although some bands will carry out solely one of many weekends. So, if there’s a selected act you wish to see, test the schedule earlier than confirming your attendance dates. Friday’s headliners embrace Phoenix, Nathaniel Rateliff and SZA. Saturday brings Demise Cab for Cutie, Pink, Lil Nas X and Diplo, and Sunday will see Crimson Sizzling Chili Peppers and Kacey Musgraves take the stage.
Exterior of the headliners, there are nonetheless a ton of bands, and lots of of them are arguably extra compelling than the massive attracts. We’re speaking Arlo Parks, the Battle on Medication, Japanese Breakfast, Spoon and lots extra which might be price your time.
What to Deliver
Nothing derails a protracted day — or a protracted weekend — at a music competition faster than dehydration, drained legs and a sunburn. Thankfully, ACL permits guests to convey just a few useful objects, so go forward and pack a small tote, drawstring bag or purse. Bag sizes can’t exceed 12″ x 12″ x 6″, and something bigger than a small purse or fanny pack have to be clear.
First up, convey an empty, reusable water bottle, as a result of not like most live shows, ACL has refillable water stations, and that water is free. Subsequent on the checklist must be sunscreen and one thing to sit down on. A great blanket works, particularly while you’re unfold out with associates, ready between units or taking a snack break. When you’d like some again help, chairs are additionally allowed — hey, there’s no prize for standing up all day. And, assuming you is perhaps taking pictures and sharing them to your social feeds, a conveyable telephone charger can’t damage.
The place to Keep
Austin’s lodge scene has improved dramatically in recent times, with new openings serving to to alleviate the burden throughout ACL, SXSW and different main occasions. To stay with the music theme, strive the Otis Hotel, which incorporates a report participant in every room, a vinyl library and private vinyl ambassadors that will help you curate your keep. The lodge is situated simply exterior of downtown, however it’s nonetheless near Zilker Park and all of the motion, so that you’ll be effectively located. And you may finish every competition day on the sundown completely happy hour or within the heated rooftop pool.
One other good decide is the Thompson Austin, which opened earlier this 12 months with 212 guestrooms, a top-notch meals and beverage program, and a spacious terrace with a number of the metropolis’s finest skyline views. Its hooked up sibling property, tommie Austin, is a extra budget-friendly possibility that’s nonetheless a lot comfy, particularly for competition attendees who plan to spend the vast majority of their time exterior the room.
Austin Proper Hotel, the Line and Carpenter Hotel are three extra nice picks, with numerous character, enjoyable design parts and lots to eat and drink. When you favor a bigger name-brand lodge or have factors to burn, Austin can be dwelling to comfy spots just like the Fairmont, JW Marriott and Four Seasons.
What to Eat and Drink
The ACL grounds are stocked with distributors serving every thing from pizza and empanadas to ice cream and juice. Eat no matter you need on website, however save room for dinner — as a result of one can’t, or mustn’t, go to Austin with out sampling some barbecue. A couple of smoked meat palaces, just like the well-known Franklin Barbecue, are can’t-miss choices however contain lengthy waits to get in. For a greater probability of securing brisket and ribs earlier than the hanger units in, strive Leroy & Lewis, a meals trailer situated on the grounds of Cosmic Espresso. There’s additionally Micklethwait Craft Meats, with its coveted Tex-Czech sausage, beef rib and Frito pie.
When tacos are so as, Nixta Taqueria has a number of the finest on the town, and possibly wherever. And Valentina’s Tex-Mex BBQ combines the very best of each worlds with its brisket tacos, pulled pork sandwiches and sides like smoked corn and Mexican rice.
After-dinner drinks (or anytime drinks) could be acquired through a high-low strategy, shifting between Austin’s high-end cocktail bars and lovable dives. However you may as effectively make the most of town’s glorious out of doors spots, particularly in the event you’re coming straight from a present. Kinda Tropical is a former gasoline station with spacious digs, numerous seating and life-giving frozen cocktails. Kitty Cohen’s is a patio bar with a wading pool, enjoyable drinks and a beneficiant completely happy hour. LoLo serves pure wines in an enormous, picnic table-laced yard, and Zilker-adjacent Lenoir serves beer, wine and low-ABV vermouth in a shaded backyard.
This text was featured within the InsideHook Texas publication. Sign up now for extra from the Lone Star State.