From George Strait to Billie Ellish, Austin City Limits Music Festival is a Road Trip for All Ages
The Austin City Limits Music Festival is a live music and cultural experience initially derived from the Austin City Limits concert show on PBS.
It has steadily grown since kicking off in 2002. Providing a wide range of musical genres in Austin’s Zilker Park, the festival sweetens the pot with local food and art.
But should you go? Is it worth it? We’ll look at the headlining acts, the cost, and nearby RV camping.
About the Austin City Limits Music Festival
The first festival was held in 2002. Originally, it was inspired by the iconic PBS series, Austin City Limits, which showcases a variety of live musical performances. The event grew quickly, and the organizers began planning for it to happen over two consecutive weekends.
In addition to a host of legendary performers, the Austin City Limits Music Festival offers a huge helping of local food and art at the Austin Eats and ACL Art Market, respectively.
Who’s Headlining the Austin City Limits Music Festival
This year, the headliners include Duran Duran, Miley Cyrus, Billie Eilish, Tyler the Creator, George Strait, Megan Thee Stallion, Erykah Badu, RÜFÜS DU SOL, Doja Cat, and Machine Gun Kelly.
Stevie Nicks and DaBaby were initially scheduled but will not be appearing.
When Is It & How Much are Tickets?
The Austin City Limits Music Festival will be held October 1-3 and 8-10 in 2021.
Tickets range from $135 for a one-day pass during the first weekend to a $4000 platinum package for the second weekend. In-between rates vary according to which weekend you prefer and for how many days.
Currently, the website lists all tickets as sold-out. However, more tickets may become available there as well as on resale sites like StubHub.
The Best Camping around Austin
Unlike many music festivals, there is no on-site camping available at the Austin City Limits Music Festival. However, local options abound, including two highly-rated RV parks.
Pecan Grove RV Park
The Pecan Grove RV Park is a very highly-rated place to spend a night or more. The biggest draw of this site is its convenience. Located in the middle of Austin with restaurants and amenities all around, this RV park doesn’t force festival-goers to leave the fun of Austin behind.
Many people live full-time in their campers there. So it’s best to call ahead and make sure you can get a space, especially on a big festival weekend.
Pecan Grove RV Park is located less than a mile from the music festival grounds at 1518 Barton Springs Road in downtown Austin. It costs $60/night for a 30-Amp hookup. For a 50-Amp hookup, the rate starts at $70/night.
McKinney Falls State Park
If you want to be close to Austin but also enjoy a more wooded setting, the RV park at the McKinney Falls State Park may be a good choice for you. Though it’s near the airport and city life, the hiking trails and shade trees offer a nice balance to the festival’s stimulation.
Many travelers report this being a favorite place to stop. There are 81 campsites, all with electricity, and mostly 30-Amp. Restrooms and showers are available for all sites.
McKinney Falls State Park is about 11 miles from Zilker Park at 5808 McKinney Falls Parkway. Nightly rates for a 30-Amp hookup are $20 (plus the daily park entrance fee of $6 per person, per day.) For a 50-Amp hookup, the rate is $24/night, plus park entrance fee.
Is The Austin City Limits Music Festival Worth a Road Trip?
If you’re a music lover and thrive on the festival atmosphere, this is a can’t-miss. The staggering variety of performers delivers experiences you won’t forget, all within the famously quirky city of Austin. The Austin City Limits Music Festival takes place over two three-day weekends, and day passes are available, providing flexibility.
Austin is also home to the South by Southwest festival, which happens in the spring. For those who’ve debated which to attend, one important distinction is that Austin City Limits all takes place in Zilker Park, whereas South by Southwest is spread out across the city. Therefore, Austin City Limits Music Festival may be a bit more friendly to those with mobility issues or who are unfamiliar with the area.
At either festival, though, you’ll get to experience top-notch performers alongside Austin’s artful eccentricity, whether you spend your nights in the heart of things or a more wooded environment.
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