ACL First Timer? Survival Tips From Festival Vets

What do you think the biggest issue festival-goers face when attending ACL? 

“Wanting to get to a show early to get a good spot, but standing for so much amount of time in the heat.” – Ben Bondurant (Senior), 5-year vet

“No one is prepared for the heat, the hydration stations run out of water or have super long lines.” – Rachel Reeves (Junior), 4-year vet 

“The heat is unbearable, it’s like you’re trying not to faint at some points, but it’s totally worth it in the end for the experience.” –  Tony Parra (Junior), 4-year vet

“Getting lost from your friends is a big issue. One of my good friends got separated from us last year and needed help in the heat. We eventually found her, but it’s easy to get lost in such a big festival.” – Logan Jenkins (Junior), 4-year vet 

“I’d say parking. You have to park super far away and since it’s so hot out, the long walk to the festival can be rough.” – Layne Herrington (Sophomore), 5-year vet

“There’s not that many bathrooms at the festival, and it’s easy to get lost. There’s like 400,000 people at the festival and what seems like 20 portapotties, so that can be an issue.” – Ryan Williamson (Sophomore), 4-year vet

What are some of your best tips for first-time festival-goers?

“Bring a lot of water. Some things you have to tough out, just go in there with the mindset that you’ll be uncomfortable at times, but it’s worth it.” – Ben Bondurant (Senior), 5-year vet 

“Only mosh if you are committed. It’s a lot hotter than you think it will be, and it’s super intense. You’ll be standing for such a long time, if you don’t think your body can handle that, don’t go in the middle of a crowd” – Rachel Reeves (Junior), 4-year vet

“Always have water. I drink a ton of water at home before I go. Either bring a camelback or go with someone who has one” – Tony Parra (Junior), 4-year vet 

“Have a meeting spot in place with your friends, so if you do get lost you know where to meet. And if you wear a backpack, wear it in front so that no one in the crowd can steal your stuff or your water.” – Logan Jenkins (Junior) 4-year vet 

“Uber to the festival so you don’t have to worry about parking.” – Layne Herrington (Sophomore), 5-year vet 

“Link your credit card to your wristband so you have less to carry and its easier to get food and drinks. Try not to bring a ton of stuff, it’s easy to lose things at the festival” – Ryan Williamson (Sophomore), 4-year vet

Pro camelback? (100% of the festival veterans said they recommend the camelback.”

What should you wear to ACL?

“I’m gonna go for something comfortable. Remember you’ll be wearing this all day. But this is your time to flex what you got. I’m coming in with the heat, but preparing for the heat.” – Ben Bondurdant (Senior), 5-year vet 

Ella O’Neal, Sofia Piccuci, and Sarah Hallberg pose at the famous ACL flags. Photo from Ramsey Hutton.

 “Go comfy with the outfit, but get crazy with the accessories. I usually go with jean shorts and a tee-shirt, but wear a trendy hat.” – Rachel Reeves (Junior), 4-year vet

“Something light, tee-shirt and shorts. Lots of people wear jerseys, which is probably good for the heat of the festival.” – Tony Parra (Junior), 4-year vet

“I usually go with something cute, but you honestly don’t realize that it doesn’t matter what you wear until you get there. This year I’m going more comfy, trying to wear jean shorts just isn’t worth it.” – Logan Jenkins (Junior), 4-year vet 

“Probably an open Hawaiian shirt with some shorts, something light for the heat.” – Layne Herrington (Sophomore), 5-year vet 

“A vintage basketball jersey is the way to go, with some short shorts. Shoes you don’t care about because they will get super dirty.” – Ryan Williamson (Sophomore), 4-year vet

Anything else?

“Don’t take it too seriously. Take it for what it is, and enjoy.” -Ben Bondurant (Senior), 5-year vet 

“Don’t go into ACL with the expectation that you’re going to see everyone you want to see, be open-minded. There’s a ton of underground bands that are super good, too.” – Rachel Reeves (Junior), 4-year vet

“Just have fun and turn up.” -Tony Parra (Junior), 4-year vet

“Go into ACL with an open-mindset. Things don’t always go as you expect at ACL, so just go with the flow.” – Logan Jenkins (Junior), 4-year vet

“Enjoy it, you only get to be there once a year.” – Layne Herrington (Sophomore), 5-year vet

By Maddie Lewis, Staff Writer

Featured Photo by Ramsey Hutton

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