Just seven more days until SXSW begins, are you ready or a little (or lot) overwhelmed? Don’t worry, we’ve been there before. Do you RSVP or wing it? Do you plan out your schedule before hand or do you go wherever the free tacos take you? SXSW is a massive event and if it’s your first time or heck your fifth it can be daunting. Luckily we have 5 tips that we live by to prep for the big week and make you calm, cool and ready to chug some freebie booze.
RSVP to events before the spots fill up.
Reinstall that EventBrite app on your phone, and don’t forget the official SXSW Go app as well. Browse through any lounges, meetups, parties, etc. to RSVP ahead of time. If you search the #SXSW hashtag on Twitter and Facebook, you can also find accounts that will be announcing free noms and secret events! RSVPing does not guarantee admission, so always get to your destination early.
Start a document or spreadsheet to keep track of what you want to do.
To say that SXSW is overwhelming is an understatement. There is so much to do for all three festivals that if you do not prepare in advance what you’d like to do or which events you’d like to attend, then you might miss out. Luckily, a lot of lounges and events occur over a few days. Some meetups might just be one day, so comb through the SXSW schedule online. Starting a document or spreadsheet is recommended, but there’s also a function in the official SXSW Go app that’ll help you keep track of the official events all on your phone!
Wear comfortable walking shoes.
Let’s face it: If you’re in a rush to get somewhere, it might just be faster to walk rather than wait for a ride. To avoid tripping, do not wear flip flops. Also avoid heels, as those will absolutely hurt. Wear comfy shoes that you’ve worn in so you won’t have blisters walking and ruin your SX experience.
Bring the essentials.
Doing SXSW whether you have a badge or not is a marathon, not a sprint, so be prepared. Have an external phone charger, a rain poncho, a water bottle or travel mug, hand sanitizer, sunscreen, earplugs, and a lightweight jacket. Pro tip: If you are a student or a young professional, bring business cards and brush up on your networking skills.
Plan ahead for transportation.
If you drive, you’ll have more luck finding parking spots east of Interstate-35. If you take the CapMetro bus or rail, look up the schedule online beforehand. If you take the bus, aim for the Metro Rapid buses (801 or 803), as there are fewer stops along the way if you live further north or south from downtown. SXSW will provide free transportation through its shuttles and through Mazda like last year. If you want to be able to ride through Mazda, be sure to register at the Austin Convention Center.
Cover photo courtesy of SXSW / Photo Credit Aaron Rogosin.