Austin City Limits Music Festival (ACL) is adding a first-time-ever dedicated barbecue section to the multi-day event this October. The ACL BBQ Pitmasters will feature a daily Central Texas barbecue restaurant and pitmaster, who will prep and smoke food on-site and sell plates. It takes place during the festival from Friday, October 7 through Sunday, October 9, and then again from Friday, October 14 through Sunday, October 16, at Zilker Park.
For the first weekend, there’s John Brotherton of Pflugerville restaurant Brotherton’s Black Iron Barbecue (Friday, October 7), Cade Mercer of South Lamar truck CM Smokehouse (Saturday, October 8), and John Bates of far northwest Austin restaurant Interstellar BBQ (Sunday, October 9). The second weekend sees Barret Black of Lockhart barbecue restaurant Black’s BBQ (Friday, October 14), Tom Micklethwait and Ren Garcia of Central East Austin truck Micklethwait Craft Meats (Saturday, October 15), and Lance Kirkpatrick of Harry Styles-serving Brentwood restaurant Stiles Switch BBQ & Brew (Sunday, October 16). (Micklethwait and Black’s are also serving at the regular ACL food courts.)
The daily pitmaster will set up starting setting up at around 11 a.m. or noon, and smoke meats and foods using smokers and grilling equipment by metal fabricator company Mill Scale Metalworks until it’s time to sell food at 3 p.m. The barbecue plates will typically include two or so meats and two or so sides for about $23 to $28. The section will be found near the Barton Springs East entrance, by the ACL Wine Lounge, T-Mobile stage, and Austin Kiddie Limits. People will be allowed to line up in order to purchase food.
The barbecue area will also sell some beers, as well as a themed koozie with the names of all six pitmasters.
The melding of a food event with a music festival makes sense for ACL, since its parent company is C3 Presents, which also runs Austin Food & Wine Festival (taking place in November). The company decided to include barbecue in the music festival for the first time since it’s Central Texas after all.
This year’s ACL will also include a new food truck by Austin Tex-Mex restaurant El Patio.