The first weekend of Austin City Limits kicks off today with a massive musical party at Zilker Park. The 15th annual festival offers the ultimate musical experience with headliners Radiohead, Mumford & Sons, Major Lazer and Kendrick Lamar. Music fans from all over the country will squeeze into Austin over the next two weekends.
If you’re attending the festival for the first time, make sure you have a transportation strategy. Finding parking downtown is next to impossible. Driving after a long day of drinking is a recipe for disaster. Do yourself a favor (and your fellow Austinites). Do not drive to ACL. Take note of some of the best alternatives for travel this year.
Ride a Bike
Get some exercise, help the environment and breeze by the fools stuck in traffic. Riding a bike is one of the easiest forms of downtown transportation. Each festival entrance offers bike racks; just make sure to bring your own lock.
Take a Pedicab
If you like bikes, but don’t want to mess with them, have someone else pedal for you! Pedicabs will be scattered throughout downtown and at the festival grounds. If you’re particularly tired at night, take a load off and let your pedicab driver do the work. Make sure to bring cash and tip generously!
Hop on a Shuttle
If you live too far away to bike, take a free shuttle or ride the bus. Capital Metro will run free shuttles from Republic Square to Zilker from 10am to 11pm throughout the festival.
To get near Republic Square, take Bus Route 801 (North Lamar/South Congress). You can also take the MetroRapid bus 803 (Burnet/South Lamar) directly to Barton Springs Road. Then walk or pedicab west to Zilker Park.
Ride the Train
If you live in north Austin or Cedar Park, take the train downtown. MetroRail will offer extended weekend service during ACL. After you reach downtown station, you can walk or take a pedicab about 7 blocks to Republic Square. You can also catch an ACL Shuttle on 4th Street. The train fills up quickly, so make sure to arrive early before departure.
Share a Ride
Since Uber and Lyft no longer operate in Austin, ride sharing options are limited; but they do exist! Ride Austin is a nonprofit transportation network company and one of the best options in town. Ride Austin will actually be partnering with Honda and providing special free rides for ticket-holders. You can also try Wingz, Getme and Fasten. Keep in mind that demand for ride sharing during the festival will be astronomical. Expect long wait times!
Hail a Cab
Taxi service in Austin is notoriously unreliable, but if you’re open to playing the odds, call a cab. Try Austin Express Cab or Yellow Cab Austin. Don’t expect timely arrivals or good customer service.
Reserve a Car2Go
If you’re totally sober and travel in pairs, you have one driving option as a last resort; reserve a Car2Go. The tiny cars will be available to rent from 12pm-9pm during the festival. The operating area covers most of the Austin core so it shouldn’t be too difficult to find an available car. Locate a car near you and then drop it off at Weber Field near Zilker.
Stay in the loop during ACL! Check out the Pulsr app for festival options throughout Austin.