Getting Around SXSW 2013 – Road Closures Report and Smart Options for Smart People

With the torrential flood of new souls jam packing into Austin for SXSW, it’s pretty easy to feel overwhelmed. The logistics of figuring out which street you should drive down to get to your favorite band before the venue is full is an all too familiar feeling for many of us.

Fortunately, with a bit of preparation, you can navigate the busy streets of Austin with relative ease. Within this post is some information to mitigate the hordes of people and closed roads that take hold during this hectic time of year. Here’s a super helpful map showing which roads will be closed for SXSW. Keep this thing handy, it could mean the difference between seeing the show of your life and getting stuck in traffic for 3 hours. Seriously.


(Awesome map borrowed from Click through for interactive version)

Below is a list of closed streets during SXSW:

  1. Sixth Street will be open 6 a.m. until 10 a.m. weekdays and Saturday, March 9, and Sunday, March 10.  Sixth Street will be open for deliveries to businesses inside the closure area  weekdays from 10 a.m. till 5 p.m.. It will be closed all day Saturday, March 16.
  2. The north to southbound streets crossing Sixth Street between Fifth and Seventh streets from San Jacinto Boulevard to Sabine Street will be closed 6 a.m. Friday, March 8, through 3 a.m. Sunday, March 17.
  3. Red River between Fifth and Seventh Streets will close starting March 8 at 6 a.m. Additional blocks from Seventh to 10th Streets will close starting at 6 a.m. Tuesday, March 12, through 3 a.m. Sunday, March 17, with the cross streets remaining open.
  4. Trinity Street, from Cesar Chavez Street to Fourth Street, will be closed from 7 a.m. Friday, March 8, to 3 a.m. Sunday, March 17.  East Second and Third streets from San Jacinto Boulevard to Trinity Street will also be closed during this time, and only open to local traffic.
  5. The Rainey Street neighborhood will be closed daily between to 6 p.m. to 3 a.m. from Friday, March 8, to Sunday, March 17.  All traffic must enter at River Street and there will be restricted access reserved for local businesses and residents.
  6. East Fifth Street, from IH-35 to Waller Street, will be closed Tuesday, March 12, at 6 p.m. to 3 a.m. Sunday, March 17.
  7. San Marcos Street, from Sixth to Fifth streets, will be closed Tuesday, March 12, at 6 p.m. to 3 a.m. Sunday, March 17.
  8. Brushy Street, from Sixth to Fifth streets, will be closed Tuesday, March 12, at 6 p.m. to 3 a.m. Sunday, March 17.
  9. Riverside Drive, from South First Street to the traffic circle, will be closed Thursday, March 14, until 3 a.m. Friday, March 15.  It will close again at 1 p.m. Friday, March 15, through 3 a.m. Sunday, March 17.

catch a chevy

Oh my land oh my stars – whatcha gon do? Thank the good people at SXSW for providing services like Catch-A-Chevy for you for starters.

They are back for the 3rd year in a row Chevy continues the tradition of free rides for all those who don a SXSW badge or wristband.  This SXSW-only experience is fun and pocketbook friendly!

Public Transportation Routes for SXSW

Throughout the 10-day festival, catch the MetroAirport flyer every 15 minutes with service to/from Austin-Bergstrom International Airport and the heart of downtown—for just $1 one way. The same low fares apply to all of Capital Metro’s local bus routes. Plan your trip using the online trip planner, or scan the QR code at your bus stop to get next bus information for that stop.

Take the train to downtown. Capital Metro is extending weekend hours and increasing weekday frequency on MetroRail, a 32-mile commuter rail line that connects 9 stations between downtown Austin and Leander to the north.  Buy tickets at vending machines conveniently located at the stations.

For late night traveling, try Capital Metro’s Night Owl or E-Bus, with service until 3 a.m.

Public transport not your jam? There’s a car for that. 


By the way, Car2Go and Do512 have partnered up for a pretty sweet SXSW deal. Our facebook post said it best “Do512’ers! Get Free Registration + 30 Free Minutes from our friends at car2go Austin, now thru Mar 8. A $46 Value, no strings attached.


If you’re the more athletically inclined type of person, nothing beats this classic. Bikes provide an unparalleled parking advantage as well as mobility. We won’t insult your intelligence by explaining the concept of a bicycle to you. We will however, link you to a local business that rents them out for a good price.


Have fun and be safe out there!


One Response to Getting Around SXSW 2013 – Road Closures Report and Smart Options for Smart People

  1. Don’t forget that Dadnab provides transit directions and next arrival times by text message. The signage at every bus and rail stop in town has instructions on how to use Dadnab in addition to the QR code and Go Line options. I created and currently operate the service. We average more than 6,500 queries and 3,500 unique users per day here in Austin.

    Another app, RideScout, provides information that enables users to choose from a number of different mobility options to reach their destinations. (I have no affiliation with RideScout.)

    Lots of great technology options out there to help with mobility during SXSW and year ’round!

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