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2021 ACL Music Festival: What to know before you go

What can you bring? How do you get there? What are the COVID-19 protocols? Here are the answers.

AUSTIN, Texas — So you’re going to the 2021 ACL Music Festival. You likely have a lot more questions this time around.

Here’s what you should know before you arrive at Zilker Park.

It is 2021, so let’s start with COVID-19 protocols.

In order to enter the festival, you will need to bring a printed copy of either a negative COVID-19 test taken within the previous 72 hours or proof of your full COVID-19 vaccination. Masks will be required in areas of Zilker Park where it’s difficult to maintain social distancing, including festival shuttle buses, entrance lines, areas closest to the stages and indoor areas like their on-site merch store. Free masks will be available at each entry gate.

Due to inclement weather overnight and impacts to Zilker Park, gates for the first day, Oct. 1, will open at 3 p.m. instead of noon. As of 10:15 a.m., it's unclear how the delay will impact scheduling.

Bag policy

The festival has a clear bag policy, and bags allowed in are limited to small purses, totes and drawstring bags only. Bags must be no larger than 12 inches by 12 inches by 6 inches. You cannot bring backpacks with multiple pockets. Small clutch purses and fanny packs that are 4.5 inches by 5.5 inches don’t have to be clear but can’t have more than one pocket. All bags will be searched before entry.

What can you bring inside ACL Fest?

No liquids can be brought in. Hydration packs are allowed and don’t have to be clear but must be emptied of all liquid and have no more than two pockets in addition to the one holding the water reservoir.

You can bring baby strollers, frisbees, chairs, binoculars, blankets, sheets, towels, point and shoot cameras without detachable lenses, empty reusable water bottles, personalized hand sanitizer and sunscreen in non-aerosol containers which are 3.4 ounces or less.

You cannot bring aerosol containers, coolers, any and all professional audio recording equipment, professional cameras, drones, hammocks, glass containers, illegal substances, outside food and beverage, umbrellas, pets, selfie sticks, skateboards, scooters, bikes, wagons, carts, tents, weapons, explosives, fireworks, large chains or spiked jewelry.

No Austin Kiddie Limits for 2021

Austin Kiddie Limits is taking a pause for the festival this year, but kids ages 10 and under can come to the festival free of charge with a ticket-holding adult.

How to get to ACL Festival

There are many ways to get to the festival, but there will be no parking at Zilker Park or the surrounding neighborhoods. There are free shuttles that you can board at Republic Square Park. There is also bike parking available. You can ride Capital Metro buses, take a taxi or use a ride-sharing app.

We put together a full traffic guide for ACL Fest, including parking, road closures and transportation.

Credit: ACL Fest
A look at a map of the 2021 ACL Festival.

Getting a replacement wristband 

Wristband replacement is subject to verification of the order. If you need a replacement you have to bring your wristband, order confirmation and a government-issued ID to the box office. There is a $25 wristband replacement fee.

What's the weather going to be like for ACL?

Get your ponchos ready (reminder that umbrellas are not allowed in the festival), and don’t wear shoes you aren’t prepared to get muddy. There is rain in the forecast. Follow weather updates here

Who's playing at ACL?

Here's a look at which acts are playing each day at ACL 2021.


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