SXSW Interactive and Music Beginners Guide – Some tips

Albert Hammond Jr, March 17 2018

This will be my eleventh year at SXSW, so it’s time to pay it forward with some tricks of the trade that I have acquired during my time there.

Don’t eat inside the conference center
You have failed if you do this. Austin is an amazing place for food. Don’t eat conference food. Go out and explore. Which leads me to the next thing:

Aside from Casino El Camino, skip 6th Street
Sure you might be tempted to jump to the street that everyone is on and eat there, but the food there is very average. You might be like, oh, there’s a lot of people there so it must be good. Look at those people – they are just kids.

Rainey Street food truck park is your friend
They usually set up a food truck area just south of Cesar Chavez and Red River. It’s pretty good.

Don’t Eat at Stubb’s
Stubb’s is great for shows and parties, don’t let that be your bbq experience. That’s like going to East Side Marios for Italian food. Opt for La Barbecue or rent a car and go to Salt Lick.

If you need to get somewhere fast, don’t walk across 6th street.
This will become obvious.

Line up early for popular talks
SXSW Conference rooms aren’t that big, even the biggest ones fill up quickly. If there is someone super popular talking this year, like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, you will most likely have to skip the previous hour’s talk to be comfortable.

Explore!
You would think it goes without saying, but walk around and just look for the crowd. There are a lot of well marketed parties to go to, but there are also a shitload of good parties with shitty marketing. These are the goldmines you stumble across with free top shelf liquor. Take the time to explore – don’t be afraid to go to East 6th, or Soco (South Congress)

During Interactive, you don’t need to pay for alcohol
UNLESS you want nice microbrews. If you are okay with your typical Lonestar, Austin Beer Works and Shiners, then you shouldn’t need to pay for any drinks.

Lineups are never worth it.
There’s really no point waiting an hour to go to Mashable so you can get your 1 free rum and coke and an Instagram picture of whatever is topical at the moment.

Do go to some of the nicer restaurants
There’s lots of good food in the places away from the core, so you should definitely go to them

Hopefully that helps.

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Posted on by Ricky in South By Southwest

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Britpop lovin Chinaman, consumer of all things irrelevant. Toronto Raptors fan.

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