The Austin City Limits Music Festival is a large, outdoor music festival that takes place each fall at Zilker Park in Austin, Texas. ACL started in 2002 and each year features over 150 musicians, artists and bands. The three-day festival plays over two consecutive weekends and has the same headliners and top acts for each weekend. This format allows people to see dozens of their favorite bands or artists all in one location. ACL wristbands are typically for all 3 of days of the festival, however there are a limited number of single day tickets available.
There are eight stages across the park that ACL artists play on throughout the day. The stages include the AMD stage, Austin Kiddie Limits stage, Austin Ventures stage, the Barton Springs stage, BMI stage and the Honda stage. The gates on Friday open around Noon and the shows finish on Sunday night once the last headliner completes their set. Fans roam around the park listening to music from the myriad of different artists. There is also plenty of delicious food and beverages that are sold by some of Austin's coolest restaurants. There is a large beer garden with television sets for music fans who want to check their favorite football team while having a cold microbrew.
The music at ACL Festival is outstanding and tons of major artists have played, including: Arcade Fire, Beck, The Black Crowes, The Black Keys, Bob Dylan, Coldplay, Dave Matthews Band, Dixie Chicks, Dwight Yoakum, The Eagles, Foo Fighters, John Mayer, The Killers, Lionel Richie, Muse, Oasis, Pearl Jam, Phoenix, Queens of the Stone Age, REM, Robert Plant, String Cheese Incident, Tom Petty, Van Morrison, Widespread Panic, Wilco and Willie Nelson. TicketCity is located in Austin and has been a great source for ACL tickets since the very first year of the festival.
2016 ACL Festival Lineup Preview
The 2016 ACL festival Weekend 1 is set to kick off on September 30 - October 2nd, with ACL Weekend 2 coming a week later from October 7 - 9, 2016. ACL always attracts some of the biggest artists in the world, and the 2016 ACL Lineup is packed as ever. 2016 ACL Headliners includes Radiohead, Mumford & Sons, Kendrick Lamar, and LCD Soundsystem. Other top names coming to ACL 2016 are Major Lazer, Willie Nelson, Schoolboy Q and more. Find a complete 2016 ACL lineup for Weekend One and Weekend Two below.
Radiohead - Mumford & Sons - Kendrick Lamar - LCD Soundsystem - Major Lazer - KYGO - The Chainsmokers - Flume - Chris Stapleton - M83 - Haim - Cage the Elephant - Schoolboy Q - Two Door Cinema Club - LL Cool J - Band of Horses - Young the Giant - Local Natives - Foals - Die Antwoord - Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats - Cold War Kids - Miike Snow - City and Colour - Andrew Bird - Kacey Musgraves - Blue October - Catfish and the Bottlemen - The Naked and Famous - Tory Lanez - Flying Lotus - DJ Mustard - St. Paul and the Broken Bones - Melanie Martinez - Corinne Bailey Rae - Bob Moses - margo Price - St. Lucia - Oh Wonder - Jack Garratt - The Front Bottoms - Frightened Rabbit - Saint Motel - Wild Child - Brett Dennen - Pete Yorn - Andra Day - The Strubellas - Gallant - Flight Facilities - Chairlift - Caveman - Bomba Estereo - Break Science - Alunageorge - Raury - Gregory Porter - Chronic & Zincefence Redemption - Wild Belle - Nothing But Thieves - NF - Lewis Del Mar - Eliot Sumner - Jess Glynne - Domo Genesis - Marlon Williams - NAO - Bombino - Lizzo - Honne - The Shelters - Haelos - The James Hunter Six - Asleep At The Wheel - Maren Morris - Isreal Nash - Bayonne - Shane Smith & The Saints - Prinze George - Nawas - July Talk - Lucy Dacus - Luisa Maita - Sister Sparrow & The Dirty Birds - Matt The Electrician - Aubrie Sellers - Basia Bulat - Los Coast - Jai Malano - Avery*Sunshine - VHS Collection - New Madrid - Luke Winslow-King - Welshly Arms - Liza Anne - The Gills - Gospel Silvertones - Endurance - The Spiritualettes
Radiohead - Mumford & Sons - Kendrick Lamar - LCD Soundsystem - Major Lazer - KYGO - The Chainsmokers - Flume - Willie Nelsons - M83 - Haim - Cage the Elephant - Schoolboy Q - Two Door Cinema Club - LL Cool J - Band of Horses - Young the Giant - Local Natives - Foals - Die Antwoord - Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats - Cold War Kids - Miike Snow - City and Colour - Catfish and the Bottlemen - The Naked and Famous - AWOLNATION - Tory Lanez - Flying Lotus - Anderson .Paak & The Free Nationals - DJ Mustard - St. Paul and the Broken Bones - Melanie Martinez - Conor Oberst - Atlas Genius - Corinne Bailey Rae - Bob Moses - margo Price - Oh Wonder - Jack Garratt - The Front Bottoms - Saint Motel - Crystal Fighers - Brett Dennen - Pete Yorn - Andra Day - The Strubellas - Gallant - Flight Facilities - Chairlift - Caveman - Bomba Estereo - Break Science - Raury - The Struts - Gregory Porter - Wild Belle - Nothing But Thieves - NF - The Wombats - - Anderson East - Domo Genesis - Marlon Williams - Bear Hands - Grace Mitchell - Kevin Devine & The Goddamn Band - NAO - Bombino - Lizzo - Haelos - Foy Vance - Eagulls - The James Hunter Six - Asleep At The Wheel - Lincoln Durham - Walker Lukens & The Side Arms - Nawas - July Talk - Luisa Maita - The Roosevelts - Blue Healer - Keeper - Avery*Sunshine - Slaves (UK) - Margaret Flaspy - Amasa Hines - Tennyson - Pearl Charles -Khruangbin - Susto - Amanda Shires - Daniel Ellsworth & The Great Lakes - Lanco - Elise Davis - Shawn Pander - Wesley Bray and the Disciples of Joy - The River City Christianettes - The Stapletones
ACL has always been played at Zilker Park, which is a large grassy park in the center of Austin next to Lady Bird Lake (aka: Town Lake). The central location is easy to get to from all parts of the city and public transportation is readily available for festival attendees. There are numerous restaurants and bars that line the street just outside ACL Festival's main gate. Just across the street is the famous Barton Spring Pool, which is the largest (and coldest) natural springs pool in Texas.
Austin City Limits Musical Festival Event Guide
Where are the best places to stay when in-town for ACL Festival?
Hotel rooms book up very early for ACL, so make sure you mark your reservation well in advance. There are a variety of good spots downtown that are a short ride or walking distance – those include; the W, the Four Seasons, the Hyatt Regency and the Hilton. For a truly special experience book a room at the Driskill Hotel or Stephen F. Austin Hotel – these two historic hotels are located right on Congress Avenue in the heart of downtown Austin. The Hotel San Jose and Hotel Saint Cecilia are hip spots on South Congress that cater to festival goers.
What are the best restaurants to eat at when in Austin for ACL?
If you are coming to Austin, then you need to try the BBQ or TexMex. The hot spots for barbecue are Franklin’s and Salt Lick. Also check out Iron Works, which is old school barbecue and Lamberts, which is fusion barbecue. The best TexMex in Austin are Matt’s El Rancho, Maudie’s, Chuy’s, Santa Rita and Lupe’s Tortillas. Vivo or Fonda San Miguel are not traditional TexMex, but excellent choices for Mexican food.
What year was the best lineup at ACL Festival?
Picking the year that had the best ACL Festival lineup is like picking your favorite color – it is entirely subjective. With 100+ bands there is truly something for every music fan. Selecting the all-time best ACL lineup, just based on the headliners, is difficult, but it would be hard to top the 2005 or 2006 lineups just based on pure rock star power.
- 2015 - Foo Fighers - Drake, The Weeknd - Florence & The Machine - Disclosure
- 2014 - Eminem, Outkast, Pearl Jam, and Beck
- 2013 - Depeche Mode, The Cure, Muse, and Lionel Richie
- 2012 - Black Keys, Neil Young, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Jack White
- 2011 - Kanye West, Stevie Wonder, Arcade Fire and Coldplay
- 2010 - Phish, Muse, The Eagles and The Strokes
- 2009 - Kings of Leon, Dave Matthews Band, Pearl Jam and Ghostland Observatory
- 2008 - Foo Fighters, Robert Plant, Beck and David Byrne
- 2007 - Bob Dylan, Bjork, The Killers and Muse
- 2006 - Van Morrison, Tom Petty, Willie Nelson and John Mayer
- 2005 - Black Crowes, Oasis, Coldplay and The Allman Brothers Band
Where can I find a 2016 ACL Day by Day Schedule?
The day by day lineup for 2016 ACL will be available a few months after the festival lineup is released.