I’d been hoping to attend SxSW for some time, and this year, I was determined to make it happen. I had my transportation and my accommodations. I consulted others that had attended prior and even read articles on how to “survive.” I was totally prepared. I’ve been to countless other music festivals, so this wasn’t going to be any different.
I’ll start by saying that SxSW 2013 is one of my favorite memories and was worth every minute, but as others explained, your first one often ends up being much more of a learning experience than you’d probably expect. Instead of focusing on the music that moved me this trip, I thought you would be better served with a bit of advice so you can learn from my experiences and be sure to catch the music that moves YOU at the next SXSW.
Wear comfortable shoes.
I thought my shoes were comfortable, but I hadn’t tried walking miles and miles in them. Running a 5k in your cute shoes is probably a good preparatory activity. I didn’t realize how much walking you could do in one week. By the third day when I was hobbling around, I’m pretty sure everyone knew I wasn’t a veteran.
Stay close to the action.
When your cab money starts adding up and it becomes increasingly harder to actually get one, you’ll thank me. I spent a lot of time learning about and understanding the city, which should come in handy in the future.
You won’t see everyone you wanted to see, and it’s better to accept that from the beginning. It’s impossible. With everyone playing at the same time all over the city, and especially if you don’t have a badge or wristband and have to wait in lines wrapping around the venue, it’s just not realistic. Make a (very) tentative schedule ahead of time, it’ll save you frustration later.
You and I both will be more prepared next go around.
But that said, I loved Austin. It was my first time there, and it’s a really great city based on my week there. I was able to catch one of our current interns’ band, Pillage & Plunder. I met up with an old roommate. I was able to see several of the artists that I had hoped to catch including Lord Huron, Thao & the Get Down Stay Down, and Terror Pigeon Dance Revolt. I discovered a few new favorites, saw live music on the top deck of a boat, and I ate more tacos in one week than average. That alone was completely worth it.
(Becka Hardy – Neurotic Media Label Relations & Account Management)