SXSW is almost here! In case you’re still feeling stressed about the upcoming festivities, we’ve put together the ultimate last-minute guide to help you feel as prepared as ever. Whether you’re a South By rookie or a returning veteran, check out some of our tried and true tips and tricks for getting through the event with ease.
The Ultimate SXSW Survival Guide: What to Bring, Where to Go and More
What to Prepare
Arguably the most important item to pack for any music event, earplugs are a vital tool to keep your hearing in check. Ensure you can enjoy the music all week long by keeping your ears safe!
A Phone Charger
There’s nothing worse than having a dead phone and not being able to take notes or grab someone’s contact information! Make sure your phone is completely charged before you head out every day and bring a back-up charger or additional battery pack.
Comfortable Shoes or a Pair of Insoles
Wear comfortables clothes and shoes! You’ll likely be walking from event to event all day long, so make sure to dress casually and stay cool. Keep your feet from getting tired by mid-day by investing in a pair of quality insoles.
Business Cards and/or Creative Merch
You’ll be sharing your contact information over and over again all week so make sure to brand yourself properly! Bring business cards, downloadable cards, merch items, stickers or any other item that has your contact information on it.
With all of the fun you’ll be having all week, it might seem difficult to find time to eat! Make sure to bring healthy snacks like trail mix, protein bars or fresh fruit to stay energized and keep yourself from getting hangry. But, as always, make sure to get at least three proper meals in per day.
Chewing Gum or Breath Mints
You’ll be doing a lot of talking this week. Keep your breath minty fresh by keeping gum or chewing mints in your bag. Plus, you’ll look extra prepared when someone inevitably asks if you have any.
Do not forget to stay hydrated! It can be very easy to get dehydrated walking around in the Texas sunshine, so make sure to keep a water bottle by your side and re-fill it multiple times a day. You have a long week ahead of you!
A Positive Attitude
Last, but not least, bring a smile to SXSW! It may seem easy to get discouraged with so much going on, but remember, this week is all about meeting people and having fun, so just remember to stay positive.
What to Expect + Where to Go
A Lot of Networking
Network, network, network! Make sure to get the most out of your SXSW experience by setting up meetings on the SXSW Social site. Reach out to people in advance, set up quick meetings and make sure to exchange contact information and follow up once you are home.
Events, Events, Events!
SXSW is full of more events than you’ll likely be able to keep track of, so make sure to stay organized by downloading the SXSW Go app. It even syncs with your Spotify account and makes recommendations on artists you might like. This app is crucial!
Trade Shows and Exhibitions
There will be a lot of different events for you to partake in this week. Hit up the SXSW trade show, which features about 500 companies. From local startups to established industry leaders and more, this event has it all. You’ll be exposed to the works of the world’s top gig poster artists. There’s no better way to spark some creativity! There’s also a gaming expo, an art program and so much more.
Amazing Food + Drinks
Remember when I told you to eat at least three proper meals a day? Well, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to do so this week. Find incredible barbecue, tacos, cocktails and more within walking distance of SXSW this year. Check out 11 incredible restaurants to scope out over at Eater Austin.
Panels, Conferences + More
Don’t miss the opportunity to attend as many panels and conferences as possible. SXSW brings some of the industry’s leading minds in music, technology and film together in one place for some of the most thought-provoking events you’ll find all year. Explore everything going on here.
Go check out some artists you’ve never heard of this year! There are a ton of new artists performing every day, so go check out some names that sound interesting and who knows? You might just stumble upon a new favorite. Plus, you can tell all of your friends back home about your brand new discoveries.
Good luck and happy SXSW-ing!