ACL Pro Tips – Part I

October in Austin doesn’t mean fall like the other cities. Sure school is back in session, football season is under way, but the rest of the city remains in summer mode. The weather forecast is 80 and sunny this week and we’re all gearing up for a music festival. Festivals like Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza, Coachella, Made in America and more took over cities and we patiently waited for our turn in Austin.

And it’s finally here! Back in May, I told you my favorite non-headliner bands I’m looking forward to seeing, but now I got more GSD&Mers to weigh in. And it’s not just music they’re talking about – they are sharing advice about how to prepare yourself for Austin City Limits Music Festival on October 12-14.

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Instagrams courtesy of @gsdmaustin and @aclfestival

Part I’s resident Pro’s are Melanie Mahaffey (Director of Communications), David Rockwood (VP, Community), Michael Griffith (Art Director), Reagan Ward (Copywriter), Elizabeth Thompson (UX Strategy Director) and myself.


Griff: Park downtown and walk. There is also a bus line and taxis, although I wouldn’t suggest it. Did you ever see Office Space?

David: Ride a bike or carpool with friends.

Reagan: Don’t.

Melanie: Hire a pedicab or car service to drop you off on Barton Springs. And on the way, pop by the Jarritos Flavor Festival to grab a much-needed Paloma cocktail.

Adele: Shop around downtown at the ACL Festival Satellite Shop at the On-airstreaming studios on Guadalupe and then hop on a shuttle bus at Republic Square.


David: Fill up on Chili parmesan chips from Tim Love’s Love Shack, a chicken cone (add avocado) from Mighty Cone and finish off with a fresh squeezed strawberry lemonade from Best Lemonade.

Elizabeth: Go with things that will absorb the beer. Stubb’s chopped barbecue and P.Terry’s Veggie or real burger are my go-to’s.

Melanie: Tacos, vegan tamales, truffle pomme frites – the festival has it all. Start from the far left and make your way right to experience as much local food as possible. And it will help with the booze consumption as well.

Griff: You don’t want to be that person that has to get pulled from the crowd, have your half-conscious body dragged to the medical center, while people stare and possibly post your photo on their Facebook page, only to re-surface a couple year later, do you? Plain and simple, drink water.

Find your friends

Adele: As is the case with any festival, cell phone service is a problem (even with your iPhone 5). Go to your setttings > messages > and turn off iMessage to conserve battery life and allow your message to be delivered on iPhones. And when in doubt, meet at the ART sign.

Elizabeth: Many festival-goers carry flags to help stand out in the crowd. The easiest way to carry a flag and make an impact is to put it on a collapsible fishing pole. Couldn’t be easier for front-and-center and on-the-move festival types.

Reagan: Whatever flag you choose to make, be sure it’s an inside joke so you spend your entire festival explaining it to everyone. (I don’t make flags).


Griff: They’re around. Keep your ear to the blogs and ask other concert goers. Personally I’m pretty faded by the time the concert ends. So my after party is with a pillow.

Adele: If you’re really not ready to go home, there’s a Silent Disco on the east side which is pretty fun and of course, a full array of C3 shows around town: Father John Misty and Dry the River at The Parish would be my top choice.

What else do you want to know? We’ll be sharing more Pro Tips leading up to Friday’s big day.

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