The allure to SXSW is the big names who come to town and the little guys who get to play next to them. It is the free Taco Bell and the pricier food trucks that both hit the spot after a day of drinking. It is the crowded parties that make you rub elbows with too many drunk people and the surprise intimate shows that you find by chance.
Whatever the appeal of SXSW is to you, it can seem overwhelming for those trying to plan their week, or for those who decided to “wing it” and soon felt like they were missing out. Lucky for you all, Do512 has been working hard to make this annual much-anticipated event run as smoothly as possible for you and your comrades. Here, we will break down all the important things to keep in mind, give you some recommendations from experienced South by Southwesters and have you coming out a SXSW pro of your own.
- First, how many bands will there be exactly during March 12-17?
A lot. You can view our comprehensive list of artists that have been officially announced here. However, every SXSW veteran knows that there will always be surprise guests. That’s why we have also kept up with all of the rumors flowing through the SX mill on our twitter account.
Pro Tip: Keep your phone charged! It is always difficult to maintain flawless service when Austin is packed to the brim of the city limits, but social media is the key to unveiling surprise shows. Add us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter to stay in the loop as soon as we catch wind of confirmed SXSW information.
- How can I keep track of the artists I want to see?
While you are perusing our list of announced SXSW acts, all you have to do is click ‘follow’ and it automatically adds the artist or band to your ‘My SX’ tab. In that section, you will find all of the parties and artists you have decided to like or follow and from there you can click on them for the event details and performances.
Pro Tip: Don’t limit yourselves to only the bands you know. Take some time and check out the artists you haven’t heard of before by clicking on their page and watching their music videos or live performances we have put up for you. Festivals are the easiest way to discover your new favorite band.
Now that it has become apparent to you that SXSW does a phenomenal job of bringing in amazing acts and excavating the local talent to bring to a larger stage, you are ready to make the next step. If you are coming from out-of-town you are probably thinking:
- “Where am I going to stay?” and “How will I afford this?”
If you have friends in Austin, call dibs on the couch now. Trust us, Austinites expect a house full of people during SX and piling around someone’s living room is part of the experience. But, if your friend’s couches will already be stuffed with warm bodies and you need accommodations, we have compiled a list of places to stay during this physically taxing week that makes a comfortable bed feel like heaven at the end of the night.
Now, as far as affordability, there is no other festival in Austin that seems to be on the same caliber as SXSW when it comes to the amount of crazy talent putting on free performances and providing free food and beverages. But, if you want to go big this year, there is still time to enter in many contests that are giving away badges, VIP packages and other goodies. THAT MEANS FREE FOLKS.
- Okay, so how do I RSVP to the free shows and events?
Number 1 rule: create an email address JUST for SX or use one that you’ll remember you signed up for everything under the sun with. Done? Step 2.
Easy. We have dug up all of the announced events and free stuff coming this SXSW and put them on our site for you to simply click ‘RSVP‘ and put yourself on the list. Voila.
Pro Tip: Make sure after you RSVP that you share it on Facebook or Twitter so that your friends can do the same. You don’t want to miss out on a show because your buddies forgot to get on the list.
My organization, company, brand, band etc… would really like to host an unofficial party during SXSW, how do I find a good venue and their information?
Yes, we are here to help the people behind the parties too. We have put together a Pinterest board full of great venues around the city and provided their location and capacity. Once you click on a venue you are interested in, it will direct you back to our main site that provides contact information for booking.
- How can I get involved and be a part of the SXSW action?
Volunteer! SX is still looking for walk in volunteers as long as you’re a local. Register online before heading to their office.
TaskRabbit, an online and mobile marketplace that gets people in the same area to help each other out has created a portal for SXSW’s interactive portion. Users will go to the site and see a list of temporary tasks to sign up for such as street teams, product delivery and event staffs.
- How else can I prepare for South by Southwest?
Listen to our SXSW ’13 Spotify Playlist.
Subscribe. Listen. Learn the words. Revisit some old favorites and experience the unfamiliar. Use this playlist as the ultimate pre-workout before the music marathon ahead.
- Stay on top of the SXSW band rumors.
We are bonafide rumor mongers. They are swirling like madness. Follow Do512 on Twitter to keep up. From the Postal Service reunion that has everyone in a tizzy to the new Strokes album drop, we’re watching the bands as they make their moves and we’ll let you know as soon as we do!
To further your excitement, we have compiled a staff list of our most anticipated acts for this year’s SXSW:
Jimmy Stewart: Alt-J, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Cold War Kids, Portugal. The Man, Brushy One String, Aloe Blacc, Delicate Steve, Emmylou Harris, Richard Thompson, Field Report, Nathanial Rateliff, Kids These Days and Houndmouth
– via Courtney Goforth