The street closure map for the first weekend of Austin City Limits Music Festival (Friday through Sunday) isn’t as complicated as it looks. Just stay several miles from South Austin at all times, and you’ll be fine.
In all seriousness, the area around Zilker Park will be madness, of course, with most of Barton Springs Road and stretches of other streets closed for most of the weekend, as well as pick-up/drop-off restrictions and other rules that are sure to be in effect.
This year, the city got all fancy with not only a street-closure map; it threw in a bicycle trail reroute map to boot.
The good news is that if you’re going to the fest, there are plenty of transportation options that will allow you to leave your car at home.
From Greater Austin and beyond: Fanzone Charter Bus
The “official bus of ACL” will transport you to the festival from all over Austin, as well as from Houston, Round Rock, Pflugerville, Cedar Park, Waco, College Station, and more. You can reserve a seat here.
Free Downtown Shuttle
There’s complimentary shuttle bus service from (the newly revamped!) Republic Square at Fourth and Guadalupe streets to the Barton Creek West entrance and back. Hours 10:30 a.m. (starting downtown) and to 11 p.m., when they make their final return from the park.
Local nonprofit RideAustin is the official rideshare of ACL Festival. Pick-up/drop-off is on Veterans Drive (by Austin High School), accessed by using the Lady Bird Lake entrance/exit and taking the Mopac footbridge across to the tennis courts. New users can get $5 in credits with the code ACLFEST17, available in limited supply and valid only on ACL Fest weekends.
ACL Fest, Honda, and RideAustin are also offering a limited number of “Hail-A-Honda” every day of the festival to those who download the RideAustin app and follow the rules and procedures here. Good luck with that (in our limited experience, the early birds get the free Hondas).
As it does every year, Capital Metro is offering expanded service hours on ACL-related routes. Check here to figure out the best route for you.
Park at for attendees, as well as ramped-up Capital Metro service, a taxi stand, and lots of bicycle racks.
Take a Bike!
Bike racks are available at the Lady Bird Lake Entrance and south of the Barton Springs East and Barton Springs West Entrances. Don’t forget to bring your own lock, and know that bikes left locked in the designated ACL racks after 11 pm. on Sunday risk being impounded.
Austin B-cycle (the city’s bike-rental program) has more than 50 stations in central Austin, where you can rent a bike and ride it to Uncle Billy’s Brewery and Smokehouse (Barton Springs Road at Kinney Avenue). B-cycle valets will be stationed there during the festival to make sure you have a place to dock the bike.
Finally on the bike front, Mellow Johnny’s Bike Shop will have people stationed in bike parking areas south of the Barton Springs East and Barton Springs West entrances to help with minor repairs and supplies you might have forgotten.
Motorcycle and Scooter parking is available at the corner of Sterzing Drive and Toomey Road, accessible by taking Barton Springs Road west and turning right on to Sterzing.
The Ann and Roy Butler Hike-and-Bike Trail is a good way to get to Republic Square Park shuttles or to take all the way to the fest. There will extra lighting as well as amenities—including water fountains, restrooms, and parking lots—on the trail during the Fest (presumably for festival goers only, but we’re not sure). Interact with the trail map here; the Festival site reminds users to be mindful of Austin’s burn ban and discard cigarette butts (as well as other trash, why not?) responsibly.