Best way to get to a SXSW show on time tomorrow, if it's even possible?
March 16, 2011 10:43 PM   Subscribe

So, I live in Austin, but I've never done the SXSW thing. Seems like too much trouble. But The Strokes are playing a free show tomorrow night and I wouldn't mind seeing it. Trouble is, the show is at 8, and I don't get off work (out by Steiner Ranch) until 5 PM. My question is, would it be better for me to drive straight there and try to find parking, drive back to my apartment near the Arboretum and take the bus, or forget about it altogether? Looking for advice from anyone more knowledgeable of the local transit situation and SXSW in particular.
posted by Zorz to Travel & Transportation (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
I probably should have mentioned that the show is at Auditorium Shores, which seems like relevant information.
posted by Zorz at 10:45 PM on March 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Our downtown experience is that if you have a twenty dollar bill, you can find a place to park.

For a free show, get there early if you want a good spot to see the band.

However, we have no experience of parking at Auditorium Shores. The SXSW website lists some options, including parking near the capital and grabbing a park and ride bus for a dollar and nearby parking.

If you take a bus, make sure you know when the busses change from the regular routes to the Late Night routes. It's often possible to get to the same places, but the times and routes change.

Good Luck!
posted by Mad_Carew at 1:44 AM on March 17, 2011


Put your bike in your car. Park somewhere around, say, 15th & West Avenue (I'm guessing that won't be parked up, but could be wrong). Ride to Auditorium Shores from there.
posted by adamrice at 6:46 AM on March 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


Auditorium Shores might be big enough to accommodate everybody, but the Strokes will be a madhouse. Last night there were badge lines for Duran Duran at Stubb's at 1 AM and it's only Wednesday. (Badges have preference over wristbands for entry & wristbands have preference over walkups. So a badge line means the place was full and badgeholders had to wait. To walk up would mean getting in after all badgeholders & wristbands.) I would see about getting out of work early to increase odds of getting in.

I'm at my 4th SXSW with a wristband this year and have learned not to try for big shows. The DD thing was special because we were otherwise going home.

Note: badges & wristbands are for official showcases. If this gig is not official, the rules will be different. Check first.
posted by immlass at 7:16 AM on March 17, 2011


You shouldn't have to bad of a time parking south of the river if you make up your mind to walk .5 to .75 miles.

However, as a resident of the area who is hassled by every event that hits the area, I must ask you to do two things.
1. Park thoughtfully. Don't block even an inch of someone's driveway. I know someone else will take the space if you don't, but let me hate them, not you.
2. Walk thoughtfully. When crossing the street, please don't try to make the tale end of the walk light. Traffic has been backing up a pretty long way in some areas and that last person running into a crosswalk makes the traffic back up further. When walking on neighborhood streets, try and stay out of the middle and try not to get in the way of drivers, people will be trying to get home to their wives and kids after an already stressful SXSW commute.

Other than that, feel free to use the publicly provided and maintained street parking even if someone has put up signs in their yard saying you can't park there. They do not have the right to reserve or restrict parking. Drive safely, walk safely and have a shit ton of fun (metric, not avoirdupois).
posted by Seamus at 7:26 AM on March 17, 2011


I would see about getting out of work early to increase odds of getting in.

The Auditorium Shores showcase is free every year and no wristbands or badges are required (or even considered). The point is to let the public get something out of SXSW other than tourist hassles (this showcase started before there were a jillion unofficial free parties).

I think you will be able to find parking *somewhere,* but you'll need to be willing to walk pretty far. If you have a bike, the park and bike idea is a good one, too.
posted by elpea at 8:39 AM on March 17, 2011


The Auditorium Shores showcase is free every year and no wristbands or badges are required (or even considered). The point is to let the public get something out of SXSW other than tourist hassles (this showcase started before there were a jillion unofficial free parties).

In which case you are still in line with a metric crapload of out-of-towners plus locals for a show by a very well known band that's planning to release an album this year after something like five years off. Coming down early improves your likelihood of finding close(r) parking as well. Come early and bring something to do (book/smartphone).
posted by immlass at 9:14 AM on March 17, 2011


nthing that you need to show up early. I'm not positive, but there will probably be parking at the Palmer just across Barton Springs. Otherwise, try going down S. 1st and get prepared to walk.
posted by Gilbert at 11:55 AM on March 17, 2011


Or park at Austin High and take the hike and bike trail up.
posted by Gilbert at 11:57 AM on March 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


I almost NEVER call in sick (even when I am actually sick, I just try my best to keep my germs to myself), but in this particular instance, I would use a sick day, get there early, and enjoy the show!
posted by LuckySeven~ at 6:44 PM on March 17, 2011


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