A few more weeks until my favorite music fest starts up! This year will be my 8th SXSW and the tools and tips floating around online can help any noob maneuver around town like a champ. Check out my updated tips below and previous year’s tips- 2015, 2014, 2011. See you in Austin!
1. Make a Twitter list of the artists you want to see. Create your list now so you’re prepared for on-the-go news and updates. Set times change A LOT during SX and the best place to get info is direct from the artists. If you tweet at a band, they are likely to respond. Before doing this, read through their feed first to see if the info you need is already posted.
2. Go see an Austin Sofar Sounds show on the 16th or 19th. You have to RSVP and you *might* get chosen due to very limited space. It’s a great time but I might be bias cuz I run the Seattle Sofar Sounds group. Last year included Fantastic Negrito who won NPR Music’s 2015 Tiny Desk Contest (pictured).
3. Don’t bother with RSVPs unless it’s for the annoying and overcrowded Fader Fart OR the awwwwsome Spotify House. Guest Pass gets you some minor perks (not sure what exactly) and I’m not sure about the SPIN parties as I never waste time standing in line for 5 hours.
4. If you do RSVP, create an alias email specifically for SXSW. Or else you’ll be hitting the unsubscribe button on all kinds of unwanted emails the months after the fest.
5. The Convention Center has cool stuff! Check out Flatstock 53 and you can meet the artists too. They also showcase free day shows on the Flatstock stage. We were thoroughly wow’d by Roger Sellers set last year. Flatstock hours:
Thursday, March 17 | 2:00pm – 6:00pm
Friday, March 18 | 11:00am – 6:00pm
Saturday, March 19 | 11:00am-6:00pm
6. One of my favorite spots when I lived in Austin was Continental Club. It’s a great little bar/music venue on Congress with so much charm (and country music) that you won’t want to leave.
7. Beer! Mmmmmm beer… I love me some Lone Star but there are lots of local breweries to check out between bands. I love Hops and Grain but we’ll likely take some time out to visit Jester King.
8. Hydrate. Duh.
9. Eat as much BBQ and/or Mexican food as humanly possible.
10. Be safe! Take care of yourself and your friends. Austin PD does a good job but they can’t be everywhere.