Jaime Black, creator of the incredibly successful Dynasty Podcasts, is a SXSW OG and deemed internet celeb by the New York Times. From his first SXSW where he claims to have "made all the mistakes" to this year where he will be live-broadcasting from a boathouse on March 12 & 13 for the Soundcloud SXSW event, Jaime has collected all his best tips to survive the conference and agreed to share them with you.
- SXSW Tip #1: Don't wait in line. If there are a billion people in front of you, just walk next door. There will still be great music and something interesting happening. Sure, this might be a band that you are really excited to see, but wait a month or two for when they are playing at a venue near you.
- SXSW Tip #2: Bring a charger and a wall plug. This is so important, Jaime emphasized. Your battery is going to run out much faster while you're out. You'll need to check Twitter, Facebook or e-mail for last minute party details and you'll want your map to get around. Don't get stranded! And...while we're at it...don't get so blasted that you just leave your phone charging somewhere and expect it not to get stolen. Just don't be that guy.
- SXSW Tip #3: If you plan to take your computer or iPad, back up all your files first. There are just too many things that could happen. This way you'll still have your work at the very least. For a performer or journalist, you will most likely be on the job while you're down there. Be prepared. And, like the above note, don't be the a**hole who just leaves their valuables lying around. If you think some kid in the party zone won't swipe your stuff, you're wrong. Heck...if you're that naive, I might take your stuff just to teach you a lesson.
- SXSW Tip #4: This is the top secret way to find cabs. Jaime is only sharing this, because he's going to have a car this year. Otherwise, you would be on your own! To get a nearly impossible to find cab, head to a main road near the convention center and start walking away from downtown. You'll be able to catch the empty cabs before they reach the crowded city center.
- SXSW Tip #5: Drink lots of water. This sounds obvious and it is obvious, so be the person who makes sure to take care of the obvious stuff.
- SXSW Tip #6: Food trucks are your friend. Austin has a great community of food trucks. They're readily available, crazy delicious and just part of the fun when eating in Austin.
- SXSW Tip #7: Hotels are a godsend. They have clean public bathrooms, wifi in the lobby and somewhere to sit for a second to rest and catch some a/c.
- SXSW Tip #8: Roll with the punches and just enjoy yourself. Be aware that your plans are going to change, so just go with it. There are going to be long lines, issues with RSVP, your friend might wander off, you can't find a venue, something gets canceled, etc, etc, etc. Don't get too wrapped up in your plans. Just chill and let the music, margaritas and tacos take you to where you want to be.
- SXSW Tip #9: Be good to everyone in Austin. This is also a given, but we just want to reiterate it. Your waiters, cab drivers, hotel workers, security, etc. Their city is being invaded. Think about how you'd like to be treated during Lollapalooza.
- SXSW Tip 10: Be aware of the weather. What you wear in the morning when you leave is probably going to be what you wear until you fall asleep that night. Plan accordingly. Check the weather before you leave and take a look at the day's forecast. Make sure you're wearing comfortable shoes and you'll probably want to have one item of clothing that you can easily put on/take off/stuff in your bag.
- SXSW Tip 11: Look on Twitter for free food, parties and RSVPs. As I mentioned in 10 Reasons Everyone Should Go To SXSW, you are basically going to be showered in free stuff. Know how to find it. Jaime recommends following these accounts on Twitter: @RSVPster, @SXSWPartyList, @SouthByFreeNoms, @Do512 and @SXSWPartyGirls. You should also follow Jaime.
- SXSW Tip 12: As soon as you get home, start saving for next year. When Jaime's plane touches down in Chicago after Southby, he's immediately saving his change to get back to Austin the following year. That's dedication.
Do you have any tips to add?