AUSTIN (KXAN) — The 22nd Austin City Limits Music Festival is just around the corner, and festival organizers alongside city leaders are laying out all the crucial things attendees need to know before arriving at Zilker Park.

What’s happening at Zilker Park?

The 2023 ACL Music Festival runs Oct. 6-8 and Oct. 13-15. Festival crews are currently setting up fencing and other elements at Zilker Park.

What can I bring to ACL? What’s prohibited?

Attendees can bring the following items to Zilker Park:

  • Clear bags made of clear plastic, vinyl or pvc which aren’t larger than 12″ by 6″ by 12″
  • Small clutch purses or fanny packs with only one pocket, and clutch purses that aren’t larger than 6″ by 9″
  • Empty reusable water bottles and hydration packs, as well as plastic or aluminum water bottles
  • Baby strollers
  • Frisbees
  • Chairs
  • Binoculars
  • Blankets, sheets and towels
  • Cameras that basic point and shoot versions without detachable lenses or other accessories, such as monopods, selfie sticks, tripods and GoPro mounts
  • Personal sized hand sanitizer
  • Sunscreen in non-aerosol containers, sized 3.4 ounces or less
  • Totems that are less than seven feet tall and less than one inch in diameter, as well as made of light material (such as swim noodles, foam, carboard tubes, fabric, light plastic, balloons, aluminum and/or blow up items)
  • Factory-sealed naloxone/Narcan kit

ACL outlines the following items as prohibited from coming with you to the festival:

  • Any non-clear bags larger than 12″ by 6″ by 12″
  • Any small clutch purses, fanny packs with more than one pocket
  • Clutch purses larger than 6″ by 9″
  • Aerosol containers, including sunscreen and beauty products
  • Coolers of any kind, save for medical use
  • Framed backpacks, multi-pocketed backpacks
  • All professional recording equipment
  • Professional cameras and recording equipment for photo, video and audio usage (this includes any large, professional detachable zoom lenses, stands, monopods, tripods, selfie sticks or other commercial equipment)
  • Drones or other flying devices
  • Hammocks
  • All kinds of glass containers
  • Illegal and illicit substances
  • Outside food or beverages, including alcohol
  • Umbrellas
  • Pets, save for service animals
  • Selfie sticks
  • Skateboards, scooters, bikes, wagons, carts or personal motorized vehicles
  • Tents, canopies and shade structures
  • Unauthorized and unlicensed vendors
  • Fireworks
  • Any and all weapons or explosives
  • Large chains, spiked jewelry

Per the Austin Parks and Recreation department, both glass and Styrofoam are banned from park grounds, as well as an alcohol not purchased from a festival vendor. Swimming in Lady Bird Lake isn’t allowed, and both smoking and vaping are prohibited within city parks.

Anyone who violates the city’s parks smoking ban is subject to a Class C misdemeanor, while any vendors at the park without a validated permit will face a Class C misdemeanor with a minimum $200.

How do I get to and from ACL?

ACL will provide a free shuttle service running to and from Zilker Park, with boarding at Republic Square Park in downtown Austin. Shuttle riders will be dropped off at the entrance to the festival and can take the free shuttle back to Republic Square each evening.

Festival attendees can also use the Ann and Roy Butler Hike and Bike Trail to get to the festival, but they are encouraged to bring a light for any after-dark travel. Motorized vehicles aren’t allowed on the trails.

A bike detour map denotes bicycle route options around the festival, while anyone using a shared scooter or bike is asked to drop them off in a designated area before entering Zilker Park.

2023 ACL bike detour map (Courtesy: City of Austin)

Rideshare pickup and drop-off services will be delegated near MoPac Expressway at Veterans Drive, Lee Barton Drive, Jessie Street and Wallingwood Drive. No parking is allowed at Zilker or within surrounding neighborhoods, and parking on grass or in unauthorized areas will lead to a “large fine during special events.”

A full map of street closures related to ACL is depicted below.

Barton Springs Pool will remain open for public use, with access routes outlined online.

Austin Police Department will operate its ‘No Refusal Initiative’ during ACL

APD is poised to resume its “No Refusal Initiative” during ACL, in effect from Oct. 5 through Oct. 16 between 9:30 p.m. and 5:30 a.m. The effort is designed to uphold DWI-related laws and help keep the public safe.

APD also stressed the importance of attendees paying attention to their surroundings, keeping their phone, I.D., credit cards and money on their person in separate places as well as to not leave their phone in their back pocket or sticking out of their bags.

Anyone who loses a personal belonging during the festival can check ACL Fest’s lost and found website to try and reunite with the missing item.

Be mindful of emergency personnel access during the festival

Drivers in the area are asked to give right-of-way access to any emergency vehicles who might be responding to an incident in the area. Austin Fire Department crews will be on site to uphold all fire code requirements, while Austin-Travis County Emergency Medical Services personnel will also be available to offer on-site medical resources.

A medical tent is present throughout the festival, but attendees are encouraged to call 9-1-1 if they see someone having a medical emergency and they aren’t able to make it to that medical tent.

ATCEMS also encourages patrons download and use the What3Words app throughout the festival. If you are drinking alcohol, you are asked to do so in moderation, and to not use any illicit substances or take any pills not medically prescribed to you.

Narcan and fentanyl danger education available

This year, Austin City Limits Music Festival is partnering with nonprofit This Must Be The Place to educate festival goers at all of its events, including Austin City Limits Music Festival, about the dangers of fentanyl and how to use opioid overdose reversal medication, naloxone (commonly known as the brand-name Narcan).

The nonprofit will have a booth at this year’s festival where they will pass out free Narcan. It’s the first year the reversal medication has been openly handed out to festival-goers at ACL.

“The nationwide Fentanyl overdose crisis is affecting many different aspects of our communities, and while it’s not unique to festivals we see this proactive measure as an important opportunity to educate and arm a large group of like-minded people with information and tools that can save lives. We encourage fans to stop by their booth at the festival located and learn more,” ACL festival organizers told KXAN.

ACL Festival organizers told KXAN the group has already handed out 25,000 free doses of Narcan at C3 festivals nationwide.

More details on ACL are available online.