Festival Transportation Tips

Best ways to get to and from ACL Fest, plus how to avoid the mayhem

Best ways to get to and from ACL Fest, plus how to avoid the mayhem

Austin City Limits Festival ACL 2014 Weekend One Day Three Crowd Shot
Zilker Park has transformed into festival central. Photo by Shelley Neuman

Brace yourselves: For two weekends Austin will be jam-packed with music-loving festivalgoers.

If you're trying to get to Zilker Park — or completely avoid the area — here are a few transportation and navigation tips for ACL Fest 2016, September 30-October 2 and October 7-9.

Getting to the fest

ACL Fest will shuttle guests from Republic Square Park in downtown Austin to the festival and back, from 10:30 am-11 pm each day. Yes, it's free.

Capital Metro
Catching a bus or train is easy (even easier if you buy tickets ahead of time), as MetroRail and MetroRapid are extending service both weekends. If you stay out after the festival, don't forget about the E-bus and Night Owl options. Download the free Cap Metro app to access bus schedules and route detours from your phone. Not sure how to get where you're going? Use the Trip Planner.

Uber and Lyft are no longer operating in Austin, but there are plenty of other ridesharing services, some of which are offering sweet promotions. Ride Austin users, for instance, can get a free ride through the Hail a Honda option from 11 am-5 pm each day. The official passenger pick-up and drop-off lot is located at the north end of the MoPac footbridge on Stephen F. Austin Drive. Additional zones can be found on Sterzing Street, Lee Barton Road, and Wallingwood Drive. Pick-ups and drop-offs are not allowed on Barton Springs Road and Robert E. Lee Road.

The competition for cabs will be fierce, so we suggest calling about an hour before you need to be picked up. Your options are Yellow Cab Austin (512-452-9999), Lone Star Cab (512-836-4900), Austin Cab Company (512-478-2222), and the Hail a Cab app. When you're ready to leave Zilker Park, head to the taxi stand on William Barton Drive.

These human chariots will be everywhere around the festival. Be sure to work out the price with your pedicab driver ahead of time, and tip well — these folks work their butts off. Tip: Keep an eye out for SkinnyPop pedicabs, which will offer free rides from noon-8 pm each day.

If you're a car2go member, don't worry about finding parking for the festival. Simply drive to the designated drop-off zone at Weber Field and be on your way.

Street closures
Here are the street closures to be aware of when you're trying to navigate to (or around) the festival. The handy Metropia app can help you plan your commute ahead of time and reroute you away from the worst traffic jams.

All day Friday:

  • West Fourth Street between Guadalupe Street and Nueces Street
  • San Antonio Street between West Third Street and West Fourth Street

Zilker Park
12 am Friday through Monday morning:

  • Barton Springs Road between Rollingwood Drive and Sterzing Street (the closure will extend to Lamar Boulevard at 9 pm each night)
  • Stratford Drive between Nature Center Trail and Barton Springs Road

Zilker Botanical Gardens and Austin Nature & Science Center will be closed during the six days of the festival. However, Barton Springs Pool will remain open. The Great Lawn at Zilker Park will be closed through October 22 to allow for deconstruction and lawn repair.