The Ultimate Guide to Austin City Limits Music Festival
If you’ve ever been to Austin City Limits Music Festival, you know it’s more than just two weekends of live music–it’s an experience. Held at the 46-acre Zilker Park in the heart of Austin, every year more than 100 bands and 400,000+ fans flock to the Texas city for live tunes, delicious local eats and fun, immersive activities for both young and old.
Since it began in 2002, ACL has not only maintained its status as one of the country’s top tier festivals but has actually continued to grow. In 2013 it expanded to two consecutive weekends of music, and now draws in nearly half a million attendees annually.
Heading to Austin City Limits Music Festival for the first time? We’ve got you covered. Check out our guide of all things ACL, including where to stay, how to get there, and what amenities to expect.
What to Expect at the 2018 ACL Festival
Taken from the ACL Festival official website, here’s a broad overview of what all general admission attendees can expect at the 2018 festival:
- Over 125 performances on 8 stages from 11am to 10pm
- Food from over 35 award-winning chefs & restaurants including vegan, vegetarian & gluten-free options
- Official band merch, festival merch, and specialty items from dozens of art vendors
- Sponsor areas with giveaways throughout the park
- Autograph signings with official ACL artists
- Bars & concessions throughout the park with ACL Cashless availability
- Free filtered water stations throughout the festival
- Access to secure lockers on-site with charging capabilities
- Access to complimentary Official Festival Shuttles provided by ACL Fest
- Children 10 & under allowed in free with access to Austin Kiddie Limits
Stay tuned to find out what new developments are in store for this year’s ACL fest.
Austin City Limits Music Festival Lineup & Schedule
This year’s ACL Festival lineup is led by Paul McCartney, Metallica, Childish Gambino, Arctic Monkeys and Travis Scott. The Beatles alum has been teasing a new album since winter, so get ready to hear some fresh material during his Austin set.
The iconic McCartney and Metallica aren’t the only older acts on the list–nestled between the Greta Van Fleets and the Brockhamptons is David Byrne, The Breeders and even Trampled by Turtles.
The rest of the lineup is an eclectic mix of YouTube and radio hitmakers (Khalid, Shawn Mendes, Shakey Graves), and music’s new class of heavy-hitters like Janelle Monáe, Brandi Carlile and Father John Misty.
With over 100 artists slated for both weekends of the festival, there’s plenty of new stuff and old stuff for people to enjoy.
Austin City Limits 2018 Festival Lineup
*Looking for a specific artist? Use CTRL+F to search the lineup.*
Khalid, Shawn Mendes, Camila Cabello, Hozier, David Byrne, CHVRCHES, Deftones, Justince, St. Vincent, Sylvan Esso, Father John Misty, Brandie Carlile, Brockhampton, Illenium, Rezz, BØRNS, Janelle Monáe, Greta Van Fleet, Shakey Graves, Highly Suspect, Residente, Manchester Orchestra, San Holo, Gryffin, X Ambassadors, Lily Allen, Blood Orange, Jungle, Bazzi, Twin Shadow, The Breeders, Tinashe, Houndmouth, Sharon Van Etten, Trampled by Turtles, The Wombats, Bishop Briggs, The Revolution, Marian Hill, Sofi Tukker, Khruangbin, Rhye, Parquet Courts, Elle King, Noname, Alvvays, Sir Sly, Smino, A R I Z O N A, Mon Laferte, Golden Dawn Arkestra, Ravyn Lenae, Japanese Breakfast, Bahamas, Mt. Joy, Moses Sumney, Vérité, Big Thief, Cuco, Gang of Youths, Yungblud, Amber Mark, Durand Jones & The Indications, Alice Merton, Lewis Capaldi, Amen Dunes, Curtis Harding, Slenderbodies, Ikebe Shakedown, Flor De Toloache, Ghost of Paul Revere, The Coronas, Natalie Prass, Fatai, Shame, Lo Moon, Injury Reserve, Supa Bwe, Lemaitre, Topaz Jones, Wilderado, Asleep at the Wheel, Thunderpussy, Wallows, The Weather Station, Magic City Hippies, Mikky Ekko, Hailey Knox, Phil Cook, Flor, David, Charley Crockett, Freya Ridings, Sweet Spirit, Duncan Fellows, Jackie Venson, Sasha Sloan, Harry Paradise, Kydd Jones, Molly Burch, Sailor Poon, Curtis Roush, Arkells, The Texas Gentlemen, Ruston Kelly, B.A.G. (Blumes x Gifted Gab), Nicole Atkins, The Blancos, Dizzy, Näm, Lovelytheband, Fickle Friends, Naked Giants, The Nude Party, Superfónicos, Lucie Silvas, Neighbor Lady, Wesley Bray & The Disciples of Joy, Bells of Joy, The Relatives, The Gospel Stars, Ty Morris & H.O.W., The Spiritualettes, Lisa Loeb, Saulpaul, Ralph’s World, Q Brothers, Red Yarn, Lard Dog & The Band of Shy, School of Rock, The Barton Hills Choir
Austin City Limits 2018 Festival Schedule
The schedule for this year’s Austin City Limits has not been released yet. Stay tuned!
Friday, October 5 | October 12
Saturday, October 6 | October 13
Sunday, October 7 | October 14
Austin City Limits Music Festival Tickets & Info
Tickets to the 2018 edition of Austin City Limits Festival are currently on sale via their official website. Three-day passes for both weekends start at $255 + fees, with a layaway option available for $50 down. Three-day VIP tickets start at $1,100 + fees, and three-day platinum passes–which grant you exclusive access and amenities–are $3,600 + fees. Single-day tickets will also be made available at a later date.
If you’re trying to find a deal on tickets, or the passes you want are sold out by the time you’re reading this, tickets are also available for purchase on SeatGeek. As of June 12, three-day passes for weekend one and two both begin at around $325, and the cheapest single-day ticket is Sunday ($155). Browse their entire listing feed here, or view select ticket options below.
Austin City Limits Festival (Weekend 1 Pass) with Guns N' Roses, Mumford & Sons, Childish Gambino, and moreZilker Park · Austin, TX
Austin City Limits Festival (Friday Pass) with Jai Wolf, Monsieur Perine, TroyBoiZilker Park · Austin, TX
Austin City Limits Festival (Saturday Pass) with Sigrid, James Blake, MisterWivesZilker Park · Austin, TX
Austin City Limits Festival (Sunday Pass) with Rebelution, BANKS, IDLESZilker Park · Austin, TX
Austin City Limits Festival (Weekend Pass) with Denzel Curry, Natalia LaFourcade, MisterWivesZilker Park · Austin, TX
What’s the Best Way to Get to Austin City Limits Music Festival?
Austin City Limits Festival is located at Zilker Park on 2100 Barton Springs Road in Austin, TX. There is no parking at the event, so folks will have to rely on the myriad of transportation options made available by the fest. Here are the best options for getting to and from the event:
- Free downtown shuttle: Board at Republic Square Park at the corner of 4th and Guadalupe. Starts at 10:30AM, makes final return at 11pm.
- Ride Sharing: Uber is the official ride share partner of ACL, and of course Lyft is also available.
- CapMetro Buses: CapMetro is the city-wide bus system that serves as Austin’s main public transit. They’ll be ramping up their service for the duration of the fest, including running Saturday-level service on Sundays for both weekends.
- Bicycles: There will be bike racks located throughout the Lady Bird Lake entrance and south of the Barton Springs East and Barton Springs West entrance.
- Taxis: The taxi pick up and drop off spot is off of William Barton Drive in front of Barton Springs Pool.
- Motorcycles & Scooters: While there isn’t any vehicle parking at ACL, you can park a motorcycle or scooter at the corner of Sterzing Drive and Toomey Road.
- Walking: Nix all the above options and instead take the Ann and Roy Butler Hike-and-Bike Trail for a walk to the festival. The well-lit path also has water fountains and restrooms along the way.
Austin City Limits Festival Amenities & FAQ
Besides endless live entertainment, delicious food and drink, and interactive experiences throughout the fest, ACL offers a ton of other amenities. These include:
- Free filtered water stations throughout the festival
- Free shuttle to and from the event
- Cashless wristband experience
- On-site ATMs and shopping
Still have questions? Here are some of the most common festival inquiries:
Are There Locker Rentals?
If you have personal items you’re looking to stow for the duration of the event, there are three-day and one-day locker rentals near the Barton Spring entrance.
Will There Be a Place to Charge My Phone?
The locker rentals (located near the Barton Spring entrance) are equipped with phone chargers.
Is there ADA Parking Available?
There is limited accessible parking available near the festival on a first-come, first-served basis to vehicles displaying a state-issued handicapped plate or placard.
Will the Festival Be Live-Streamed?
Yes! The folks at ACL have once again partnered with Red Bull TV and will broadcast the event live on their festival homepage all weekend.
Is the Festival Family-Friendly & Can My Child Get in Free?
ACL is an extremely family-friendly event, with “Austin Kiddie Limits” running parallel to the main festivities in its own designated area of Zilker Park. The Kiddie Limits section has its own children’s stage with music, and an arts and crafts area. You can even enter at the dedicated Family Friendly Entrance to the right of Barton Springs East Entrance.
Children 10 years old and younger get into the festival for free, provided they’re accompanied by a ticket-holding adult. (Limit two children per ticketed adult.)
Where to Stay Around Austin City Limits Festival
Although you can’t camp overnight at this fest, you should still opt to stay close by! The folks behind Austin City Limits are offering an average savings of $280 when booking with an ACL Deals Hotel on their website. How great is that? Here are the top ACL Deals Hotels, along with other options for your best lodging experience.
ACL Hotel Deals
Hyatt Regency Austin
The Hyatt Regency is downtown and just 1.5 miles from Zilker Park. Unwind in this sleek hotel with breathtaking views of Lady Bird Lake. Fresh off a renovation, enjoy the upscale outdoor eatery and luxurious amenities. BOOK NOW
Hotel Indigo Austin Downtown-University
The Hotel Indigo 2 miles from the festival celebrates the art its city is known for with colorful and unique decor. With the hotel’s local art, live music, and cuisine sourced from local ingredients, soak in all Austin has to offer. BOOK NOW
Holiday Inn Express & Suites Austin Downtown-University
You can’t go wrong with Holiday Inn. This practical option is 2 miles from the park and in the Red River District with nearby shopping, dining, and entertainment. Fuel for the fest with daily complimentary buffet breakfast. BOOK NOW
HomeAway House Rentals
Not to be confused with AirBnB, HomeAway–another rental share platform–is the official accommodation partner of the ACL Festival. Whether you’re looking for a decked out apartment for a large group of friends, or a quiet cabin to unwind after a long day of being on your feet, HomeAway has you covered. BOOK NOW
Other Nearby Lodging
AirBnB Near Zilker Park
This adorable modern studio is just four blocks from Zilker Park. Make yourself at home with a stocked kitchen, backyard, and outdoor BBQ–try your hand at some Texas BBQ! The secluded oasis is Airbnb Plus verified for comfort and quality. Sold out by the time you’re reading this? There are tons of other options in the area. BOOK NOW
The Firehouse Hostel has the rates hostels are loved for, without the worries they are notorious for. With rave reviews (the rooms are clean!), this charming former firehouse features a speakeasy hidden behind a secret bookshelf. Get a free beer when checking in and check out the nightlife just steps away on the historic 6th Street downtown. BOOK NOW
Where to Eat and Drink Around Austin City Limits Festival
Of course there will be tons of delicious food and drink onsite at Austin City Limits, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t explore all the yummy eats Austin has to offer! Here are our picks for a variety of tastes.
Terry’s Black Barbecue
Just a 15 minute walk from the fest, experience a self-proclaimed “legendary, old school, Texas BBQ experience done to a T.” Former First Lady Michelle Obama wrote to these fourth-generation pit-masters last year, thanking them for what she called some of the best barbecue she ever had. Lines can be long, but the counter is self-serve with meat cut in front of you. Get comfortable with spacious indoor and outdoor seating. VIEW THE MENU
Everything about Uchi is modern, from the sleek interior to the contemporary Japanese cuisine. This upscale sushi and cocktail bar is inside a bungalow minutes from the fest. Eat responsibly with the award-winning chef’s preparation using sustainable practices and locally sourced ingredients. Open until 11:00, be sure to stop by for dinner and drinks–sake bombs, anyone? VIEW THE MENU
Everything’s bigger in Texas! Get ready for authentic Tex-Mex — legendary portions, fiery flavor, and endless chips and salsa. This place’s incredible reputation means it can get packed, but you can enjoy the nacho bar and drinks while waiting. The low prices are unbeatable, so reward yourself for all that singing and dancing with a fiesta of a feast! Go ahead and throw in a margarita, too. VIEW THE MENU
Texas is huge on sports, so what better place to chill in Austin than a sports bar? Cover 3 is a classic for “dining, spirits, and sports” with tons of TV’s, a Build Your Own Bloody Mary Bar, and exceptional service. Get a taste of that famous Southern hospitality and the sports culture this state is known for. VIEW THE MENU
The Roosevelt Room
Get classy in this cocktail bar with plush velvet seating, unique art, and a screen that plays black and white movies. Choose from a wide cocktail selection and relax after what was sure to be a busy day at ACL. VIEW THE MENU