What to Expect at a Music Festival

October 10, 2016
love you more too north dallas blogger Austin City Limits Festival ACL What to expect at a music festival

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.


ACL Recap

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.Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

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.

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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. Processed with VSCO with kk2 preset

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.

Mumford and Sons

Mumford and Sons

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.

Chain Smokers

The Chainsmokers

Check out some of the early bands.  You will get a much better view and you may hear something before it’s popular.

Frightened Rabbit

Frightened Rabbit

Shane Smith and the Saints

Shane Smith and the Saints

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
  • Bodysuits
  • Lace bralettes
  • Off the shoulder tops
  • Overalls
  • 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

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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.

PIN for later

PIN for later

What are your tips for surviving a music festival?  Do you have any favorite festivals?  Leave me a comment below!

  • Katie October 10, 2016 at 3:06 pm

    I would have LOVED to go to ACL! So fun!! And Mumford?! My fave!

    • Jessica October 11, 2016 at 5:28 pm

      Mumford was incredible!! The best part of the weekend.

  • Rebecca Hicks October 10, 2016 at 8:24 pm

    I can’t imagine going to ACL… Way too crowded and crazy! It looks like y’all had a good time, though. The food looked sooo good on Instagram!

    • Jessica October 11, 2016 at 5:30 pm

      It was soo crowded. I felt like a little old lady. The food was the bomb. It really was a ton of fun!

  • Karen October 11, 2016 at 7:37 am

    I’ve never been to a music festival, but I would love to try going there soon! Thank you for sharing this. I’ll definitely read this again when I’m about to go to a musical festival.

    • Jessica October 11, 2016 at 5:30 pm

      Thanks, girl! You will have a blast. There are a ton of great ones.

  • Nicole @ Work|Wear|Wander October 11, 2016 at 1:50 pm

    Great recap! I love your looks — especially that romper! Sounds like you had a great time.

    • Jessica October 11, 2016 at 5:32 pm

      Thanks, girl!! It was fun.

  • Olivia Kaye October 11, 2016 at 2:37 pm

    Love this post! I’m super into music festivals and these are definitely all true things to expect! lol. Love your outfits too.

    • Jessica October 11, 2016 at 5:34 pm

      Awh, thanks girl!!

  • Naya @ Lactivist in Louboutins October 11, 2016 at 3:23 pm

    My husband and I went to Weekend 2, our first ACL Fest and music festival in a decade! Your tips are so right on. I appreciated the flushable toilets(!) and how polite everyone working was to attendees. We had a great time and it looks like you did, too.

    • Jessica October 11, 2016 at 5:35 pm

      The toliets were amazing! Yes, everyone was so polite. It made the whole experience so great.