Our tips for not just surviving but thriving at SXSW
Each March, the city of Austin grows just a bit more crowded during the South by Southwest Conference and Festivals. Whether it’s first-timers navigating through crowds of fellow attendees or Austinites embracing hometown perks, the 10-day event can be exhausting and even overwhelming for any festivalgoer. That’s where we come in. All it takes is minimal planning in order to maximize everything SXSW has to offer. Consider this your cheat sheet on how to get there, what to wear, essentials to bring along and key advice easily misplaced between the hustle and bustle of long lines and crowded venues.
Last year, Uber and Lyft did big business during the fest, but both companies left Austin in May. Smaller, less well-known services such as Fare, RideAustin and Wingz are now available.
SXSW chose Fasten as its official ride-hailing partner; attendees can use a promo code for $5 off a first ride. On a page with transportation options, SXSW also says Mazda will give free rides downtown to those who register with Mazda for a wristband.
Plan ahead with short-term car rental service Car2go and avoid the possibility of surging prices or canceled requests. Once at your destination, eliminate the stress of finding Austin’s hidden gold mines — aka an empty parking spot — by utilizing Car2go’s drop zones: four locations staffed each day of SXSW in the heart of the festival area to drop off or pick up any of their vehicles.
If craving a more scenic route, look into Austin B-Cycle. The official bike-renting service of SXSW allows for extended use, day or night, by simply swiping a credit card.
The most cost-effective means of transportation? Your own two feet! Accept the fact that walking
If you’re going to South by Southwest, you’ll probably be standing in a line at some point. Wear comfortable shoes, and take advantage of the time by talking with those around you — you never know what hot tips you might get from fellow festgoers.
South by Southwest hosts free concerts at Auditorium Shores the last weekend of the festival.