Top 10 Tips For An Awesome ACL

It’s easy to have an incredible time at ACL Festival. With more music, food, activities, and ways to have fun than ever, there’s a lot to choose from. We went ahead and compiled a list of tips to help you get prepared, get to Zilker Park, and make the most of your time at the Festival. Here’s our ten-step program for ACL mastery:

Need To Find The Box Office? We’ve Got Three

With three convenient box office locations, we’ve made it easy to redeem your wristbands before the rush!
  • Our Zilker Park Box Office is OPEN! Get a jump start on your ACL weekend right now by redeeming your 3-Day Pass for a wristband at our Zilker Park Box Office, located on Barton Springs Road across from the main Festival entrance and open Monday – Thursday from 3pm to 8pm. On show days, go straight to either Festival entrance to redeem your 3-Day Pass for a wristband.
  • At the airport? Redeem your 3-Day Pass for a wristband as soon as you hit the tarmac and grab your bags at Austin-Bergstrom International. Our ACL Airport Box Office is in the Baggage Claim near Carousel 5, and will be open Thurs., Oct. 7th from Noon to 7pm and Fri., Oct. 8th from 10am to 5pm.
  • Ride the Free Shuttles! At our Republic Square Box Office – located at the corner of 4th and Guadalupe – you can redeem your 3-Day Pass for a wristband on Fri., Oct. 8th from 10am to 8pm. After that, just hitch a free ride on the ACL Festival shuttles to get dropped off at the main festival entrance on Barton Springs Road.

Go Green To Zilker Park

Make the earth-friendly choice when planning to get to ACL with multiple, car-free transportation methods. But a friendly reminder if you were thinking of driving down: there’s no car parking around the Festival grounds. Please be considerate of the nearby neighborhoods (aka: Don’t Park There!) Instead, try these options:
  • Free Festival Shuttles run non-stop from 10am to 11pm for all three days of the Festival. Board at Republic Square (4th and Guadalupe) and get dropped off at the Barton Springs entrance. When you’re done for the day, hop on for a return trip. Click here for maps & more information.
  • Use some raw leg power to bike down to the Festival, where you can lock up your wheels on the free racks near either entrance (remember to bring your own lock!) If you need parts or repair, stop by the Mellow Johnny’s Bike Station at both entrances for fix-ups, locks, lights, tubes, or any other last minute advice or gear.
  • Scooter & Motorcycle parking is available off Robert E. Lee in the Barton Springs Pool parking lot for those hip wheels.
  • Pedestrian pick-up/drop-off is located on Stephen F. Austin Drive at the north end of the Mopac footbridge. From there it’s a short walk across the MoPac footbridge to the Lady Bird Lake Festival entrance.
  • For you big city types, Taxis pick-up/drop-off on William Barton, just south of Barton Springs. Save some money–and some CO2–by sharing a lift with friends or strangers!

Respect The Chair-Free Zone

Help us keep our Chair-Free Zones chair-less, by pitching your folding chairs outside of those areas in front of the stages. There’s a lot going on, so patrons, security and emergency personnel need to be able to get where they’re going. Everywhere else outside of those designated zones is free for your sitting enjoyment. If that chair or bag is becoming a burden, just drop it off for free at the American Airlines TM Bag & Chair Check next to the Lady Bird Lake entrance.

Stay Connected at ACL: Mobile Apps, Group Text, WiFi & More

We’ve got some cool tech to save you some runaround, help you stay connected to your friends, and allow you to squeeze every last drop of fun from your ACL weekend:
  • Download our FREE 2010 iPhone and Android Apps! Manage your ACL Fest experience from the palm of your hand. Plan your custom schedule (or sync with your sched on our website), check out content from this year’s artists, spec out our Festival Map, update your Facebook and Twitter, and much more.
  • Group Text! No matter how many are in your party, it can be a chore to coordinate. Instead of chasing your chums, use GroupMe! A two-way “reply-all” text service, it allows you to chat with multiple friends at once via text message. It’s the perfect compliment to our mobile apps.
  • Connect to WiFi! Look for the CLEAR 4G Spots in the Festival and hop on the free WiMAX wireless connection. See The Map for locations.
  • Power up! Charge your mobile device for free at the The ZYNC Zone and Honda Hybrid Zone.

Get Signed at ACL…Kinda

Meet, greet, and grab a John–or Jane–Hancock from dozens of acclaimed ACL favorites like LCD Soundsystem, Spoon, Band of Horses, Monsters of Folk, Deadmau5, The National and many more. Waterloo Records, Austin’s flagship music retailer, will be hosting signing sessions – located next to the Festival Store. See the full ACL Autograph Schedule!

Hydrate Up & Cool Down

Just because the temperature has dropped into the low 80s, doesn’t mean the sun can’t sneak up on you. Slather on an appropriate SPF sunscreen early & re-apply often. Patrons are allowed two factory sealed water bottles (up to 1 liter each) into ACL Festival per day. If you’d like to skip the plastic bottles, you can also bring an empty refillable container (like a Nalgene or SIGG bottle) and stock up at our new amazing free, triple-filtered water stations. Or pick-up some H2O natural spring water at any Festival bar for $2. With its eco-friendly paper packaging, you can refill it at a water station, or just flatten it and recycle. And every so often, come by to chill out (and freshen up) at our misting areas. All this – and much more – is clearly marked out on the 2010 Festival Map.

Kick Back & Relax at ACL

Sure, there’s non-stop music and excitement at ACL Festival, but what if you want to kick back and relax a bit? We’ve planned for that, too. All over the park, you’ll find great places to put your feet up and take a load off. Click here for the full list of Activities.
  • Grab a seat and a cool craft beer, while you catch the weekend football games on the big screens at Rock Island Hideaway
  • Cool off under the misting stations at one of the most popular chill zones in the park, the H-E-B Zilker Beach.
  • Swing by the HOPE Farmer’s market and sample some of Austin’s local flavors. It’s also the only spot at the Fest to grab a cup of Joe!
  • Stroll through ACL Cares just east of the Barton Springs entrance to visit organizations who are making this world a better place. Find out how you can too.

Brush Up On Your Do’s and Don’ts

Do yourself a big favor and take a minute to run down our list of authorized and unauthorized items so you don’t show up at the gates on your skateboard and a fistful of fireworks. For safety’s sake, among other important considerations, you’ll be told you can’t bring them in the park. If you’re unsure about something, our ACL Festival FAQs will fill you in on ACL’s Allowed & Prohibited items, as well as rules regarding re-entry/ins & outs and other important details you’ll want to know before the big weekend.

You Could Win Big At ACL 2010

You might be taking home more than you bargained for from ACL Festival– in a good way. All weekend long, we’ve got great prizes and giveaways for fans:
  • Share your favorite moments from the Festival this year with VH1′s Top 20 Greatest Moments of ACL and you could win big! Follow @VH1 on Twitter, tweet a photo of your favorite ACL moment using #ACLtop20, and you’ll be entered to win a trip on VH1′s Best Cruise Ever – featuring Train, Lifehouse, Colbie Caillat, The Script, Austin’s own Alpha Rev and more!
  • Want a FREE collectible ACL t-shirt? You’ll once again be able to help us keep Zilker beautiful by grabbing a bag from one of our four Rock & Recycle centers and collecting recyclables from around the park.
  • Keep checking our Facebook or Twitter during the Festival and you could win cool swag from ACL artists, or free food and beverages from our Austin Eats restaurants.
  • Stop by the Honda Hybrid Zone and enter to win a shiny, new 2011 Honda CR-Z sport hybrid coupe. Just pop in your info at a kiosk and cross your fingers! Plus, play the decoder-card game for a chance to spin the prize wheel (for premium winnings) or to score an instant reward!
  • Or pop into the State Farm Club 17k Tent for a chance to win ACL Festival VIP upgrades!

Join The Pint-Sized Party At Austin Kiddie Limits

You don’t have to be a grown up to get down! At ACL, children 10 and under get in FREE with a ticket holding adult. Our special ACL zone for the young ones – Austin Kiddie Limits presented by H-E-B – promises to keep the kiddos as entertained and engaged as the adults, teaching some good lessons along the way. This year, the littlest Festival fans can sit in on a Hip Hop or School of Rock workshop, grab a healthy bite at the H-E-B Snack Shack, build a sandcastle at Zilker Beach, splatter paint on a canvas, sing their little hearts out at Video Rock Star Karaoke, and much, much more. Parents might even get a little jealous.