ACL 2018: Everything You Need To Know Before You Go

October 06, 2018

Sharing is caring!

This is a sponsored post on behalf of car2go, all opinions are my own.

Austin City Limits ACL 2018 Everything You Need To Know Before You Go

Photo by Ready Set Jet Set

ACL Festival is upon us – are you going?! This will be my fourth year going and the festival has made many changes over the years to improve the experience.


Even if this isn’t your first year going to ACL, you’ll want to read about all the new updates like how to get to ACL 2018, what you can and cannot bring inside, and which food vendors will be there.


ACL what to wear


First things first, plan out what you’re going to wear. The weather in Austin is always finicky during Austin City Limits  – it usually pours on the weekend 2.

  • tee & shorts or light dress (it can get really hot)
  • coverup like a kimono – you want to look stylish!
  • booties – you’re going to be walking around all day and the last thing you want are dirty, sore feet from a pair of sandals. Put on the sneakers or low booties. Pull out those rainboots just in case it rains. I remember wading through the mud in 2015 and it was awful.
  • flower crown or hat



car2go ACL drop zone


There is NO parking at ACL – the roads leading to Zilker Park are all closed, and parking is discouraged in surrounding neighborhoods. So how do you get to ACL then? car2go!


Carpenter Hotel

car2go’s festival Drop Zone at The Carpenter Hotel (400 Josephine St.) is the most convenient parking to the ACL festival ground. The entrance to the car2go Drop Zone is in the back of the hotel on Jessie St – just drive up and drop the car! AND car2go members will also enjoy a free iced coffee while getting an exclusive sneak peek of the hotel. car2go’s festival Drop Zone does closed at 6pm every day.

USE PROMO CODE: KOKOCAR2GO (Free registration + $10 in driving credit)

How does car2go work?

Use car2go’s mobile app (available on iPhone and Android smartphone devices) to view, reserve, and access car2go vehicles. You’ll have access to over 300 Mercedes-Benz CLA and GLA vehicles. Fuel, parking, insurance, and maintenance are all included. No monthly or annual fees!



Activate your ACL wristband on the ACL website to sign up for ACL cashless to pay for goods, food, drinks and more with the tap of your wrist. At the festival, you’ll be able to pay with your wristband at any bar or vendor location displaying the ACL Cashless logo. It’s super easy and you don’t have to worry about carrying cash!


ACL 2018 bag policy


  • Small purse or tote – to hold your essentials so you can be hands-free. NO BACKPACKS and bag size may not exceed 14” x 11” x 5”.
  • Reusable water bottle – ACL will have refill stations with free freshly filtered water, which will save you a pretty penny and you’ll be well-hydrated.
  • Hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, and fan – anything to keep cool and try not to overheat. No aerosol cans.
  • Wet wipes – the lines at the porta potties will be long and the last thing you want is to not be able to wash your hands before eating.
  • Cash – don’t pay the exorbitant ATM fees within the festival grounds. Hit up the bank beforehand with enough cash to eat and drink your way through the ACL weekend.
  • Portable charger – there will be charging stations but stay on-the-go with plenty of portable chargers to keep your phone fully charged.
  • Blanket / picnic blanket – trust me, you’re going to get tired from standing. Roll it up and pack it in your backpack.


  • Backpacks and bags with multiple pockets are prohibited. Hydration packs are allowed but must be emptied of all liquid and have no more than two pockets in addition to the one holding the water reservoir.
  • E-Cigs or Vaping devices
  • Aerosol containers (including sunscreen and personal beauty products)
  • Any and all professional audio recording equipment
  • Any and all professional video equipment – no video recording will be allowed
  • Professional cameras (any camera with the option to detach a lens)
  • Any and all camera accessories, such as selfie sticks, tripods, monopods, go pro mounts and attachments, detachable lenses, or other commercial equipment
  • Drones or any other remote flying device
  • Frisbees
  • Camping or Tent setups. Includes camping umbrellas, tents and cordoning off your chairs with tape/rope
  • Coolers of any kind (exceptions may be made for medical use)
  • Framed backpacks
  • Hammocks
  • Glass containers of any kind
  • Firearms, explosives, and weapons of any kind (including pocket knives, pepper spray, fireworks, etc)
  • Illegal and Illicit substances of any kind
  • Drugs or drug paraphernalia
  • Outside food or beverage (including alcohol)
  • Umbrellas
  • Professional-grade radios or walkie-talkies
  • Pets (except service animals)
  • Skateboards, scooters, bicycles, wagons, carts (including red wagons) or any personal motorized vehicles
  • Tents, canopies, or shade structures of any kind
  • Unauthorized/unlicensed vendors are not allowed. No unauthorized solicitation and materials including handbills, flyers, stickers, beach balls, give-aways, samples, etc.
  • Large chains or spiked jewelry
  • Bicycles inside the festival grounds (free parking is available near festival entrance)
  • No Inflatable furniture (rafts, chairs, etc.)


ACL 2018 map


Grab a paper map when you go through the entrance. Cell phones die and service will be spotty. Take one.


ACL Weekend One poster ACL weekend two poster


Don’t miss out on the headliners.

ACL Weekend 1 – Friday: Paul MCCARTNEY + ODESZA

ACL Weekend 1 – Saturday: Metallica + Justice

ACL Weekend 1 – Sunday: Travis Scott + Arctic Monkeys

ACL Weekend 2 – Friday: Paul MCCARTNEY + ODESZA

ACL Weekend 2 – Saturday: Metallica + Justice

ACL Weekend 2 – Sunday: Travis Scott + Arctic Monkeys


Chi'lantro BBQ


Come for the music and stay for the food. Food vendors will be serving all day and accept cash, credit, debit, and ACL Cashless payments. I do recommend bringing cash since registers always go down every year and you don’t want to pay that ATM machine fee.

My picks for food:

  • Bananarchy
  • Blenders & Bowls
  • Burro Grilled Cheese
  • Chi’lantro
  • East Side King
  • Flyrite Chicken
  • Goodpop
  • Micklethwait Craft Meats
  • Sno-Beach
  • Tacodeli
  • Skull & Cakebones
  • The Noble Pig
  • The Peached Tortilla
  • Tiff’s Treats


ACL 2018


Keep the party going at the Official 2018 ACL Fest Late Night Shows at some of the best venues Austin like Stubb’s, Emo’s Austin, and The Parish. Keep an eye out on Twitter #ACLfest for unofficial shows by the artists.


Jane Ko is the Austin blogger behind A Taste of Koko, Austin's top food and travel blog featuring the hottest restaurants and weekend getaways. Jane has been a speaker at South by Southwest (SXSW), Texas Conference for Women, BlogHer, and more on entrepreneurship and social media. She lives in Austin Texas with her dog and cat.