SXSW 2015 Unofficial Guide


Slightly Updated SXSW 2016 Unofficial Guide

SXSW is a Music, Film and Interactive conference from March 13 – 22, which provides a chance to party with some of the greatest people on Earth. (Official SXSW Site)

SXSW 2014 had over 2300 official and unofficial artists!



  • ID
  • Cash/Credit card

Everyone Else

  • Bag – to hold other supplies and free swag (Timbuk2 Messenger Bag)
  • Poncho – Weather is crazy in Austin
  • Comfortable Shoes – e.g. Nike Air Pegasus
  • Sunscreen – at least SPF30
  • Lip balm
  • Wet-wipes
  • Quality Ear Plugs – Keeps ears healthy and drowns out side conversations (Etymotic Research ER20)
  • Extended battery pack – Your phone will die (small or large)
  • Phone Charger – You may forget to recharge your extended battery pack
  • Print outs of the parties you want to go to –Your phone will be slow

Getting Around

  • Pedicabs – staple of SXSW travel $5 – $20 to get most places
  • Taxis – Head to a hotel or I-35 access road to catch one
  • Taxis Alternatives – Uber and Lyft
  • Parking – Try to get downtown before noon
  • Walking – Lots
  • Bicycles – Helps cut down on the walking


Many SXSW attendees are here for business. So, expect a lot of side conversation during performances. If you are there for the music try to get to the front and remember earplugs.

  • RSVP for everything – create a separate email account (rsvpster)
  • Have a backup plan or four print them out (phones die)
  • Arrive early  – lining up an hour or two early is sometimes the only way to get into a “must see” party or shows
  • If you are not having fun, leave
  • Find new music
  • Make friends
  • Tip the bartender – even if the drinks are free


  • Some parties will have food – Check the RSVP (follow @SouthByFreeNOMS on Twitter)
  • Food Trucks are awesome
  • Taco, Taco, Taco– (Torchy’s Secret Menu – my pick is Trailer Park Hillbilly Style)
  • BBQ – If you need a break and have a car head to Lockhart for authentic Central Texas BBQ
  • Many more – Check Yelp or Urban Spoon

Official Music Showcases

  • Arrive early
  • Usually you can get in after the badges and wristbands for $5 – $15

SXSW Playlists

Must Follow Twitter Party People

Other SXSW Guides and Helpful Websites

SXSW 2015 Official Guest Pass Unofficial Guide

SXSW 2015 Unofficial Guide was originally published on Music Felon

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