Veteran festival goers warn others of long lines, lengthy waits getting into ACL

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AUSTIN (KXAN) — Veteran festival-goers would like to warn others to prepare for long lines and lengthy wait times getting into the Austin City Limits festival grounds this weekend.

Among the hundreds of people streaming into Zilker Park Friday afternoon was Laura Burrus, who’s come to the festival for 13 consecutive years. During that time she’s learned these lines are nothing compared to what’s to come in the days ahead.

“It’s going to get worse,” Burrus said. “You just have to plan ahead and make sure you arrive early enough to stand in line for up to an hour before getting in the park to see your favorite bands, so make sure you plan ahead before coming down here and standing in line.”

The tight security at the entrances made Madyson Moody and her friend arrive early Friday afternoon so that they wouldn’t miss some of the bands they wanted to see.

“We just kind of wanted to be here so that we could first take all of the pictures getting here at the start,” Moody said. “You can skip all of the lines. The hydration lines aren’t that long right now.”

The restaurants that set up this weekend at ACL prepared their staff members that getting to their spots might be a hassle. Some vendors told KXAN there’s a new “will call” process for employees that took extra time.

“Getting in was a little tricky,” Edwin Matthews with Happy Chicks in Austin said, “trying to direct everyone, trying to get their credentials, how to get in, but nothing too horrible.”

Inside the festival grounds, Kendra Bones wanted to make it easy for friends to find her in the crowd. She plans to carry around a long stick with a large cardboard cutout of the singer Lizzo high above her head.

“I can’t wait to have this on Sunday when [Lizzo] is there,” Bones said. “I hope she calls out to us in the crowd. That’d be awesome.”

The sweltering hot temperatures also created a cause for concern for people heading into ACL Friday. They said they plan to drink a lot of water, lather on sunscreen and find shady spots in the park to watch some of the performances.

“There’s really no way to avoid the sweat,” Burrus said, smiling, “so everybody’s sweating so just enjoy it.”

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