SXSW Tips from a Third-Year
- About two or three weeks ahead of time, listen to music. Find out who is new, whose sound you like, and who has generated buzz lately. I always trust Paste Magazine's list of who's-who, and NPR usually publishes a list of the top 100 bands to watch out for. Let this be your guide to who you plan to see.
- About a week or two ahead of time, start RSVP-ing like crazy. Paste Magazine, The Fader, SPIN Magazine. Do a lot of Internet research! Google "SXSW secret shows" or visit the Rolling Stones Web site.
- Pick a handful of bands you really, really want to see, and schedule your week around those. Then just mosey around and be spontaneous. Apart from those select bands on your must-see list, be flexible.
- Don't forget about the films! Often, the filmmakers are there to answer questions after the screening.
- Wear sunscreen! (Don't forget your scalp!)
- Wear comfortable shoes; you will be walking -- and possibly dancing -- a lot.
- If you don't have a badge or a wristband, get to venues at least an hour to an hour and a half ahead of time.
- Park at the 10-dollar garage on 2nd and Brazos. (Or better, ride a bike!)
- Park at Whole Foods for shows at Waterloo Records. Be prepared for mob-like crowds.
- Day shows are usually free.
- Try the venues that are far away from 6th Street; they often have lots of free stuff (e.g., bags, aluminum water bottles, t-shirts, foodstuffs, etc.)
Do you have any useful tips for SX? What have you learned that others should know? (Feel free to disagree with my tips!)
Thing I'm thankful for: validation in the form of Facebook likes. :)