The Austin City Limits Music Festival returns to Zilker Park this weekend, bringing some of the biggest names in rock music to one of the most popular cities to enjoy musical art.

Austin City Limits is unequivocally one of the largest music festivals of the year, and this year’s edition boasts quite the lineup: Neil Young & Crazy Horse, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Jack White, the Black Keys, Florence + the Machine, Steve Earle, Gary Clark Jr., Tegan and Sara, The Shins, Metric and Alabama Shakes, to name just a few. Considering that many of these acts could sell out arenas on their own, it’s uber-impressive to see them all on one bill.

This year’s festival comes about a month later than previous years, which is actually a good thing, since fans shouldn’t have to endure sweltering temperatures to see their favorite bands.

A few notables:

Weezer. 6:15 p.m. to 7:15 p.m. Friday, AMD Stage. You know a festival is big when they have Weezer playing an early show. Such is the case with Austin City Limits, who has Rivers Cuomo and the guys rocking out as early as possible on Friday. Expect to hear tried-and-true hits, plus killer tunes off Weezer’s latest album, 2010’s Hurley.

Weezer Austin City Limits

M. Ward. 7:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Friday, Austin Ventures Stage. Portland, Ore.-based singer/songwriter M. Ward brings his indie rock-flavored tracks to Austin City Limits on Friday. There’s a lot of buzz about M. Ward, and his live show is rumored as one not to be missed.

M. Ward Austin City Limits

The Shins. 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, AMD Stage. The Shins may have undergone some lineup changes over the years, but their sound is intact, and they bring the newest incarnation of the band to Austin City Limits on Saturday. Frontman James Mercer is the Shins’ constant, and expect him to pull out tracks ranging from the band’s 2001 debut, Oh, Inverted World, to this year’s Port of Morrow.

The Shins Austin City Limits

Neil Young & Crazy Horse. 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, Bud Light Stage. Neil Young & Crazy Horse are back together and promoting a new album, Americana. The mastermind brings his famed folk-rock tracks to Austin City Limit on Saturday. Young, obviously, is one of the biggest draws of the festival, so grab your spot at the show early in order to avoid nosebleed viewing.

Neil Young Austin City Limits

For more on Austin City Limits — including the full lineup and ticket information — head to

Photos: Gary Miller