SXSW Survival Guide

SXSW Survival Guide

Festival Preparation 

1. Do research beforehand and make yourself aware of all the places that offer free food and free drinks because there’s many! You may have to wait in one long line to get the wristband the first day you get there but it is totally worth it. (Shout out to Pure Volume/Tito’s Vodka & The Fader Fort!)

2. You’re not going to get into everything you want to see. Choose wisely. Go to SXSW for the adventure and not the headliners (unless you’re loaded).

3. Follow all of your favorite artists on twitter to find out about secret shows that pop up throughout the week. Turn “mobile notifications” on for your favorite artists so that twitter will text you when they tweet. This way slow data plans won’t get in the way.

4. Build relationships with media, music, and interactive companies (whatever interests you) in advance in order to gain wristbands into super-exclusive events. Gaining entry to an event is usually easier than you imagine.

5. Download the SXSW app to see what artists have already announced that they are playing. Many artists won’t announce their shows until the day they are playing. Keep an eye out for posters around Austin.

6. Do512 and Eventbrite are other great websites to find fun events going on at SXSW.

Lodging & Transportation 

1. Getting a hotel downtown is pricey but extremely convenient. If you can, make friends that live downtown or nearby to stay with. Don’t drive and sleep on an RV and park it 2 miles outside of the city:) Unless hitch-hiking and spontaneity excites you.

2. Public transportation is reliable to get downtown during the day. Finding a night-owl bus can be a chaotic experience. Do not rely on them, as they are rarely on time and crowds of people are waiting for them.

6. There are NO CABS after the bars close at 2am. Be aware and plan accordingly. If you manage to find a cab late at night beware of overcharges.

7. Pedicabs are always easy to find no matter what time it is and are generally affordable.

8. If you see a car that says “Catch a Chevy” and no one is inside it, you can flag them down like a cab and they will drive you anywhere within a 5 mile radius. However, they are hard to come by the later it gets.

Maximizing Fun!

1. The best way to deal with long lines is approach someone near the front with a smile and become friends with them. People are willing to help you out if you are just nice to them, especially in the South.

2. Food trucks are the way to go for meals at SXSW, $8 will keep you full for almost half the day and the most authentic Southern food you'll find at SXSW.  Shout out to Turf N Surf Po' Boys for their delicious food! Besides the food trucks, consider bringing food to snack on throughout the day if you are not staying downtown.

3. No time to primp? Too much music to see? Get a $2 hair-cut outside in the city from the awesome Birds Barbershop!

4. The convention center, in the heart of downtown Austin, has many computers with wifi and charging stations. Stop at the convention center to plan parts of your adventure instead of trying to use the data on your phone. The more people who are around the slower your phone data will be.

5. If there’s a show you are dying to see, first check if they are selling tickets online beforehand. If not, then stop by the venue when it opens, get a wristband/stamp and enjoy the show later, usually for free. Usually you can pay between $15-40 to get into a specific show but this ticket price is not posted online and is usually only posted at the door.

6. If there is a massive show with several headliners do not expect to get in without a badge or minimum of a one hour wait in line. (Unless you’re friends with someone who can get you in)

7. Talk to as many random people as possible. It makes the adventure more fun and it is easy to find new friends who can get you into different parties with more free things!

By: Bryan Arturo & Shayna Gladstone

 

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  • Added tip!

    Bring a bunch of cash to SXSW because ATM service charges all increase while the festival runs in Austin.

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