ACL kicks off: Everything you need to know

Zilker Park during ACL Festival (Alex Penrose/KXAN)
Zilker Park during ACL Festival (Alex Penrose/KXAN)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — The first weekend of the Austin City Limits Music Festival is finally here and KXAN’s meteorologist David Yeomans says the weather will be on its best behavior bringing the coolest weekend forecast since spring.  

The two-weekend music festival runs Sept. 30 through Oct. 2 and Oct. 7 through Oct. 9.


The festival draws thousands of people from around the world each year. Along with live music, Austinites are known to enjoy their alcohol, especially at ACL.

Last year during week one of ACL, 37 people were arrested for public intoxication. During week two there were 33 arrests. That is more public intoxication arrests than the entire month of March, which includes SXSW where 60 people were charged.

Social media surge

When you add 75,000 people to one spot, the demand for wireless data can keep you from Snapchatting as you dance your heart out watching your favorite musician.

All of that texting, posting and tweeting will drain the system. As a result, AT&T says it is rolling out some of its highest capacity temporary antennas ever. There are called “Cell on wheels.” They allow engineers on the ground to automatically distribute data traffic based on the consumption of the crowd.

Last year during the festival AT&T saw a 62 percent increase in the number of people using their network. This year they expect that number to jump.

Catch a ride 

To help keep people from driving to the festival and avoid the traffic headache, Honda is offering free rides to ticket holders for both weekends. It is a part of their Hail A Honda program.

Taking some of the headache out of parking downtown, City Stage has a map of available parking. You can even compare parking rates.

From zTrip to RideAustin, find out which ridesharing companies can take you to the festival.

Safety tips

Austin police released tips on how to safely park and store your items, what’s the best way to get to Zilker Park and what you’re allowed to bring with you.

  • Anti-theft tips when you park: Make sure you’re hiding items in your car before you arrive to the parking lot. Car thieves will wait and watch where things are being hidden.
  • What you can and can’t bring: No professional cameras, no tripods, no selfie sticks, no glass containers, no weapons, or camping equipment.
Austin City Limits 2016 Map (ACL Photo)
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