Hello good people of the internet,
Were you at ACL this past weekend? I was unable to attend this year, unfortunately, but I heard the shows were great. My facebook was filled with all sorts of posts from people at the fest...waiting in crowds, getting soaking wet, and then dancing their little bums off while the band played. Sounds like lots of fun. Especially the soaking wet part. Yes, it was raining hard this weekend and I felt sorry for all the people out in the middle of Zilker waiting for their favorite bands. Especially since all the ponchos in Austin were sold out...again. This seems to happen every year, and so for the fourth of fifth year in a row, several thousands of people were left without protection from the evil rain.
Yes, if unprepared, ACL can really stink. It's only until you hear your favorite band play their first chord that you realize it was all worth it. Here are my top tips for future Austin City Limit Festivals:
1. Come prepared!
Bring sun block, a poncho, lots of water, and lots of cash (for lunch and souvenirs). You never know if it will be raining or scorching hot. It's Austin, and in mid-October we're usually either really wet or really hot. So plan for both. The dough will come in handy when you get extra thirsty (you know what I mean) and really hungry. The food and drinks at the fest are hella expensive, so save your pennies and enjoy the grub.
2. Rent a place nearby
The ideal thing to do would be to rent a place near Zilker and be able to walk or bike to the fest. Biking would be your best option. But to do this, you need to plan ahead. Book your place before the lineup is out. With each passing year, ACL is becoming ever popular, drawing in crowds from all across the U.S. Book a place close by and save on time waiting for the bus, money on cabs, and money on parking. Because let me tell you guys, parking during the ACL fest is near impossible to find, and if you do, it's most likely $30-$75 a day.
3. Bring a tarp and some cards and WAIT
You're gonna be spending the majority of your time waiting in crowds for the band to play. Trust me. If you want an awesome spot for the show, you're gonna have to get there an hour or two in advance. Perhaps earlier depending on how much you want to see the band. So bring a tarp to sit on and some bicycle cards and just enjoy the weather (assuming it's nice) while you wait for your band. You might even discover an awesome band in the distance while you're waiting.
Alright folks, that's my piece. Jerry Hingle has been to his fair share of Austin City Limits Festivals, so trust me. Read this and you'll be set for next year's ACL!