Residents and visitors alike can enjoy cruising Texas roads to the eclectic music that originates in Austin, otherwise known as the Live Music Capital of the World. The capital city hosts the annual Austin City Limits Music Festival each fall. The festival promotes, premiers and celebrates an eclectic blend of music like no other. Austin boasts the sprawling Zilker Park complex along the Colorado River with the city skyline as its back drop. Tens of thousands of raving music fans flock to the park each year to camp out under the blaring sun and starry nights. The trek is worth every penny for tickets as imminent pain from sunburn and mosquito bites is lessened by the ecstasy of back-to-back weekends of live music soothing the mind, body and soul.
Each year the talent lineup at ACL is astonishing. Fan participation and enthusiasm is contagious with bands jostling for the undying adoration that permeates the festival grounds. It’s just one big, bad music fest that fans and bands don’t want to end. Any set on any particular stage could feature the next block-buster, world tour headlining band. Headliners every year include well-known performers – some aged legends and others rising superstars – who can’t get enough of the fans who loyally support them at ACL. Each weekend lineup in October runs Friday through Sunday across as many as eight stages. About the only thing that stops the festival is heavy rains. Heat or cold (yes, it can get dang near freezing in October), or even a little rain won’t stop the festival or the fans. If the bands can take the stage, this festival will rock on through the elements. Fans always leave with a life-changing connection to ACL they will share for generations.
Austin is known for its culinary pleasures and ACL doesn’t disappoint in satiating the never-ending munchies of festival participants. Every music fan here needs to have a local taco or ten and indulge themselves in between taco breaks with the many offerings of tempting delights. Drinks, sweets, brews and even vegan or gluten-free options are all on the menu in the food court. You never know what premier restaurant will be on hand to deliver the tastes of Texas and the world you would never expect at a music festival. Eating is a must, as refueling is required throughout ACL to sustain the energy needed to dance for hours like no one’s looking. All types of payment are accepted. ATMs are available throughout the park during ACL.
There is more to ACL than the incredible music and exquisite food. There are connections for the technology enthusiasts, plenty of fun for children (young and old) and an art market. Organizers describe this as the festival within the festival. Charging stations are available for devices, corporations are on hand with free swag and there’s a special stage where DJs crank the tunes while fans take in the vibes on supplied headsets for this “silent disco.” Kiddos will wear themselves out in the park with hands-on booths, a playground and a train that runs year-round. The art market has vendors with everything from accessories to clothing to local crafts and art. ACL is one of those iconic annual events that everyone needs to place on their calendar and get there. Those who make it get to enjoy what others will wish they never missed.