The Austin City Limits Music Festival, or ACL for short, is an annual music festival that takes place in Ziker Park across the Colorado River from downtown Austin, Texas. ACL takes place on back-to-back weekends in late September or early October. (This year it falls on October 6-8 & 13-15.) Nearly half a million people from across America attend each year, hailing it the “Lollapalooza or Coachella of the South.” With rock, folk, electronic, and hip-hop performances, ACL promises something for everyone and plenty of Austin weirdness to boot. In fact, there may not be a better end to summer than with a cold one, a plate of delicious food, and some of your favorite bands playing with the Austin skyline behind them.

All About That Bass

Since starting in 2002, ACL has risen in popularity, and some consider it the authority on what’s fresh in music, art, and fashion. The most unique feature about this festival is that many of the big headliners play both weekends. Austin calls itself the live music capital of the world, and ACL is a monument to that title. 2017's highlights include Jay-Z, The Killers, Chance the Rapper, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Ice Cube, just to name a few.

The Food...The Art...The Fashion

Music may be the main draw to ACL, but a hip city like Austin has plenty of culture to offer. It features top-of-the-line food that prides itself on being "far from funnel cake and turkey legs." You can find everything from gourmet grilled cheeses to the smokiest BBQ, tacos, and burritos as big as your head. In fact, some people say the trip is worth it for the food alone. The Art Market is another major draw to accessorize your festival attire. Featuring local and national artisan vendors, it's the place to find your new favorite head scarf, music tee, or vintage wear.

Gone Global

Much like Coachella and Lollapalooza, Austin City Limits has garnered worldwide attention.Initially named after the American television show of the same name, ACL originally focused only on highlighting local Austin artists. Today, though, it’s safe to say ACL has gone global since Auckland, New Zealand now holds its own ACL Festival heavily influenced and inspired by the Austin extravaganza.

Good Vibes Only

The people of Austin have made ACL more than just a must for festival-goers, it's a celebration of Central Texas in general. ACL has been known for giving back to the community for years, allowing tons of nonprofits to setup booths to promote their mission and recruit volunteers.It just might be the friendliest music festival in the US, which is a ticket we can definitely get behind.

Content Originally Published in September 2016 and Updated by iExplore Editorial Staff