Austin City Limits Survival Guide

This is post 1 of 6 in the ACL 2011 series

ACL is almost here! You’ve booked your travel and you know the bands, but do you know everything you need to kick it in the music capital of the world? If you’re not prepared, Austin City Limits can stretch you to your limits, so check out our ACL Survival Guide and see what Breanne, the RadioShack and Gizmodo contest winner will be lugging to the Lone Star State!

1. Sunscreen: Yes, the festival will be happening really close to Fall. And the temperatures in Austin will have actually fallen – all the way down to a chilly 98 degrees. Needless to say, the sun will be out and it won’t be your friend. Take a few minutes to put on some sunscreen at the beginning of the day to avoid burning out early.

2. Sunglasses: Sure, there’s a good chance at Austin City Limits that you could be blinded by the rock, but most likely you’ll be blinded by the sun. A lot. Avoid eye-strain, headaches and even possible permanent damage by packing a pair of your favorite shades.

3. Water Bottle/Pack: In case we haven’t been clear, it’s hot in Austin. (Seriously. We just don’t think we can emphasize this enough.) Luckily, Austin City Limits has very friendly water rules. They’ll let you bring two factory-sealed water bottles up to 1 liter each, plus you can also haul several empty water containers, including small-sized soft-sided coolers, hydration packs and even empty plastic or aluminum water bottles that you can fill up at the free water stations at Zilker Park.

4. Toilet Paper: While the idea of taking your TP with you might seem like a bummer, trust us – it will come in real handy when the portable toilets are out. Plus it’s a great way to freshen up between acts. Just slather it with gel sanitizer and it becomes a moist towelette. Think of it as a sponge bath the ACL way.

5. Binoculars: Let’s face it. Your seats at Austin City Limits are going to be terrible —mainly because there aren’t any. So if you want to get a close-up look at your favorite band without being crushed against the stage by the masses, you might want to bring a pair of binoculars. Just make sure they’re compact, lightweight and easy to carry.

6. Your Smartphone: It shouldn’t be too much of a surprise that a smartphone would be a smart thing to bring. (It has the word ‘smart’ in the name, you know.) With a great smartphone, like the new Verizon HTC Thunderbolt, you can not only keep track of your friends, you can take professional-like pics and videos and capture and share the experience like never before on Facebook, Twitter and more.

7. The Official ACL App: If you’re bringing your smartphone to Zilker Park, (which as you know, we suggest you do) then be sure to download the Festival’s free app to help guide you through your weekend. Available for both Android and iPhone, you’ll be able to create a custom schedule, or synch with your custom schedule from aclfestival.com; peruse the map; check out artist bios and music; and even raise the built-in lighter high into the air when the music moves you.

8. Portable Power: Having your phone run out of battery power right as your favorite band begins would be a real bad thing. And while there will be a ton of electricity in the air, there’s not going to be too many places where you can plug in your phone. So why not bring your own power with you? With devices like an Enercell Portable Power Bank you can easily connect your phones and devices to power them up for a few more hours.

9. Bandanas: You know in the old western movies where the Texas Ranger rides off into the sunset in a cloud of dust? Well, while the happy ending is sometimes fiction, the dust unfortunately is not. A good bandana can keep your head shaded, as well as help block some of the dust. Try folding one lengthwise and soaking it in water, then freezing it the night before you head to the fest..

10. A Backpack: Unless you’re somehow gifted with way more legs than the rest of us, you’re not going to be able carry all of this in your pockets. So having a great backpack is important. We suggest the Targus® Sport Standard Notebook BackPack. It has plenty of storage inside and out, plus a protective material on the bottom that repels water.
ACL can be an amazing time, or an amazing pain – all depending on how you’ve prepared. But if you follow this Survival Guide and grab the right gear, we’re sure you’ll have what you need to make the three-day festival fabulous! Make sure to follow us on Twitter @RadioShackLIVE to find out where we are and to share what you think of Austin City Limits 2011. If you’re not going to the show, you can still follow us to get an insider’s look!

This is post 1 of 6 in the ACL 2011 series

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