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When you throw an outdoor party as big as ACL Fest, there’s more to think about than just putting on an amazing rock show. The Rock & Recycle Program encourages festival attendees to pick up a bag of recyclables from the grounds in exchange for a specially designed ACL Fest line-up tee. Participants will be entered to win a Fairdale bicycle each weekend, and there will be a drawing for a pair of 2018 ACL Fest tickets every night.

For the past 12 years, Austin Parks Foundation (APF) has been the presenting partner and primary beneficiary of ACL Fest. APF will be enhancing its presence at the festival as the presenting sponsor of the Rock & Recycle Program. APF will make the festival greener by encouraging recycling. For every participant in the Rock & Recycle program and the brand new Recycling Tour, APF will allocate $5 to their Recycling in Parks initiative.

In addition to Rock & Recycle, check out these enivironment-focused activities you’ll see around the fest:

  • Recycling Tour: In partnership with HOPE (of the HOPE outdoor gallery), APF is placing 12 artist-designed recycling bins throughout the park. Festival attendees can check in at the sustainability zone to grab a Recycling Tour passport, then visit each of the 12 bins to learn a little about APF’s recycling efforts, ACL’s greening programs and more. Fans can bring completed passports back to the sustainability zone and enter to win a pair of 2018 ACL Fest tickets each weekend.
  • Keep Austin Beautiful Relays: Keep Austin Beautiful will teach fans about how litter travels fast in our urban watershed, as well as how to properly recycle and compost with a fun relay race activity.
  • Don’t Mess With Texas: TXDOT’s signature litter abatement campaign will have bins on-site to remind festival attendees that our parks, trails, and green spaces are no place for litter.
  • Happy Birthday to Zilker: 2017 is Zilker Park’s 100th Anniversary and fans will be invited to help us color a birthday candle mural that will be installed in the park after the festival.
  • Live Painting with HOPE: The artists that design the 12 recycling tour bins, and special Rock & Recycle line-up tees will be on-site each day of the festival. Fans can stop by to watch the masters work!


Keeping Zilker Park and the planet healthy and around for future generations are key missions of the Festival. From the use of biodiesel run generators to diverting waste from the landfill and fan education and outreach, ACL Fest is committed to minimizing its carbon footprint both during the Festival and throughout the year. Here are more ways in which ACL Fest strives to lessen its environmental impact…

Carbon Offsets

In 2017, ACL Fest continues its commitment to the environment by offsetting the estimated CO2 emissions created by the festival’s generators, electricity usage, staff travel, artists travel and office based emissions. In 2016 alone, Festival producers and fans have helped offset approximately 2,062,780 pounds of Carbon Dioxide. That’s equivalent to the amount of CO2 absorbed by approximately 42,974 trees over one year!

Water Campaign

Festival producers continue to explore convenient and efficient ways to keep fans hydrated so they can safely enjoy the show. Staff and patrons are encouraged to refill their bottles at the CamelBak Filling Stations throughout the park. In 2016, we poured 419,484 Liters of water at Event Water Solutions’ innovative triple filtered filling stations. That is equivalent to 838,968 bottles of water!

ACL Fest has once again partnered with The Nature Conservancy of Texas to promote a lasting effort to celebrate and conserve one of Texas’ precious natural resource – water.

Waste Diversion

Thanks to the diligent efforts of ACL fans and staff, ACL 2016 saw the an astonishing waste diversion rate; by cubic volume, we diverted 54.4% of the waste. We strive for a higher rate in 2017 through an extensive composting program and a continued ban on items that can be harmful to the environment such as plastic bags and styrofoam. The Austin Eats Food Court utilizes both front and back of house composting, and all vendors are required to use eco-friendly, compostable plates, napkins and utensils.

Park Improvements

Since early 2007, a portion of proceeds from every ticket sold has gone to support improvements at parks all over town. Improving Austin’s green spaces for the entire community is an essential element of the Festival’s green mission. ACL is proud to support the Foundation in education, advocacy, and ecological restoration projects across Austin, including the Barton Creek Greenbelt, The Shoal Creek Greenbelt, The Bull Creek Greenbelt, and the Zilker Preserve.

Community Outreach/Exhibits

Austin Parks Foundation, Keep Austin Beautiful and other selected organizations have a presence in ACL Cares – a space which gives patrons an opportunity to learn more about how they can practice “green living” and support great causes in their everyday lives. We have added new features around the park this year to get involved and learn more about sustainability practices. Stay tuned for more information.