2016 ACL Guide

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2016 Austin City Limits Music Festival -- Insider's Guide

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Autumn and Lisa Hickey helped kick off the legendary music festival 15 years ago and they’ve come full circle! The Austin City Limits Music Festival is definitely not the same as it was when it started, but there are so many fun changes in the works for this year’s fest. For the second year in a row, Panacea Collection, our sister company, is outfitting the VIP grove, artist lounges, and media lounge, among others! Check out some fun looks there if you’re lucky enough to get in!

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Start the day off right!

It’s important to get your festival days started out on the right foot! Be sure to grab a yummy, sustainable bite for brunch before you hit Zilker Park. Try Perla’s or Clark’s for a fresh start with delightful lobster rolls and other fresh selections from the raw bar. Café No Sé at the South Congress Hotel serves breakfast and brunch all weekend and is right around the corner from Zilker Park. And to close out the weekend, be sure to hit up Sunday brunch at the new Fresa’s dine-in location on South First.

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Acts not to miss!

The 15th annual ACL Fest is featuring some of our all-time faves, so make the most of your festival schedule! LCD Soundsystem is returning to the fest for their second time! Check them out and be ready to get your electronic groove on. Don’t miss Corinne Bailey Rae, who will surely blow us all away with her angelic voice. Speaking of great voices, definitely make it a point to see Wild Belle. For some soulful grooves, Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats is a must. So is Los Coast. They’re new to the fest, but will surely be on all of our radars within the year! If you want to really party, go see Major Lazer and Kendrick Lamar. Finally, you don’t want to miss legendary Austin hero Willie Nelson and Family.

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ACL Eats

Since the beginning of the festival, Austin Eats has been true to its local roots and as the Austin food scene has grown, so has the food scene at the festival. Therefore, it’s a sin to go hungry at this festival. The city’s greatest bites are conveniently available all weekend long. Indulge in some of the tastiest BBQ at Micklethwait. Get your greens in at The Peached Tortilla and order some of their legendary brussels sprouts. Hit up Tim Love’s Lonesome Dove Western Bistro for some swanky western cuisine bites. Chow down on some pork buns and meshi from East Side King. Grab an order of the Original Kimchi Fries from Chi’Lantro. Do your tastebuds some serious good and treat them to a Mighty Cone. Cool down with a deliciously sweet and perfectly tart popsicle from Good Pop or a classic scoop of Austin’s favorite, Amy’s Ice Cream.

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Dranksssss….

Hydration is the name of the game. But when you need something a little more than water, try some of these pick-me-ups. Shade Tree Organic Lemonade will be at the fest with their refreshing lemonades. If you’re lucky enough to be in the VIP Grove, mix some Tito’s in for the ultimate fest cocktail. Grab a High Brew Coffee for a cold kick of caffeine! When all else fails, get your hands on the true Austinite favorite, Topo Chico.

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Pro Tips

Above all else, stay hydrated. Bring your empty water bottle to fill at the fest and don’t forget to refill! Map out your transportation plan well in advance to maximize your days at the fest. Biking is a great option if you live in striking distance of the park! There are also various shuttles that run to and from Zilker Park and other services, like pedicabs that will be more than happy to get you to the festival. And while you’re at the festival, don’t miss out on the Art Market for all kinds of local goods! For more tips, head to the ACL official website.

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Late Nite Bites

Looking for a quality post-ACL meal? Justine’s stays open until 2am for late night dining. Walk down the street to 68 Degrees Kitchen and give the new local spot a try. Go to the Texas Chili Parlor for a bowl of nostalgia. Get a late night Autumn Water at Ranch 616. Get in your carbo load for the rest of the weekend at Easy Tiger. Try Second Bar + Kitchen for some delicious pizza. Treat yourself to a decadent piece of tres leches at Licha’s.

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The After Party

Keep the party going at these late night spots! Not looking to go far? Hit up the Deep Eddy Cabaret. Go to C-Boy’s on South Congress for some R&B grooves. Try Donn’s Depot, Mean Eyed Cat, Gibson Street Bar, or Lala’s for the truest Austin vibes.

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