South By Southwest is a beast of a festival and no matter how many years you’ve attended, there will always be a learning curve. Every year there are new venues, a different share ride app, a totally new building that wasn’t there last year and so on. There’s so much information to navigate, it can be overwhelming. But it’s totally worth it! Here are some helpful tips and resources to make SXSW 2023 the best year yet!
Here’s everything you need to know to have the best SXSW!
Make A Plan:
Have a loosely planned out game plan. As mentioned, there’s so much to do and see at SXSW that it can get overwhelming. Do yourself a favor and be prepared to miss a few things. Not being able to go to everything is just part of the festival. We recommend creating a schedule of the things you most want to see followed by everything else you hope to see. Make sure you get to those top choices and figure out the rest as you go. The SXSW GO app, is a great way to stay on top of your schedule and any changes that might occur during the festival. Note that any unofficial SXSW parties cannot be added to this schedule.
Review the SXSW 2023 Guidelines:
- Covid-19 Vaccinations, and applicable boosters, are recommended for all attendees and participants.
- It is strongly recommended that you self-test before attending SXSW.
- Masks will be available at SXSW Information and Accessibility Desks, and are encouraged.
- There will be Covid-19 home antigen tests available for sale on-site. Quantities may vary.
- Testing is available for low or no-cost at the following: CVS Health, Walgreens, Tarrytown Pharmacy, and Local Health Centers (please call ahead to make an appointment).
- Further local testing information can be found at the Texas health department’s website.
Find full festival guidelines here.
After you’ve looked through the official SXSW schedule and decided how to allocate your time, you’ll want to shift gears and start thinking about what you want to bring and what not to bring with you.
Purses and Backpacks:
Backpack and purse will most likely be searched at the entrance to most venues. Some might not even allow bags at all or they’ll have a clear bag policy. For this reason, we recommend that you embrace the art of minimalism and find effective ways to carry necessary items on your person. Consider carrying your phone, a charger or battery pack, a modest amount of cash (for tips), and a debit card – or just opt for a digital wallet. There isn’t much else you need!
Parking and Shared Rides:
It’s no big secret that there will be a lot of traffic. There are plenty of places to park in and around downtown Austin, so be sure to do a search for parking garages and lots in the areas you’re planning to visit. From there, you can usually find pedicabs and scooters (Lime and Bird). Complimentary SXSW Festival Shuttles and ride shares (Uber, Lyft, Earth) are also available to take you where you need to go. And don’t discount public transportation as a viable transportation method. CapMetro keeps buses running throughout the entire festival. There’s plenty of ways to downtown but once you’re here our advise is walk where you can. It’s a great way to explore the city, plus you never know what you’ll stumble upon!
SXSW is massive. From celebrities, to pop-ups, to showcases, to panels and of course food and drinks, there are a lot of great local resources out there. We’re sharing some of our favorites with you!
Celebrities, Pop-ups and Parties:
You never know who you might run into during SXSW – and how do you know its not just a doppelgänger? Spill The ATX is the ONLY place in town with a confirmed list of every celebrity set to attend SXSW. They also have a list of the best 2023 pop-ups. Their list includes locations, links, and whether you need a badge or not to attend (crucial information). Make sure to follow them on Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, and Twitter.
If you want a full list if EVERY SXSW event, sign up for an account with The Dirty Team’s Blueprint. There’s a link in their bio on Instagram. You should also check out this list from Eater that lists all the FREE food and drinks to be found at SXSW 2023.
Showcases and more:
So much music, so little time. There are official SXSW showcases and then there are unofficial SXSW showcases. Between the two there’s an overwhelming amount of events and bands to pick from. The Cosmic Clash is breaking it down in a unique way, by poster. Best part? If you like the showcase just click the poster and RSVP, it’s that simple. Make sure to follow The Cosmic Clash on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
Family Friendly Fun:
Family friendly isn’t the first thing that might come to mind when talking about SXSW. But that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. If you’re a parent who wants to catch some shows but you have your kid is in tow, this list is for you!
Relax and Recharge!
Need a refresh amidst all the madness of the fest? Get a drip! IV Drip Ladies are nurses with decades of experience, supervised by an MD, whose passion is providing in-home IV therapy and Vitamin infusions to bring wellness and recovery to Austin, Cedar Park, and surrounding areas. They provide treatments for flu, jet lagged, stomach upset, dehydration, hangover, fatigue and so much more.
Unlike others in this space, they are mobile, which means their convenience is unparallel (they come to you!) and their pricing is a significantly better value. Because they’re local, they have ties to our communities and care deeply about taking care of our residents and visitors and providing them with a wonderful experience.
Text, call or book on-line at www.ivdripladies.com
Now here’s the most important thing to remember, don’t forget to have FUN!
Featured photo via SXSW