ACL is one of those events you wait for all season, only to realize there is a reason you only subject yourself to this type of torture once a year.
Between searching for the last available spot in the shade, having your group split up at least every set or two, enduring sweaty bodies thrusting against you during intense sets, and searching for the perfect drink and food pairing at Eats! – there were some moments that I am glad I planned for in advance. For those of you headed to ACL Weekend 2, here’s what I learned this year during ACL Weekend 1.
Tip 1: Bring a jacket / button up. If you plan on keeping anything in your back pockets throughout the festival tie this around your waist while not in use to prevent from being pick pocketed. This was a common overheard issue this ACL season.
Tip 2: If you paid for VIP bands, skip the VIP / Platinum bar near Honda and either utilize another line or hang out in the grove. Why?
Well, though you paid between $1200 and $3600 for your ticket, this line only has the basic offerings of wine and beer and still requires that you pay per beverage. After waiting in the longest line, we realized this was a gimmick added this year and a not well thought out one at that. (Will add my $9 plastic cup of wine photo below – feel free to cry over it with me.)
Tip 3: Wear shoes you can walk around in all day. The sandals I originally wore ended up being thrown in my Camelback and replaced with Tevas. Definitely did not match, but worth the comfort! Trust me!
Tip 4: STAY HYDRATED! Water gets redundant, but keep an eye on how much you’re sweating and replace the liquid your body is expelling. There is a med tent by the wine grove if necessary, but try and leave the space for actual emergencies and just drink water every hour.
To make this easy to remember, Camelback refill stations are around the park for your water packs.
Tip 5: BRING A WATER PACK. This is pretty self explanatory. Just do it.
Tip 6: Try Bananarchy! The best frozen banana, which doubles as a cool off in the hot Texas heat and humidity. My first time having one and I went with the chocolate and graham one – no regrets.
Tip 7: Keep your tech charged! We brought along a portable Anker charger and it was one of the best decisions we’ve made in a while. I even sported this inside my fanny-pack to charge my phone in secret while I was walking around. If someone sees you using one of these things, THEY WILL ASK TO USE IT, so make sure you shove it in a pocket out of sight unless you’re feeling friendly. These are hot commodities at ACL!
Tip 8: Make wise decisions, have fun, and stay safe!
Capping out close to half a million people during Weekend 1 alone, there are numerous things that could go wrong. Make sure to stay with a group or at least let someone know where you will be and have a check in system.