SXSW 2013, I still miss you.
I’ve got one word for my first SXSW: Whoa. If you don’t know what SXSW is (South by Southwest), it’s a huge annual music, film, and interactive conference and festival held in Austin Texas. My first trip was less for work, and more for the ‘enjoy-yourself-as-much-as-possible’ experience. That’s ok though, I still learned a few things about SXSW as a fun-loving first timer.
Forget about sleeping!
For some reason I thought I might get some sleep at some point on this trip. Not really the case. Me and my crew of travelers from Embassy Recordings basically were going full speed ahead from 10 AM to 5 AM. Maybe this is not for everyone, but the streets were certainly still alive during the after hours. Also, everyone should be aware that the best dancing doesn’t really start happening until after 2 AM. It’s completely worth the sleep deprivation you will be suffering on the way back.
Don’t Stress About Badges
I didn’t have a badge and that does exclude you from some of the more professional oriented events. However, if you are going with the intention of having a good time, don’t even worry about it. There was only one event that I attended that required me to pay because I was badgeless. That amounted to 10 bucks to see Daedelus perform in a space about the size of your average coffee shop. Everything else I attended was completely free!
At some point we were going to see Baauer (the harlem shake dude) and Mount Kimbie (not the harlem shake dude) at a Boiler Room party. That line…probably the longest line I’ve ever seen. No thanks. The people in it weren’t even doing the Harlem Shake. Doesn’t really matter too much though, because just around any corner is another act that you would probably be going bananas for if they were announced in your city. So just try another event and surprise yourself, that’s part of the magic of SXSW.
Come up with Plan A and Plan B for your schedule each day
Like I just said above, sometimes wrenches are thrown into your plans. Some shows get postponed or cancelled, some lines are miles long, sometimes you are tired of hearing electronic music. The most fulfilling days I had, I had some idea of what I wanted to do at X-o’clock each day. Basically, come up with your ideal line-up of events and then come up with your ‘ok maybe this will also be fun’ line-up. You’ll thank yourself later or maybe you’ll just forget to do that because you will be having so much fun.
My only regrets about SXSW were A) I didn’t get to experience everything and B) I didn’t go sooner. If you have any little tiny desire deep inside of you to go, just go! Without a doubt I will be returning.
Photo Credits: SXSW Music Images