AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Austin City Limits Music Fest has been running in Austin for 18 years. Held every September or October (with the exception of 2020), fans have flocked to Zilker Park to take in the sights and sounds of the iconic music festival through triple-digit heat, winter-like cold and drenching rain.
HISTORY: The first 10 years of the ACL music festival (2002-2012) were marked by one weekend of live concerts in Austin. In 2013, the festival expanded to two weekends and has since featured 6 days of live music through 2019. The year 2020 was the only year on record in which the entire event was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Let’s look back at the weather notables of Austin’s ACL Music fest…
Hottest ACLs on record
IN-DEPTH: ACL’s hottest day on record came Sept. 25, 2005 as temperatures soared to 107 degrees in Austin. Why was it so hot? The day prior, Category 3 Hurricane Rita made landfall in southwest Louisiana, leaving Central Texas on the hot and dry side of the tropical system. As a response, temperatures skyrocketed into the triple digits, setting daily records.
Coolest ACLs on record
IN-DEPTH: A powerful cold front moved through Central Texas early in the morning on Oct. 11, 2019. High temperatures that day were recorded in the 2-3 a.m. hour and stayed in the 40s and 50s for the following 12-18 hours, allowing Austin to only reach 65 degrees the next day.
Wettest ACLs on record
IN-DEPTH: Heavy thunderstorms trained over the Austin metro area on the morning of Oct. 13, 2013. Rainfall totals ranged 5-8 inches across the region with over a foot of rain recorded in west Austin. Nearly 8 inches of rain fell at Zilker Park that morning, flooding the park and causing officials to cancel the final day of the event. Numerous roads were flooded in the city, thousands lost power and 13 water rescues were performed that day.
*NOTE: The 2013 ACL rain total comes from the official rain gauge located at Camp Mabry (downtown Austin), and includes rain totals from all 6 days of the 2013 event: Oct. 4 (0″), Oct. 5 (0″), Oct. 6 (0.43″), Oct. 11 (0.3″), Oct. 12 (2.02″) and Oct. 13 (4.22″)
How will 2021 rank…
Unfortunately, the first weekend of the 2021 ACL festival is trending wet with significant rain likely both Friday and Saturday. Rain chances are expected to gradually taper by Sunday with cooler temps in the mix.
Stay with the KXAN Weather team as we continue to update the forecast.