SXSW Music Festival : An Unofficial Semi-Pros Guide for Survival

Contributor : K Symone

An Unofficial Semi-Pros Guide to SXSW Music Festival:

It’s only February but it is already time to dive into Spring Break plans! To music junkies, adventurers, and social chameleons that means attending SXSW. If you aren’t familiar with the lingo SXSW stands for South By South West or if you want to fit in with the veteran festival attendees “South By”. This year SXSW is March 10th-20th. What makes South By an enormous deal is all the opportunities people with varied interest can enjoy, from seeing Big Sean to Miley Cyrus, trying out new Google technology to getting a free pair of Converse while walking to watch Lady Gaga speak at a live panel all in one short period!

SXSW is broken into three portions:

  • SXSW Interactive March 11-15–this involves five days of panels, cutting edge technology presentations to events hosted by industry leaders. This is where you discover the technology of tomorrow.
  • SXSW FilmMarch 11-19 – For nine days in March, creatives of all stripes gather at the SXSW Film Conference and Festival to celebrate raw innovation and emerging talent both behind and in front of the camera.
  • SXSW Music 15-20 – The variety in music is unmatched by any festival in the world.  2015 had over 2200 official and unofficial artists playing multiple shows daily to break to the next level.

Many of the tips can be used throughout the entire conference/festival. You are probably wondering why you should even keep reading and where this knowledge is coming from? Well allow me to introduce myself, my name is K.Symone , I am from Austin, I do SXSW well and I have for the last four years. Are we good? Carry on.


This is key because one you will need a friend if you have any idea how crazy and entire city full of Austinites and strangers can be all trying to get somewhere.

Plus, you can save yourself a ton of money by getting them to snag you a wristband. Bam… the golden secret of SXSW. Wristbands are just a little under $200 but they are only available to Austin residents and a plus one.

I personally have attended with a wristband and without one and still have had a great time. Now if you don’t have $200 or $800 in the bank DO NOT worry it is possible to still have a great time at SXSW we will get to that closer to festival time.

Twitter and RSVPs Are Crucial!!!  

SXSW is a hip ever-evolving festival so that means it uses hip ever-evolving methods to keep you in the know on where to go and who is doing surprise performances.

These are people you need to be following on Twitter and the blogs that will keep you ahead:

@RSVPster @CameronatSX @SXSWISLIFE @SXSWhoa @SXSWMF@SouthbyFreeNoms
@MissKrisSxSW @mischiefonline @atxhipsters @sxswparty @mxdwn @SXSWBaby @mxdwn_atx @SXSWPARTYGIRLS @sxswpartylist @sxswfreedrinks @SXSWtweet @FreeatSXSW @SXSWunderaged  @RSVP4LYFE @AustinOnBudget @martyratSXSW @ATXMusicOffice

Party Sponsors/Blogs/Music/Entertainment websites:
@chronsxsw @chronevents @austinchronicle @austin360 @360sxswi @austin360music @360sxsw @culturemapatx @CNNSXSW @austintownhall @austinbloggy @pastemagazine @musicawardsSXSW @bvSXSW @TheFader @filtermagazine @SPINsxsw @IFCsxsw @Googlesxsw @SXSpotify @sonicbids @AUSXSW@ATX4u @mischiefonline @THEILLMORE @VICE @hypem @mxdwn @lucidroutes @powermystartup

Venues (there are many more bars to list, but here’s a few favorites):
@MohawkAustin @CheerUpCharlies @Red_7 @HotelVegasATX @WhiteHorseATX @ShangriLaAustin @HolyMountainATX @EmpireATX

I realize it seems like a lot and it will fill up your timeline but trust me,  this will make your SXSW experience.

And you do not want to be the one who missed Prince giving a private concert in the back of a school bus.

When it comes to parties whether they are day or night most require a RSVP or some sort of sign up whether you have a badge, wristband or nothing at all. You can do this a couple ways; stalking the internet and twitter day in and day out making sure to catch each party announcement(can be done but you might miss a few) or you can sign up for RSVPster. RSVPster is a site dedicated to RSVPing you to unofficial interactive, film and music parties. It’s comes with a small fee but will save you the most time. Either method you choose will assist you with making sure your SXSW is epic.

Feeling overwhelmed yet? Don’t worry start with these things and soon enough you’ll know exactly why they call Music Capital of the World.

Part 2 Coming Later this Month!!

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