ACL festival goers

Photo courtesy of @thatkidkiara

What to wear

Festivals bring the perfect opportunity to experiment with your style by incorporating new trends and looks. Austin City Limits Festival (ACL) fashion typically consists of cute-casual looks, which are ideal because you will most likely wear the outfit all day. Popular festival looks consist of cropped shirts, high-waisted pants, printed pants, bold colors, flowy dresses, jerseys and overalls. The weather for ACL’s second weekend, Oct. 12 – 14, is predicted to be cloudy with a high of 81 degrees and a low of 60 degrees. It may rain on Sunday, so prepare to potentially get mud on your shoes. You are going to be on your feet most of the day, so opt for walking or dancing shoes, however, white shoes are probably not the best choice if you don’t want them to get scuffed or dirty. Dr. Martens are perfect festival shoes for all weather conditions, as they are practically indestructible and add an edgy look to any outfit. The most important thing to account for is comfortability. Wear something you feel comfortable and confident in so you can focus more on the music, dancing and good vibes.

backsplash

Photo courtesy of Unsplash

What to bring

There are a few things to keep on your person during ACL: a backpack or fanny pack to hold your festival essentials, and a portable charger for your phone, crucial to remaining in continuous communication with your friends during the festival. Although ACL is in October, it’s Texas and it’s still hot during the so-called “fall” season. Staying hydrated in the heat is critical so bring a large empty water bottle or Camelback and fill it up throughout the day at one of the many water stations in Zilker Park. With the sun, comes the brutal Texas heat which means that sunscreen is a necessity because in your Instagram posts, you want to look sunkissed, not sunburnt. Also, consider bringing a small, lightweight blanket or towel so you and your friends can sprawl out comfortably while eating or waiting for the next show. 

person hailing an uber

Photo courtesy of Creative Commons

What to keep in mind

Festivals are beautifully chaotic because everyone in attendance is doing the most to have the best time. To enhance the good vibes, many festival goers choose to indulge in drugs and alcohol. While this is expected, keep in mind the dangers of driving under the influence and other drivers who may not be as cautious. Uber and Lyft provide free codes during ACL to alleviate the stress of having to drive. Festivals are supposed to be a safe space fueled by positive energy, but there are still people who aim to hurt others. If you choose to consume drugs or alcohol at ACL, take the same precautions as you would at a house party. Keep a close eye on your and your friends’ drinks, and stay safe while still having the time of your life. 

Photo courtesy of @vandzfoodclub

Where to eat

There are lots of things that you need to bring to ACL, but arguably the most important is your appetite. ACL Eats is ACL’s very own food truck park that features some of Austin’s best restaurants. For example, popular restaurant Chilantro, is a Korean-Mexican fusion restaurant known for their Kimichi Fries that are loaded with your choice of pork, beef or chicken and just about everything you didn’t know you were missing. If you’re wanting to get more down and dirty, stop by Wholly Cow for a grass-fed burger that is stacked to the heavens with cheese and bacon galore. ACL Eats also offers plenty of vegan and vegetarian options such as the delicious Kababeque, serving Mediterranean wraps, salads and more. For dessert, because there’s no way you’re skipping dessert, stops like Bananarchy serve frozen bananas coated in vegan chocolate, peanut butter and more. 

Who to see

ACL wouldn’t be one of the year’s biggest music festivals without bringing big-name artists as well as the underground community’s beloved smaller artists to one of their eight stages. Some of the exciting performances this year will come from smaller acts, like Father John Misty, best known for his part in bands Fleet Foxes and Saxon Shore, who is now creating a world of music on his own. Many of this year’s attendees are anticipating the performance from self-produced Chicano artist Cuco, who is rapidly gaining attention for his bilingual indie tracks that always get the crowd moving. Indie-pop band Alvvays (pronounced “Always”) are sure fill the stage with their DIY-style tracks.

Synth-pop band Chvrches will take the stage with lead singer Lauren Mayberry, bringing all the ethereal vibes that one could ask for. You can’t miss British singer-songwriter, Blood Orange, who has helped pen songs for some of the biggest artists from Britney Spears to Solange Knowles. However, the progressive indie-R&B feel of his own music will captivate the audience this year. Singer and guitarist, Bahamas, is another must-see this year; he has a powerful strum, a fresh collection of new songs that were inspired by “D’Angelo’s rhythm section” and dance across a multitude of music genres. Last but not least on our list of must-sees is singer-songwriter, Amber Mark, whose jazzy, soulful tone is the perfect addition to the new wave of alt-R&B.

Photo courtesy of Creative Commons

How to keep the party going

Now, if you still have energy after a day of head bumping and hip-swaying music, there are plenty of spots to check out in Austin. For those 21 and up, you’ve got to hit up West Sixth Street. It’s a little pricey, but bars such as Kung Fu Saloon feature a slew of arcade games, and Greenlight Social, best known for its Adult Capri Sun drink that is definitely not the same drink we had as kids, are the best way to keep the good energy flowing. 

If you didn’t get your foodie fix at ACL Eats, local restaurant P. Terry’s,  known for serving “Austin’s best burger,” is open until 3 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. 

You can keep the festival fun going with the official ACL late night shows that are shown at a plethora of bars and venues around Austin. To check out some of the late night performers, head over to www.aclfestival.com/late-night-shows/.

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