SXSW
January 13, 2004 3:21 PM   Subscribe

I'm planning on attending SXSW Interactive and I have a couple questions for those who've been before/going this year...

1. If I want to go to maybe one or two SXSW shows, but don't buy the Platinum pass, how easy is it to get in? Do people loan/rent out their passes?
2. Is there a hotel that is preferential to the others? I'd like to be where the cool kids are.
posted by me3dia to Travel & Transportation (16 answers total)
 
(just an FYI: I'll be bringing back sxswblog.com this week)
posted by mathowie at 4:10 PM on January 13, 2004


The San Jose is absolutely La Rock (architecturally, ambience-wise), but by now it'll be booked until next August. We made our reservations on 1 November. Consider it a thought for next year.
posted by adamgreenfield at 4:13 PM on January 13, 2004


The Austin Hotel is where the cool kids are.

The San Jose (next door) is where the rich, cool kids are.
posted by adamrice at 4:14 PM on January 13, 2004


Uhoh, AdamFight! I'm rooting for Adam!
posted by billsaysthis at 4:21 PM on January 13, 2004


Beware the Driskill Hotel. It's haunted! (I worked there a few years back...great hotel...don't believe what they say about "sold out." They always hold rooms back. (At least, they used to.))
posted by ColdChef at 5:39 PM on January 13, 2004


The Driskill is spendy but conveniently located to a lot of the music venues. It's also haunted which is a bonus. The bar at the Driskill and the Four Seasons makes good people watching.

Regarding badges: The badges have your picture on them so it is hard to borrow them [although many venues don't check too hard. They say if you get caught they take away your badge].

Even Platinum badges don't guarantee admittance to some of the smaller places and the bigger acts. In many of the larger places with less-than-super-hot acts you can just walk up. Same with the film festival.

The Platinum Badge or the Music Badge puts you in the front of the line [aside from the seats for record company + VIPs]. Then there are the wristband holders [which gives you free entrance on a space available basis]. Then people off the street.

There are a gazillion bands so it you can see some acts w/o springing for the music badge or platinum but you probably won't get into nofx, crystal method, or n.e.r.d.
posted by birdherder at 5:46 PM on January 13, 2004


the austin hotel is where the kids never sleep. be warned, the walls are paper thin and you won't have a decent night's sleep until you return to your own cosy bed.

the san jose is divine.
posted by heather at 7:44 PM on January 13, 2004


They just opened a new Hilton across from the convention center. I don't know if it'll reach cool kid status, but it's now the officialâ„¢ hotel of SXSW. The Omni is good for late-night drinks, but that may change now that there is a new officialâ„¢ hotel.
posted by whatnot at 8:27 PM on January 13, 2004


When you say "Austin Hotel," is that the Hilton Downtown? Because there's no hotel by that name on the sxsw hotel list.
posted by me3dia at 8:57 PM on January 13, 2004


(A little too quick on the preview, after a long gap between refreshes...)
Hmm, I guess not. Anyone actually staying in the Hilton Downtown?
posted by me3dia at 9:00 PM on January 13, 2004


sorry, that should be austin motel or rather the "penis" motel as it's known in some parts. it's right next door to the san jose, on south congress. i could tell you about our drunk neighbour, the hooker and the lost rental car, but i'd need additional therapy.

we stayed at the new hampton inn last year. it was very quiet, in great shape with excellent proximity to the convention center.
posted by heather at 9:27 PM on January 13, 2004


I think they might be referring to the Austin Motel, often reffered to as "the penis motel" by the locals, due to the (un)fortunate shape of the sign out front. Pros: local flavor, quirky neighborhood. Cons: it's about a mile from the convention center, although I think there's a 'Dillo (free bus) that circulates in that area, plus it books up quickly.

As for the Hilton, the Web Awards ceremony will move there, plus I'm sure a fair amount of panelists and keynoters will stay there. Pros: hobnobbing, doing your drinking within stumbling distance of your room, proximity to convention center. Cons: I hear it's pricey. For a close, economical alternative, try the Hampton Inn.

See this for further options.
posted by whatnot at 9:48 PM on January 13, 2004


jinx!
posted by whatnot at 9:49 PM on January 13, 2004


I stayed in the Omni last year and I gotta say the lobby scene was depressing. The *people* were great, but the ambiance was...lacking. Something about it encouraged early evenings, forcing the truly motivated to relocate.

OTOH, whenever I slouched toward South Congress, I didn't wanna leave. As in, I never wanted to leave.

So here's the calculus: you stay in the Hilton or the Omni, you're hell of close to the convention center, you'll have a good time, but you may feel like you are missing out. Stay at one of the slightly more louche joints out Congress way and you'll have to split a cab in to the convention center on a daily basis, but you'll have an order of magnitude more fun.

We'll leave a light on for ya.
posted by adamgreenfield at 10:14 PM on January 13, 2004


Here are my notes from last year, when I attended SXSW for the first time. YMMV.
posted by Argyle at 6:48 AM on January 14, 2004


Cool, thanks all.
posted by me3dia at 8:56 AM on January 14, 2004


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