The festival took steps to ensure the safety of the park and its surrounding area. Plastic water bottles were not available for purchase at the park. Instead, CamelBak filling stations dotted the grounds and paper boxes of water were for sale. The park was kept clean and free of trash by the event’s staff, volunteers and festival patrons.
The event organized a program for festival guests that allowed them to receive a free ACL T-shirt in exchange for filling a trash bag with recyclables found on park grounds. Guests were encouraged to either ride bicycles to the concerts or take the free ACL shuttle that picked up patrons from downtown Austin.
High-waisted shorts, crop-tops and flower “halos” were popular looks for festival-going women. Katie McLendon, fashion merchandising senior, said 60s- and 70s-style clothing is a common aesthetic for music festivals. Some patrons said their main goal was to stay cool despite the weekend’s hot temperatures. Footwear options were diverse, ranging from Dr. Martens to Birkenstocks. Some bucked shoes altogether, opting to brave Zilker Park barefoot.
ACL patron Katelyn Lopez said she chose to wear simple dresses to beat the heat along with oxford flats to save her feet from being stepped on in big crowds.
“The goal was to look minimally cute,” Lopez said, laughing. “I didn’t want to get too complex because I knew I’d get sweaty and regret it.”
The festival featured exclusively local food options. Popular Austin eateries like P. Terry’s, Stubb’s BBQ and Tiff’s Treats had long lines of patrons snaking through the field. ACL patron Michelle Rios said she was pleasantly surprised the businesses did not hike their prices up for the festival.
“At big events, everything is usually so expensive,” Rios said. “I’m glad the restaurants are using their in-store prices.”
One of the most popular food options was Kimchi fries at Chi’Lantro, a Korean-Mexican fusion eatery.
“If you didn’t get them, you didn’t do ACL right,” Rios said about the Kimchi fries.
Chilled wine served in sports bottles was a frequently purchased item at ACL. Bearing the logo #WineNot, patrons were able to choose between a cold bottle of red or white for $24 a piece.
Although Sunday’s performances were canceled due to flooding at the park, several artists sought out venues to play at that evening in downtown Austin. Dubbed “Refugee Fest” by Twitter users, this impromptu festival featured Atoms for Peace, Noah and the Whale and GROUPLOVE. Multiple artists, including Phoenix, dropped by where other bands were playing to give fans an extra surprise. Fans found out about the shows mainly through social media, spreading the information through Facebook and Twitter. Patrons used the hashtag #RefugeeFest2013.