If you don’t want to sell the rights to your first-born child just to get tickets for the Austin City Limits Music Festival, there are dozens of suitable alternatives during both weekends of the festival. Here are a few cheaper, smaller events you could enjoy.
Ditch the Fest Fest
When: Saturday, doors open 2 p.m.
Oct. 9, 2 p.m.
Where: Empire Control Room & Garage
Admission: All ages, $10
For those who still want to enjoy live music during either ACL weekend, Ditch the Fest Fest is a cheap alternative. Hosted at the Empire Control Room & Garage, this two weekend event might lack the same notoriety as ACL, but it hosts some of the best local acts Austin has to offer, including Chipper Jones, Major Major Major and Caterwalrus.
Austin Corn Lovers Fiesta
When: Friday and Saturday, all day
Oct. 9–10, all day
If you’re fear of crowds is so crippling that you can’t attend Ditch the Fest Fest, Austin Corn Lovers Fiesta is your best option. Ripping their name straight out of ACL’s playbook, the Austin Corn Lovers Fiesta is another music festival for the price conscious. Started with the goal of presenting local and regional music acts, this sponsor-less event took on a life of its own, and is now in its fifth year of prosperity. Bands include Churchwood, Cunto! and Davie Allan & The Arrows. Each day the venue changes, so be sure to check prices and age requirements on their website before attending.
Round Rock Chalk Walk
When: Friday, 5 p.m.–10 p.m.
Saturday, 10 a.m.–7 p.m.
Where: Centennial Plaza, 301 W. Bagdad, Round Rock
Admission: Free, all ages
If live music isn’t your thing, fear not — there are always art festivals. At the Round Rock Chalk Walk, artists are free to use chalk to draw any art they want on the pavement, bringing to mind Italian street painting festivals. The event is free, running Friday evening and all day Saturday.
When: Friday, 7 p.m.
Oct.9, 7 p.m.
Where: ColdTowne Theater
Admission: Free, all ages
Two improv comedy teams take on the stage to create brand-new movies live on stage based on song titles or lyrics. This free event includes free food and drinks (for those of age), so be sure to stop by for a great time.
Barton Hill Farms’ Fall Festival
When: Saturday, 10 a.m.–10 p.m.
Sunday, 10 a.m.–5 p.m.
Oct. 10, 10 a.m.–10 p.m.
Oct. 11, 10 a.m.–5 p.m.
Where: Barton Hills Farm
Admission: All ages, $11 online
If you want to remember what it was like to be a five-year-old stuck in a corn maze, the Barton Hill Farms’ Fall Festival is your jam for the next couple of weekends. Their five-acre Peanuts-themed corn maze is sure to provide some enjoyable times with friends. For an extra challenge, go on a Saturday at night to participate in the Spooky Saturday night flashlight maze. There’s also a pumpkin patch, live music and everyone’s favorite: face painting.
Or, do your homework and watch some Netflix. That would be cool.