What to do at SXSW?
February 27, 2014 7:16 AM   Subscribe

I'm going to SXSW for the first time this year, and want to know if any of y'all have any tips? I know the general thing to do is rsvp for concerts/parties, so I've been doing that to a few that another friend going heard about, but I'd love more suggestions and advice! I'm only getting in Friday, but feel free to talk about stuff going on all week so others can see it.
posted by DynamiteToast to Society & Culture (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Interactive or music?
And I'll be there too!

If interactive I was told to only try to do 2 panels a day and focus on meeting people.
posted by k8t at 7:29 AM on February 27, 2014

Best answer: hi, I live here, go away (mostly kidding). I will answer assuming you are here for music and not film or interactive, that changes everything.

you don't need to RSVP for everything. most of the smaller free day shows are not actually keeping a door list and they just want your email for spam. unless you're a badge holder it's first come at most places. if you MUST see a particular headlining act at a free show, you should plan on getting there at least two bands before they go on. a few shows will not work this way, however. For instance, Fader Fort's RSVP went live yesterday, they give out free booze but RSVP and wristband is required and they're probably already full, but check.

you can get into some of the small evening showcases by paying cover after they let all the badge holders in, if they're not full.

ShowlistAustin.com is a nice website that will have most but not all shows with a relatively clean interface once you get tired of the horrible, not smartphone friendly official website.

bring sunscreen and water and maybe a snack everywhere, you might be standing in full sun in line for an hour. bring cash to tip the person working the bar even if the drinks are free.
posted by slow graffiti at 7:50 AM on February 27, 2014

Response by poster: Thanks guys, personally I'm just interested in music stuff. Thanks for the tips so far.
posted by DynamiteToast at 12:29 PM on February 27, 2014

Best answer: I missed the #1 tip I should have added - the classic SXSW noob error is making an itinerary that takes you to four or five different venues over the day. It won't happen. Pick two and stick around, you won't get into that show at 4pm leaving another venue at 3:30. Always go for the smaller show when in doubt, you'll have a better time than at the huge "Strokes sponsored by Converse and Sailor Jerry" type mob.
posted by slow graffiti at 2:14 PM on February 27, 2014

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