South by South West, also referred to SXSW, is a three part conference and festival that includes interactive, film, and music. It is a weeklong event that takes place annually in Austin, TX. SXSW Inc. is a private owned company that is headquartered in Austin that works all year to get the best lineup of musicians, actors, and media industry professionals. The first festival took place in 1987 and has been going strong and growing in attendance every year. How should you prepare for such a big event? Here are some tips for preparing for the SXSW five days of music portion of the festival.
If you are traveling from out of town, the first step is to book your hotel and travel arrangements. Hotels in the downtown area, where the festival takes place, fill up in advance. Making your hotel arrangements should be done first and early. There are a lot of places to stay downtown so that you can walk to different music shows. If you stay somewhere that isn’t of walking distance, you can arrange to rent a vehicle or take a taxi cab. The cabs are very busy during the week so renting a car may be more convenient. There are a lot of Pedi-cabs, bicycle driven buggies, which can take you around downtown.
Once you know where you are going to stay you can start packing. You will need comfortable walking shoes because you will be walking around the many different venues to check out as many shows as you can fit in during the week. You will also be standing and dancing a lot throughout the festival. Dress comfortable yet trendy. There are a lot of day parties and dinner parties, so it’s good to pack a few really nice outfits. Most importantly, you want to be comfortable. Austin has really great weather in March and you can expect the temperatures to be in the 70s.
Before you head down to the festival, you should look at the music schedule to see who is playing and where and when they take the stage. Music starts during the middle of the day and lasts until two in the morning. There are a lot of up and coming bands, and bands from all over the world at SXSW. You can listen to the bands’ online music to hear if you are interested in seeing them. Take advantage of the music lineup and research some of the bands and venues. If you want to be more spontaneous, you can walk around downtown and listen to the bands from the street. Once you hear a sound that you like, show your badge and walk into the bar or music venue where the band in playing.
If you stay out from noon until the early morning hours, be sure to stop and eat lunch and dinner. You want to have enough energy to walk around and check out as much music as you can fit into the day. It is also very important to stay hydrated. There will be a lot of free alcohol at the events and different venues, but be sure to switch up the alcoholic drink for some water. Please remember to follow all drinking laws and be safe. Austin has great barbeque and Tex Mex restaurants, so if you are interested in local cuisine, talk to your hotel concierge or do some research online for great eats you may want to try.
About the Author: Jeff Bachmeier is owner of 977music.com, an online music and online radio station network providing live streaming Internet Radio channels with music from the 50’s thru Today. Users can also choose to create their own customized on demand playlist through their own social media profile. For more information please visit http://www.977music.com.