Austin City Limits Music Festival was quite the experience for me. To be honest, I was nervous about going, because even though I enjoy music, I was hesitant about going to several concerts all day. The only other music festival experience I have is Float Fest in San Marcos.
Austin City Limits music festival celebrated its 15th anniversary this year. I have read several different things, but everything said between 75 to 100 thousand people attended everyday. Although, I knew it would be crowded, I can honestly say I have never seen that many people in one place at one time. At times, it was a madhouse. Whoever puts ACL together does an incredible job with organization and planning, because everything seemed to run smoothly and on time. All 8 stages were easy to get to and hosted some incredible bands.
I was impressed with restroom situation. Not only did they bring in flushable toilets, but there were a ton of them. The cleaning crew did a fantastic job of keeping everything clean and stocked with toliet paper. Seriously, this made the festival experience much better. There were plenty of opportunities to go in and grab some air away from the heat.
One of the best parts of ACL was that we didn’t have to carry money or cards with us, because everything was loaded on to our wristbands.
What to expect at a music festival
You are going to stand all day and walk a lot. I actually enjoyed the walking, because I could work off the thousands of queso calories.
You will listen to more music in one weekend then you ever imagined. I think we saw a total of 24 bands in three days. You will hear music all day if you choose to.
Every night you will go to bed exhausted, and you will wake up achey and sore. Colton said it correctly, “festivals are like ski trips. You go to bed sore and tired, and you wake up and do it all again.”
Expect to see a lot of phones in your way during the concert. You should expect to wait in lines for everything. However, there are a ton of bands playing at the same time and lots of great people watching.
Check out some of the early bands. You will get a much better view and you may hear something before it’s popular.
What to wear to a music festival
Pay attention to the weather before you leave. Austin City Limits is in early October in Austin, so the weather was in the mid to upper 80s, and 60s at night. The first day, we brought jeans to change in to in case it got cool and we never needed them.
Here are what I saw many people wearing:
- Cut off shorts and tank tops
- High-waisted shorts and crop tops
- Lace bralettes
- Off the shoulder tops
- Romper maxis
- See-through dresses
- Flannel shirts (typically tied around the waist)
I am not a fashion blogger, but I felt great in my outfits all week. The only thing I would have reconsidered was the maxi romper because I had to practically take it all off for the restroom.
Day 1: Cut offs and off the shoulder top
Day 2: Romper Maxi
Day 3: Blank tank top and high-waisted shorts with flannel around my waist. (no photo)
Music festival tips
- Wear comfortable shoes- I promise your feet are going to hurt at the end of the day if you don’t.
- Prepare to wait in lines for the restroom.
- On the restroom note, wear something you can get in and out of easily on your own.
- Be courteous of others. If there is a band you want to see, get there early. Don’t climb over thousands of people to squeeze your group in the front. It is rude.
- Bring sunscreen, but verify the aerosol rules before you go. I got my favorite sunscreen taken away at the gate.
- Have a survival kit filled with necessities. You can check out my survival kit here.
- Bring a Laybag, find some shade and relax in between shows.
Overall, it is a ton of fun, exhausting, and a once-in-a-lifetime type of experience that everyone who even remotely likes music should have.
What are your tips for surviving a music festival? Do you have any favorite festivals? Leave me a comment below!