How to tackle ACL without breaking the bank

Photo Credit: Jannice Truong

With premium priced drinks, food and three-day passes going for around $250, three days at Austin City Limits can empty your wallet. Check out how you can enjoy the music without going broke.

Late Night Shows

If you are attending ACL just to see a handful of bands, check out the ACL Festival Late Night Shows lineup. You can see your favorite bands at night and save the time and money would spend on a day pass. Plus, a venue like Stubb's or Emo’s can get you far closer to your band of choice. Late night shows include artists ranging from CHVRCHES and Fitz and the Tantrums to Tegan and Sara and Spoon.

Eat Before Going

Do you want to spend $8 on a single taco? Stock up on one big meal before the festival, which should not be a problem with all the food Austin has to offer. If you can make it through the day, you can have another big meal after leaving the festival and insure higher quality at a lower price. Do not pay the premium festival price for food.

Keep it to Water

Remember ACL is not a sprint. The festival is a marathon, with three days of standing in the hot sun. Alcohol will drain the water from your body and money from your wallet. If you have to have it, drink in moderation. Otherwise keep it to water during the day, then enjoy yourself at night and at cheaper prices.

Wait Till the Last Minute

This is a high-risk high-reward strategy, but you can save money by buying second hand tickets. Check online, primarily through university groups on social media, to find the people selling sell their tickets last minute. Instead of paying $250 you might find yourself paying $150, but it will depend on how desperate the seller is. You might even wait until a day into the festival before buying someone’s wristband. You risk not finding a seller who is willing to go as low as you want, which would mean no ACL for you this year.