Austin City Limits + 5 Tips for Festivals

Austin City Limits + 5 Tips for Festivals

Last weekend, we attended the second weekend of the Austin City Limits Music Festival and it was so rad! It’s been a long few months, so I was pumped to have a little travel on the calendar! ūüôā

I’ve been to Texas, but never to Austin, so I was super excited for all of the things – ACL, of course, but also the food, the culture, the street art…there’s so much to take in! We stayed in a little house off South Congress, which I’d totally advise because it’s super fun to have a chill area to hang out in between/after the shows! Because we were a few blocks from it, we got over to Congress and enjoyed the super cute shops, restaurants and fairs they had on the street! We also got a cab into downtown and had lunch in the bar district – walking around to see a few cool murals and have a drink.

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For the festival itself, we had three day passes, so we attended shows Friday, Saturday and Sunday! Talk about needing stamina… it’s a lot for one day, let alone three! The ACL Festival app was mega helpful throughout the weekend – it gave you the full lineup for each day, stage information, artist information, maps, links to each artist’s Spotify, and more! Day one, we spent seeing shows and mostly feeling our way around the park. With eight or so stages, tons of stores, bars and food, there was a lot to navigate. Andrew McMahon, OAR, Vulfpeck and Foster the People played and it was awesome! We stayed through Jay-Z and then walked home to crash! SO EXHAUSTED.

austin city limits - katekatebear

austin city limits - katekatebear

austin city limits - katekatebear

The second day, we had a better idea of what we were doing. We spent the morning exploring Congress, getting food, then went to Grace Vanderwaal and Mondo Cozmo. We left after that to get food and rest, then returned for the evening shows with Tove Lo and Chance the Rapper (who was AMAZING!!!).

The last and final day was when we wanted to see most acts…we had a full afternoon of concerts planned, so we fueled up early with some breakfast tacos at Torchy’s (a must-try when in Austin!). We arrived at the park to jam with Louis the Child, Brothers Osbourne, Portugal the Man, The Head and The Heart (my absolute favorite!!!) and then The Killers!

It’s been a while since I’d been to a big festival like this and the first time I’d been to a multi-day festival, so I definitely learned some things. Here are my few little tips for attending festivals…

TipsForAttendingFestivals - katekatebear


  • Don’t pack a bag if you don’t have to! There’s often a separate line for those with bags and it’s usually a lot slower! NOTE: Blankets don’t typically count as a bag so if you’re holding a blanket to sit on, you should be good in the no-bag line.
  • Sunscreen & sun protection are a must! No matter where you’re jamming, you’re most likely in a big open area where they can host multiple stages. Open air means lots of sun. Remember, cloudy or not, the sun is going to get to you! Make sure you lather up and possibly wear a hat or bandana to protect yourself.
  • Go the extra distance for a bathroom! Everyone has to go…and when they do, they all run to the same spot: the first bathrooms available. If you’re able, walk a little further to the bathrooms just past those for a shorter line and less use.
  • BYO Water bottle!¬†Check the festival info first of course! If you they allow you, bring your own empty water bottle to refill at festival water stations. You have to enter the festival with it empty and carry it around, so make sure it’s convenient. This saves money and reduces waste!
  • Plan your exit strategy!¬†That sounds more intense than I need it to be. Basically, I mean you need to prep for when the masses of people are all leaving at the same time! Are you getting a cab? Walking? Pedi-cab? Uber? Most of the time there’s a rush of people and they’re all trying to do the same thing as you, so having a plan with your friends is key!