Austin City Limits is creating a culturally conscious music festival

By Amanda Cosenza 

October 3, 2016

Austin City Limits (ACL) Music Festival, following in the fashion of many festivals, is a two-weekend music fest that features a packed lineup of popular artists along with plenty of food and cultural experiences. With a food court highlighting some of Austin’s best food, an art market featuring local and nation artisans, and a platform for various advocacy groups ACL offers a variety of socially conscious and desirable options for attendees between sets. A standout of the all the experiences is Austin Kiddie Limits, a special family-friendly zone with its own line up and kid-oriented activities.

We will be checking out ACL Weekend Two and here’s our breakdown of things we’re excited to check out:



First and foremost, ACL is a music festival. From rock to EDM to hip hop and everything in between, every day is packed with a variety of artists. Radiohead, whose newest album A Moon Shaped Pool was released in May, will be closing the night Friday. Seven-time Grammy award winning artist and one of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential people, Kendrick Lamar will be the final performance of Saturday night. LCD Soundsystem, who has already performed at Lollapalooza, Bonnaroo, and Coachella this year, will close out the entire festival Sunday night. Some other headliners include Mumford and Sons, Cage The Elephant, Willie Nelson (who is still performing at the age of 83), and Schoolboy Q. In addition to the headliners, there are some names, like Canadian rock band The Strumbellas and London-based pop alt duo Oh Wonder, that are sure to impress day time attendees.


In a city that is known for its food it’s no shock that ACL has a stacked lineup of food vendors. Pretty much every option is artisanal, made with high quality and fresh ingredients, and guaranteed to make your Instagram followers’ mouths water.

austin city limits
Photo by Reagan Hackleman

Start the day with a jolt of energy and shake off the exhaustion with a cold brew from High Brew Coffee. Complete your breakfast with a locally sourced, non-GMO, vegan, and downright delicious looking pastry from Skull & Cakebones. As a snack grab an empanada from mmmpanadas because, as they say, they “are portable and will not hinder your ability to carry a beverage, lawn chair, or giant Winnie the Poo head on a 10-foot pole.” Midday be sure to hydrate with a fresh juice or superfood smoothie from Juiceland. Then, for something of more substance grab a pizza made from scratch right before your eyes from Southside Flying Pizza. Finally, end your day with a frozen banana from Bananarchy because there’s always money in the banana stand.

A full list of the Food Court vendors can be found here.



Pair mouthwatering food with a craft brew in the Baton Spring Beer Hall. Beer lovers can choose from 16 different craft brews while catching the weekend’s biggest sporting events on the jumbo screens in between sets. Winos can wine down in the new ACL wine bar featuring wines from Treana, Austin Hope Wine Collection, and Troublemaker. Guests can grab a cold one and challenge each other in vintage arcade games at the Miller Lite Game Hall. For those vodka enthusiast, Tito’s Handmade Vodka is also hosting the Plinko Parlor.


Photo by Greg Noire

The ACL art market features goods from more than a dozen local and national artisans. Festival goers can purchase everything from accessories, apparel, posters, and other wares. You can: pick up an eco-friendly wallet from Chicago-based Futurgarb, be reminded that we are all a part of something greater than ourselves by buying a print from Greg Davis, grab a T-shirt from the family-run full-scale design studio and art-driven fashion line Chaos Card Company, or design a guitar to be shipped to you from Austin’s own Moniker Guitars.

A full list of the Art Market vendors can be found here.


Photo by Callie Richmond

ACL Cares is an opportunity for a select group of musical, social, environmental, and health advocacy groups to gain an audience of 75,000 festival attendees. Fans can register to vote with Headcount or Rock the Vote, protect the environment with the Nature Conservancy or Austin Parks Foundation, help eliminate hunger with OxFam and Sustainable Food Center and become aware about many other causes and organizations.  

More information about ACL Cares.

Sustainability is also a priority at ACL. In addition to water filling stations that divert the use plastic water bottles, they reward fans for filling one bag of recyclable from the festival grounds with a commemorative ACL Festival T-shirt through the Rock & Recycle Program.

Austin Kiddie Limits

Photo by Reagan Hackleman

A love of music can start at all ages. Austin Kiddie Limits (AKL) is a festival within the festival that gives families a safe, shaded, and groovy place to have fun. AKL combines fun family-friendly music and activities with necessities like baby changing stations. Kids can help color in a specially illustrated poster from artist Michelle Romo and cool off in the teepees in the Land of Nod’s lounge. Parents can even register their kids with the festival so that in case of separation, there is a fast and reliable way to reunite families. There are also ping pong tables, snow cones, airbrush tattoos, and a hip hop workshop with the Q Brothers. During the day families can catch performances from the Q Brothers, Nakie and the Barton Hills Choir (from Barton Hills Elementary School), and a few others.

If the activities and line up weren’t enough, kids ten and under are even allowed into the entire festival for free with a parent. This year there is also a family-friendly entrance near AKL as well stroller friendly lanes at both main gates.

A full Austin Kiddie Limits line up and list of activities.


jwj ACL Fest 0154

If there already wasn’t enough to eat, drink, or do the festival still has more to offer in terms of experiences. Celebrate the 15th Anniversary of ACL by signing the anniversary guestbook, grab an autograph in the Waterloo Records Honda Signing Shack, or explore the rhythm of paint in the Lowe’s studio. Guests can also shop in style in the brand-new ACL Festival Store. Not only can you shop in the air conditioning but Favor will even deliver your purchases to you the next day so you don’t have to walk around the festival with your goods.  

More activities can be found here

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