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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! The 2022 learning curve is a pretty steep one due to two years without SXSW so we’re rounding up some helpful tips and resources to make SXSW 2022 the best year yet!
Here’s everything you need to know to have the best SXSW!
Pre Fest Quick Tips
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 2022 Guidelines:
In order to have a in-person festival this year, SXSW has put up a few guidelines regarding Covid-19. Before you pick up your badge/ wristband make sure you know what to expect. Attendees must be fully vaccination or have a recent negative Covid-19 test in order to pick up credentials and attend events. The festival will be using the CLEAR Health Pass app to make things as efficient as possible. Get that squared away a few days before the festival to avoid any issues. 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 and Pop-ups:
You never know who you might run into during SXSW – and how do you know its not just a doppelgänger? Spill The ATX (previously known as ATXGossip) is the ONLY place in town with a confirmed list of every celebrity set to attend SXSW. They also have a massive list of the 2022 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.
FREE Food and Drinks:
While it might not rain Torchy’s Tacos this year, free food and drinks will not be in short supply. Austin Food Magazine is breaking down the best food and drinks and how you can get them. So foodies rejoice and make sure you’re following them on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
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 Flash 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!
Now here’s the most important thing to remember, don’t forget to have FUN!
Featured photo via SXSW