4 Ways to Go Beyond the Music at Austin City Limits Festival

Article by: Everfest + Austin City Limits Present|@aclfestival

Tue October 03, 2017 | 14:30 PM

Austin City Limits Music Festival (ACL) proves that, yes, everything is in fact bigger in Texas. Spanning two separate weekends, acres upon acres of Zilker Park in Austin, Texas, and dozens of genres of music from over 150 exciting acts, the city's marquee music festival is the place to be for music lovers each October.

In some ways – thanks to its breadth of genres and performers both renowned and unknown – ACL is an everyman's music festival. There's something for anyone: hip-hop, rock, pop, electronic music, and even a little bit of country, with bands touching on many other styles in between. That's a big reason ACL's first weekend (and often second!) sells out quickly every year. After all, the Austin City Limits brand – which began as a music-focused public television program that has been showered with prestigious awards – made Austin widely known as the "Live Music Capital of the World."

But there are so many aspects to ACL that many might not know exist beyond the music. Below, we break down what to know if you want to call yourself an ACL pro.

The Food

Austin City Limits 2016 Charles Reagan Food

You won't find turkey legs or soggy carnival food at Austin City Limits. Austin has one of the most vibrant and diverse food scenes in the entire country – with special consideration going to all things BBQ and Tex-Mex – and the festival's food program ACL EATS reflects that. ACL EATS is well known for showcasing the best restaurants and bars in Austin and the surrounding areas; you can find the expansive and mouth-watering list of vendors slanging food and libations this year here. And no foodie is left behind – there are plenty of vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options to choose from.

Austin City Limits 2016 Courtesy Of Food 2

This year, ACL will have even more ACL Eats locations around the park. Amy’s Ice Cream, Chi’Lantro, mmmpanadas, Southside Flying Pizza, Tino’s Greek Café, and Wholly Cow Burgers will all have a second location in addition to the ACL Eats Food Court, near the south end of the park.

The VIP and Platinum Experiences

Everyone deserves to party like a rockstar; luckily, ACL's VIP and Platinum Experiences ensure your weekend is filled with rockstar-level treatment. VIP level centers around the VIP Grove, which is a secluded oasis in the park with everything from mini spa treatments, catered lunch and dinner, specialty cocktails, shaded seating, concierge services, and more. There are VIP-only bars pouring beer, wine and specialty cocktails all weekend long, plus a wide selection of non-alcoholic beverages to keep you hydrated and happy throughout the fest. Within the VIP Grove you can snack all day. Lunch and dinner are catered daily with a Gourmet Happy Hour from 3:30 pm-5:30 pm featuring delicious bites from local restaurants to hold you over in between meals. The VIP entrance lanes at the festival gates let you skip the line, and enjoy air-conditioned flushable restrooms, mini spa treatments to keep you relaxed and recharged, plus all things that general admission tickets offer.

Austin City Limits 2015 Charles Reagan Vip Experience

Platinum-level includes all of the VIP perks and more. Platinum Experience ticket holders get to enjoy a dedicated festival entrance, an air-conditioned Platinum-level only lounge, viewing areas for the four main stages, access to the ACL Guest Lounge, and a shuttle from downtown Austin to Zilker Park. There are also catered lunches and dinners by celeb chefs, on-site golf cart transportation, complimentary lockers with mobile charging, and an ACL merch gift to be given to Platinum Experience ticket holders.

Austin Kiddie Limits

Austin City Limits 2016 Roger Ho

ACL is one of the most family-friendly festivals in the country. Music lovers 10 and under can enter ACL for FREE with a ticketed adult. From fun, creative and informative activities to festival necessities like baby changing stations, Austin Kiddie Limits is a festival within a festival that offers families an escape from the crowds.

Austin City Limits 2016 Katrina Barber Austin Kiddie Limits

To make it even easier, ACL has a Family Friendly Entrance (which closes at 7 pm daily). Bring your kiddos through the entrance off Barton Springs Road to quickly enter the cool, shaded Austin Kiddie Limits location, or look for stroller-friendly family lanes at each of the main gates. Talk about rolling out the red carpets for families!

The Shopping

Austin City Limits 2016 Charles Reagan Art Market

The ACL Art Market is your one-stop shop for local and national artisans to sell goods to all ACL fans. From accessories and head gear to boots and posters, attendees can browse a quality selection of goods from more than a dozen artisans. Art vendors will be open all day and accept cash, credit, debit, and ACL Cashless payments. There are plenty of ATMs available throughout the park.

Austin City Limits 2016 Roger Ho Acl Market

This year ACL is welcoming Craft (a local creative hub for DIY crafting, workshops, and events), who will set up an interactive shop within the Art Market. Want to make your own flower clown? Want to personalize your own postcard? Stop on by for those activities and more!

Austin City Limits Music Festival takes place October 6-8 and 13-15, 2017. Tickets are still available here.