Here’s what you need to know to get around ACL this weekend

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The first weekend of the Austin City Limits music festival will begin at 12:30 p.m. on Oct. 4 when British rockers The Amazons, locals Asleep at the Wheel and the choir from Barton Hills Elementary School all take the stage to kick off the weekend.

If you’re traveling to the festival this weekend, here are the best ways to get into and out of Zilker Metropolitan Park. There is no parking available within the park during the festival. The following information comes from Capital Metro, ACL Fest and the Austin Transportation Department.

ACL Music Festival (via Courtesy Sara Marjorie Strick)

Festival shuttle

The free shuttle service will operate between Republic Square, at the corner of Fourth and Guadalupe streets, and the west entrance to the festival on Barton Springs Road. The first shuttle leaves from downtown Austin to the park at noon Friday and 11 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday on both weekends. The last shuttle from the park to Republic Square leaves at 11 p.m. on all three nights.

Capital Metro (via Jack Flagler/Community Impact Newspaper)

Capital Metro

The public transit agency’s MetroRail service is not running on weekends, so bus lines are the best option to access the festival. To get directly to Zilker Park, ride the 803 MetroRapid line from any station between the Domain to the north and the Westgate Transit Center to the south. The park entrance is roughly a half mile walk from the Barton Springs station.

Cap Metro also has a number of bus routes that travel downtown for access to the free shuttle at Republic Square. The MetroRapid 801 route goes directly to the square, MetroRapid routes 980 and 985 run downtown from North Austin, and several other bus lines drop riders off within a short walk of the shuttle site. Download the Cap Metro app for step-by-step directions.

Jump Bicycles (via Jack Flagler/Community Impact Newspaper)

Bicycles and dockless scooters

Parking will be available for bicycles—of the electric or personal variety—and scooters at the festival site. Designated electrical bike and scooter drop-off parking will be at the corner of Toomey Road and Sterzing Street. There will also be secondary drop-off areas that are limited, according to the Austin Transportation Department, on Azie Morton Road and in Veterans Park.

This year, scooters will not be available at the drop-off locations at the end of the night, according to ATD. When riders come to the park and drop off the scooters, they will be picked up and dispersed. ATD says this is to prevent congestion and improve safety.

For those taking a personal bicycle, there is also parking along Toomey Road, limited secondary parking along Azie Morton Drive and an area that is exclusive to personal bicycles—no dockless bikes or scooters—along Stratford Drive.

B-Cycle—the city’s bike-sharing program—will have parking at the Barton Springs Road and Sterzing Street parking area. It will also have dedicated space for the bikes, guaranteeing a space to dock.

Ride sharing

Ride share users who type in “Zilker Park” or “Austin City Limits Music Festival” to their destination in the app will have their destination automatically updated the nearest dropoff point around the festival. Lyft is offering $1 off fares for riders heading to the festival by applying code ACLFEST19 in the app. Pick-up and drop-off points are located at Wallingwood, Stephen F. Austin and Lee Barton drives.

Users should not request a ride from within the festival after the event, according to ACL. Instead, they recommend walking outside of the park and crossing the Colorado River, South Lamar Boulevard or the I-35 frontage road.

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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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