It’s shaping up to be a beautiful week in Austin and those of us who were expecting another Austin Muddy Limits this year are scrambling to find the cheapest tickets on CraigsList. Even the staunchest ACL opponents would be hard pressed not to admit that this weekend will prove to be just about perfect for the 3 day Austin City Limits fest. If you’re headed out to Zilker, here’s a few tips:

– Load up Grooveshark.com with some of the bands you want to catch but haven’t heard the latest album from. It’s a great to figure out if that band with all the hype is really going to be worth skipping another show for. Added bonus, its free to listen to anything offered on the site

– Forget about your cell reception. Sure sure, every year it gets better but the chances of being able to use SMS texting as a means of communication are slim. Don’t even think about trying to call someone. Even if you do get through, all the background noise makes it impossible to understand that your buddy is standing by the big green balloon and not the green restrooms

– Figure out your groups plan of attack. Is everyone campers or movers? Nothing sucks more then realizing once you get to Zilker that you’re all on different pages. If you’re lucky, you’ll have a mix so you can setup a home camp

– Make a plan of attack for any camp making. Which side of the park do you want to be on? When ACL happened in the dead heat, I made it a practice to stick by the Budweiser stage where there was shade, water and good music. Now that you don’t have to worry about dying of heat exhaustion, the options are endless.

– Establish a “go it alone” clause with your loved one/significant other/late night booty call buddy or be prepared to sacrifice that close up space at the show you were most excited for. Yes, you want to experience it all with your favorite person but is it really worth what he/she will make you suffer through in retribution?

– Don’t pack a chair unless you think you’ll spend more than 50% of your time in it OR if you’ll be setting up a home base. It’s a waste of time and energy

– Do pack a small blanket you can sit on. Something small that you can easily stuff in your bag and you don’t mind getting ruined is your best bet.

– Think about skipping all the big stage stuff during the afternoons. My favorite ACL experiences have all been on small stages for bands who were either up and coming or never quite made it to the big stage (regina spektor anyone?)

– Check out Kiddie Limits if you’ve got some spare time. It’s adorable and sometimes the special guests end up being tweet-worthy

– If you want to get close for that big stage night show, grab some something to eat, a couple of waters and stake your claim next to the fence at the end of 2 shows before. You’ll make friends with the people around you and they’ll help protect your space when the onslaught off last minute shovers come in

– Same rule applies for smaller stages though you can get away with moving in at the end of the show directly before as long as the band doesn’t have a cult following

Don’t have tickets? Me either. Unfortunately, my ACL ticket connection fell through but there is certainly more then enough happening around town this weekend to entertain those of us not going. More on my new plans for the weekend later

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