Austin City Limits

What you can and cannot bring to Austin City Limits

Event Track / Austin City Limits / Planning Guides / What you can and cannot bring to Austin City Limits

Article Summary

  • We list all the things you can and cannot bring to Austin City Limits according to the festival themselves
  • Most of the items you can’t bring are obvious, but it’s still good to skim the list to make sure you are all good when you try to get into Austin City Limits

Knowing what to bring with you to Austin City Limits can make all the difference. Having certain things can really enhance the experience. On the other end of the spectrum is you don’t want to bring something not allowed. You will either have to toss it or run back to your hotel or house to return it. This article goes over everything you can and cannot bring to Austin City Limits.

Things You Can Bring to Austin City Limits

The following is the list of items permitted into Austin City Limits. This list comes directly from the ACL Information website, which can be reached at

  • Baby Strollers
  • Backpacks (Standard school sized. No frames or camping gear)
  • Purse
  • Binoculars
  • Blankets, Sheets, Towels
  • Cameras – only nonprofessional photos and video cameras will be allowed, and must be without equipment attachments such as selfie sticks, tripods, and monopods
  • Empty CamelBak water bottles and hydration packs, and plastic or aluminum water bottles
  • Portable/collapsible chair (Individual seat only; no double wide or connecting chairs)
  • Umbrella (Hand-held ONLY and no bigger than 42 in. when open)
  • Water – you may bring two factory sealed bottles of water (unfrozen only) and refill them throughout the day at our free water filling stations. You may also bring refillable containers for water, such as aluminum water bottles.
  • Portable cell phone chargers
  • Totems, rage sticks and flags under 12 ft. tall are allowed for way-finding among friends. Items that are deemed to be unsafe, inappropriate, or are being used for purposes other than intended may be confiscated on site

Things You Can’t Bring to Austin City Limits

The list of prohibited items at ACL also comes from the official website and is subject to change. You should check the official website just in case something changes, but most of these are fairly obvious. Anyways, here is what you can’t bring in with you to Austin City Limits.

  • Aerosol containers, including sunscreen and personal beauty products
  • Any and all professional audio recording equipment
  • Professional cameras (SLR, DSLR) and professional recording (photo, video, audio) equipment (NO large professional detachable zoom lenses, stands, monopods, tripods, attachment sticks (selfie sticks) or other commercial equipment.
  • Any and all professional video equipment. No video recording will be allowed
  • Drones or any other remote flying device
  • Coolers of any kind. (Exceptions may be made for medical use)
  • Framed backpacks
  • Hammocks
  • Camping or Tent setups. Includes camping umbrellas, tents and cordoning off your chairs with tape/rope
  • Glass containers of any kind
  • Illegal and Illicit substances of any kind
  • Non-collapsible chairs
  • Outside food or beverage (including alcohol) of any kind, except 2 factory sealed bottles of water (up to 1 liter each)
  • Pets (except service animals)
  • Professional radios or walkie-talkies
  • Selfie sticks
  • Skateboards, scooters, bicycles, wagons, carts or any personal motorized vehicles
  • Smoking is not allowed in all Austin parks, including Zilker Park (E-Cigarettes are allowed)
  • Tents, canopies, or shade structures of any kind
  • Unauthorized/unlicensed vendors are not allowed. No unauthorized solicitation and materials including handbills, flyers, stickers, beach balls, give-aways, samples, etc.
  • Weapons or explosives of any kind
  • Fireworks
  • Large chains or spiked jewelry
  • Bicycles inside festival grounds (free parking is available near festival entrance)
  • Carts of any kind (including Red Wagons)

What should I bring with me to Austin City Limits?

If you are interested in all the things we think you should take with you to Austin City Limits you should check out our full article on it at I will offer a few quick thoughts on the allowed list, and what you should bring.

Blankets – These are nice if you don’t mind sitting a bit from the stage and want to chill out. It’s not unheard of for it to get muddy or dirty at Austin City Limits so if you want a clean place to sit the blankets are a nice option for Austin City Limits.

Camelbak – I am a big proponent of bringing a Camelbak with you to Austin City Limits. It basically cuts down on your trips to go get water and allows you to have more time at the stages watching performances. It also gives you a better chance of staying hydrated as you will always have water on you. Lastly, you will use this for more than just Austin City Limits. If you go to any other music festivals, hiking, or other outdoor activities you will use it; it’s worth it.

Totems – I know some of you may be thinking ‘what the hell is a totem’? It’s basically a tall stick that is used so you can find your group at Austin City Limits. The crowds can be pretty intense at Austin City Limits, a totem is made to be a signal to your group so they can find it. Typically people do something unique with their totem to make it unique and easily spotted. If you have a big group (I’d say 6+ people) this is generally a good idea. The downside is someone has to carry it all day, but it does help you gather your Austin City Limits squad easily.

Chairs – This is a controversial item at Austin City Limits. On one hand, you spend a lot of time on your feet at Austin City Limits between walking there, going between stages, running to the bathroom, etc. It really is nice to have a chair with you so you can sit down, relax and recharge. On the other hand, when 80,000 people bring a chair Zilker park turns into a clustered mess. You will be zigging and zagging between chairs every time you walk anywhere. I don’t personally bring a chair but plenty of people do, so if you think you’d like one you should bring one with you to ACL.

Alcohol / Illegal Substances – Obviously you cannot bring these in with you, but almost everyone does. Sneaking this stuff into festivals is fairly easy, just use a little bit of creativity and think of where they won’t be searching you when you go through the gates at Austin City Limits.


There you have it, everything you can and cannot bring with you to Austin City Limits. Admittedly, a lot of these are obvious, but some aren’t so it is good to know what isn’t allowed before you go. Don’t be the guy who makes your group run back to the hotel because you brought something you can’t part with to Austin City Limits.

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