Every fall, music fans flock to “the live music capital of the world” for a wildly popular three-day music festival deep in the heart of Austin, Texas. ACL Fest brings 130 bands to the city’s 46-acre Zilker Park. Read on for more on how, when, and where to be a part of it all.
Austin City Limits Music Festival 2017
Austin’s Zilker Park—a green gem along the Colorado River—has hosted this mainly indie music fest since 2002. Now firmly entrenched in the mantle of major music festival players, à la Coachella and Lollapalooza, the fest stretches across eight stages for two rocking weekends. Past headliners include heavyweights Bob Dylan, Foo Fighters, Van Morrison, Ryan Adams, Robert Plant, Coldplay, Tom Petty, Bjork, and Beck, to name a very few.
The namesake of the beloved PBS television series, this outdoor celebration showcases the same range and caliber of talent. Alongside legendary acts, lesser-known local and international musicians also perform inspiringly diverse sets—from gospel to folk and electronica.
No Austin-based event would be complete without plentiful locally sourced eats, drinks, and general merchandise. ACL Fest is no exception—every item is handpicked from over 30 area restaurants and vendors. Featured beverages and culinary delights have included the formidable Hot and Crunchy Mighty Cone, Torchy’s Tacos, Salt Lick barbecue, Amy’s Ice Cream, countless vegan and gluten-free options, craft beers, and Tito’s Handmade Vodka.
Aside from added conveniences like ATMs and phone-charging stations, Austin City Limits Music Festival has evolved its offerings to include everything from an Art Park and Market with a general store to a small boutique. The ever-popular-with-parents “Austin Kiddie Limits” is essentially an escape from the crowds, with everything from creative child-driven activities to changing stations. One of the festival’s most distinctively local outlets, “ACL Cares” promotes opportunities for local civic and political involvement.
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* Banner photo credit: Flickr Tomek Baginski