There’s no parking at Zilker Park. Some businesses along Barton Springs Road sell parking spaces, but your best bet is to find alternatives to your own car.
A free shuttle bus will run from Republic Square Park at Fourth and Guadalupe streets starting at 10:30 a.m. Last bus leaves Zilker at 11 p.m. nightly. CapMetro also plans to have beefed-up service during the fest. Go to capmetro.org for routes and schedules. Fanzone charter buses can be reserved from surrounding areas such as Round Rock and Buda.
RideAustin is the official rideshare for the fest, and you can expect others to offer some fest specials as well. The fest’s website has details on a promo code for the weekends during the fest as well as the chance to get free rides through the RideAustin app from Honda, which is a sponsor of the fest.
The fest provides a lot of bicycle parking at the Lady Bird Lake entrance and south of the two entrances on Barton Springs Road. Bring your own lock. Mellow Johnny’s partners with the fest to provide minor bike repairs and supplies at the bike parking on Barton Springs Road. Austin B-cycle is another partner and will have a “B-cycle valet” at the fest to help with parking their bikes.
If you’re a Car2Go user, they have a drop zone at 1721 Toomey Road with staff on site to help.
At the gates
Gates open at 11 a.m. daily; the fest closes at 10 p.m.
There are three entrances this year (four, if you qualify for the family entrance):
• The Lady Bird Lake entrance remains on the northwestern edge of the park.
• Two entrances — one east, one west — will be open on Barton Springs Road. The entrance on the east end of Barton Springs Road has been moved up to just west of the bridge over Barton Creek, with the main box office moved to the east side of that bridge. “We do expect the Barton Springs East gate to be the most popular for entry,” fest organizers said. “We recommend utilizing the Barton Springs West or Lady Bird entrances for faster entry.” Expect larger lines around the peak entry time between 3 and 5 p.m.
• A family entrance, added last year, will be next to the Barton Springs East entrance, the closest to Austin Kiddie Limits. It closes at 7 p.m. daily.
Bag size limits
New bag restrictions might cause confusion at the gates. The festival’s updated list of allowed and prohibited items includes the following language about bags: “18 L sized bags or smaller (roughly 1000 cubic inches or 10” x 10” x 10”) – drawstring bags work well.”
We asked for clarification, and organizers responded that “18 L” means 18 liters, but they offered no further specifics about variance in bag shapes or styles. “Fans should be prepared ahead of time and leave bags at home to expedite entry,” organizers said. “Bags that exceed size restrictions will not be allowed.”
Also on the list of prohibited items this year are umbrellas, inflatable furniture (such as air-filled sofas and chairs), drones, hammocks and e-cigs or vaping devices.
More new stuff
The area across Barton Springs Road that was used for the main box office will now be part of the event grounds. The Barton Springs stage will be over there, along with more food options and the official merchandise store. The BMI stage also has been relocated. Organizers said the changes were made to reduce sound bleed and improve crowd flow. They’ve also added a Silent Disco (with live DJs and ACL-provided headphones) from 8 to 10 p.m. each day in the Tito’s tent, as well as a “wine experience” (near Kiddie Limits, parents) that promises “reds, whites, rosés and bubbles” from around the world.
Austin Kiddie Limits
The family-friendly (and very shady since it was relocated last year) area is open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. Kids 10 years and younger are admitted to the fest free of charge with a ticketed adult (limit of two kids for each adult).
More ACL Fest previews
Lineup look: Here’s who you should go see
Fest fashion: a practical guide to staying fresh at Zilker Park
Eat and drink: Vendors at ACL Eats for 2017