Going to Austin City Limits? Here’s what you need to know

The 2018 Austin City Limits headliners include Paul McCartney and Metallica.

The 2018 Austin City Limits headliners include Paul McCartney and Metallica.

The Austin City Limits music festival returns for weekend two Austin beginning Friday, and as you plan which bands you want to catch at ACL, it’s a good idea to plan out your trips to and from Zilker Park as well.

There is no on-site parking at Zilker Park during ACL. Additionally, sections of Stratford Drive and Barton Springs Road inside the park will be closed beginning at 12:01 a.m. Friday until 6:00 a.m. Monday on both weekends. If you’re driving in the area, be aware that westbound Barton Springs, Toomey and Butler roads will be closed to vehicles from 9-11 p.m. each night of the festival as attendees leave the park.

So what’s the best way to avoid traffic congestion while getting in and out of ACL? Here are some options:

Festival shuttle:
The free ACL shuttle will offer rides between Republic Square and Zilker Park on each day of the festival. Shuttle service begins at 10 a.m. each day of both weekends, and the final shuttle will return from the park at 11 p.m. each night.

Ride-hailing apps:
There are multiple pickup and dropoff points around the festival for ride-hailing apps. Uber, the official partner of the festival, features a ride guide with additional information. Lyft is offering $1 off a ride to the area, and Ride Austin is offering $5 off rides for new users who use the code “ACL2018.”

Capital Metro:
Check the bus service’s trip planner on Cap Metro’s app or website to find the most convenient route–the transportation agency has a number of high-frequency routes that serve the area around the festival and Republic Square. Single ride bus passes are $1.25, and day passes are $2.50. Additionally, Cap Metro extended its MetroRail schedule. On Fridays and Saturdays during the festival, the final trains will leave the downtown station northbound at 2:30 a.m.

Dockless bicycles and scooters:
If you’re planning to ride a motorized bicycle or scooter to the festival, there will be a designated drop-off area along Toomey Road and a limited, secondary parking area along Azie Morton Road. No dockless vehicles will be allowed on the trail or at the event entrance.

Both parking areas for dockless bicycles and scooters will also have racks available for personal bicycles. There will also be racks for personal bicycles at both locations. An additional bike parking area will be set up along Stratford Drive. If you’re riding an Austin B-cycle to the festival, there will be a station available at Barton Springs Road and Sterzing Street.

The service that allows users to sign up for a membership and use cars for quick rides will have a drop zone at Carpenter Hotel, located at 400 Josephine St. The lot will be staffed from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., but car2go members will still be allowed to park at the site after 6 p.m. The hotel will also offer members free iced coffee. Car2Go rates are $0.41 to $0.47 per minute, $15 to $19 per hour or $89 to $129 per day.

You will see pedicabs dotting Barton Springs Road on the way into and out of ACL. The drivers are spread throughout downtown. They're licensed by the city, and rates vary.

Official festival parking:
Finally, if you are planning to drive to the festival, ACL offers parking at the Umlauf Sculpture Garden and Museum, located at 605 Azie Morton Road. The lot is open from 10 a.m. to midnight each day of the festival, and proceeds go toward UMLAUF’s programs. The daily fee is $155.85. As of Friday morning, Oct. 12, parking is only available for Sunday, Oct. 14.

By Jack Flagler

Jack is the editor for Community Impact's Central Austin edition. He graduated in 2011 from Boston University and worked as a reporter and editor at newspapers in Maine, Massachusetts and North Carolina before moving to Austin in January of 2018.


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