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How to Enjoy Your ACL Festival Weekend Like a VIP

Make the most of your Austin City Limits Music Festival experience with VIP perks in and out of Zilker Park

Austin City Limits Music festival in Austin, Texas October
Austin City Limits Music Festival in Austin, Texas (photo by Taylor Regulski for ACL Fest 2023)

If the idea of navigating a crowded Zilker Park during Austin City Limits Music Festival gives you an immediate feeling of claustrophobic anxiety, or makes your feet hurt instinctively, or creates a stir of irritation at the mere thought of standing in line after line, we feel you. However, we simply couldn’t miss ACL! We truly love to attend this annual, iconic music festival. We’re just ready to fest on our own comfy, cushy, VIP terms.

In our preferred festival dream scenario we can experience a zippy and pleasant festival entry, refreshing cocktail bars without lines, air conditioned bathrooms, shaded lounge chairs to sit and rest, and great views to watch the bands without feeling cramped or squeezed in.

Too much to ask? No. Not for you, dear.

Austin City Limits Music Festival weekend two is coming up Oct. 13 -15. We’re here to share how to enjoy your ACL Festival weekend like the true VIP you were born to be.

ACL VIP Lounge (photo by Dusana Risovic)

It all starts with the right wristband

It certainly is a price jump to get VIP wristbands instead of GA. However, if you wish to splurge, you’ll find the perks are numerous. Enjoy exclusive lounge areas, dedicated skip-the-line entrance ways, two viewing decks, complimentary food and drinks, and more.

ACL VIP Grove (photo by Dusana Risovic)

As a VIP guest, you’ll have free range of two private spaces with amenities for recharging throughout the day. The VIP Grove East is located on the southern edge of the park, between the T-Mobile and American Express stages. VIP Grove West is found at the west end of the park between the BMI and Honda stages. Both VIP Viewing Decks offer elevated sight lines of the two main stages. Both Lounges offer plenty of nice shady seating areas, exclusive shopping opportunities, a salon station for hair braiding, air-conditioned restrooms, and a dedicated VIP Concierge to assist with your miscellaneous festival needs.

ACL VIP inclusive food options (photo by Dusana Risovic)

VIP guests also get to take advantage of all-inclusive drinking and dining within the VIP Groves. Chef Jason Dady is bringing his team’s top-notch cuisine this year. You can expect to feast on a wide range of tasty Texas and diet-specific options. You can also enjoy a generous assortment of complimentary cold beer, seltzers, wine, spirits, sodas and energy drinks. 

View more info about VIP wristbands — or even upgrade further to Platinum access – by visiting www.aclfestival.com/premium-experiences.

Shaded VIP ACL viewing area (photo by Dusana Risovic for ACL Fest)

Amex card members get an elevated experience

Whether you’re attending with a GA wristband or VIP, if you are an American Express Card Member you are able to enter the Amex® Experience at ACL Fest (with up to two friends). Show your card to access this exclusive area that features an elevated views of the Amex Stage, and while you’re there, you can shop their Depop pop-up featuring vintage and pre-loved accessories. The POAP (Proof of Attendance Protocol) returns where guests can also commemorate their visit by claiming a free digital collectible at the Amex Experience.

ACL Amex Experience (photo by Matthew Niemann courtesy of Amex)

New this year, American Express is launching a complimentary premium lounge for Platinum Card Members and Centurion Members plus their guests (up to three). Located to the right of the Amex Stage, this lounge offers an escape from the crowds along with drinks and light bites. The space is walk-in only with your card required for entry, and space is limited.

VIP life at T-Mobile Club Magenta (photo courtesy of ACL’s website)

T-Mobile pops up with Club Magenta

T-Mobile will be at ACL Fest both weekends hosting their Club Magenta pop-up that offers the VIP treatment with lounge seating, a private bar, dedicated bathrooms, and exclusive giveaways. Plus T-Mobile customers get side stage access and custom chain-stitching. Be sure to pop by this area at the fest to get the full scoop on daily offerings.

ACL Festival (photo by Chad Wadsworth)

Premium perks beyond the park

ACL excitement does not just take over Zilker Park — it really weaves throughout the entire city for two weekends. In fact, there are several ways to extend your ACL Festival VIP experiences outside of the actual festival and into some fun local businesses that are offering great perks, too.

(photo courtesy of Viva Day Spa)

Viva Day Spa is offering curated ACL treatment packages. Festival life can be tough on your skin and muscles, but locally, women-owned Viva Day Spa will have you feeling renewed and revived. Treat yourself to a rejuvenating HydraFacial, a Deep Tissue Massage, or really get rid of that ACL dust with their luxurious Vivafy Spa Package. Book your appointment today at any of their Austin locations at this link.

Diner Bar has a special offer exclusively for ACL wristband holders. Stop by this restaurant that’s led by Executive Chef and James Beard Award Winner Mashama Bailey. Diner Bar invites festival-goers with a 10% discount on their meal and cocktails during both weekends of ACL. Note that this offer excludes happy hour items.

(photo courtesy of Hotel ZaZa Austin)

Hotel ZaZa is offering many special perks for guests who stay during ACL Fest weekends. Enjoy the ZaZa Magic Carpet Ride Shuttle Service, late checkout, $50 food and beverage credit, welcome amenities, plus many offerings such as a Katie Kime Veuve Lobby Experience, hydration stations, late night palettas and more.

Walton’s Fancy and Staple is offering specials fit for an ACL Festival VIP. During the ACL weekends, guests can order $5 cocktails including their new Jagged Little Spritz, a playful nod to Alanis Morissette. And before a day of festing, be sure to sample Walton’s Fancy and Staple’s new Italian Croissant Sandwich special featuring roasted eggplant, creamy burrata, basil aioli, and sun-dried tomato pesto.

The Friday Lunch (photo courtesy of Ten Ten)

TenTen is the perfect spot to enjoy a pre-festival meal. Visit TenTen on Friday to enjoy their lunch menu featuring favorites such as donburi rice bowls, sushi and specialty robata dishes. TenTen will be offering a free starter (choice of Edamame or Chicken Karaage) for ACL ticket holders. Guests must simply spend $30 and show their wristband during Friday lunch and dinner both weekends.

Carpenters Hall will be staying open an hour later on Friday and Saturday both weekends to accommodate festival goers. The restaurant also hosts a “reverse happy hour” Monday – Friday from 9-10 pm. Choose from small plates on the new menu along with $3 off cocktails, wine by the glass and 16oz drafts. Carpenters Hall makes for a fun pit stop after the festival.

2nd Street District Austin location of The Well (photo by Sarah Natsumi Moore)

The Well makes for the perfect, convenient spot for a delicious and healthy fuel-up for all the ACL festivities. The Well will be offering a free scoop of golden turmeric ice cream to guests who spend $25 and show proof of their ACL wristband.

We suggest getting ample rest and hydrating to be sure you’re ready to fest with the best. No matter how you plan your ACL Festival VIP weekend, we hope you have a wonderful experience!