One of the largest music festivals in the US, SXSW Music is held annually in Austin, Texas. This year’s fest runs from March 13-18th and will include over 2,000 performers at over 90 venues around the city. As an independent artist, SXSW is one of the best ways to stay on top of trends, learn new things, and best of all: network with influential people in the industry.
If you’re attending, you likely have your travel plans in place. If not, you should figure it soon – at this late in the game, you’ll be hard up to find a hotel room. Here are a couple tips on finding room and board:
Hotel: It’s too late – hotels in Austin fill up fast. But, it’s not too late to find a couch, a room or a house to rent from Craigslist, Couchsurfing.com or from friends of friends. Get the word out – you might be able to find a better location, and at a cheaper rate than a hotel.
Flight: You’ll likely notice that flights aren’t cheap for SXSW. However, if your arrival and departure times are flexible, set fare alerts on Priceline or a similar site and you might just get a bargain.
And if your plans are already set, there are few things you should remember to pack (or buy immediately when you arrive):
- Sunscreen: Remember, you’ll be in Texas and you’ll be outside checking out shows in the blazing sun. Do yourself a favor and put on some sunscreen.
- Earplugs: Don’t be a tough guy/gal. Your hearing is a vital part of your career. Make your hearing last by bringing along earplugs – and remember to use them.
- Water: It gets hot. And you’ll be bouncing around from show to show. You might even partake in a few adult beverages along the way. Bring along a refillable water bottle so you can stay hydrated.
- Notepad: You’re going to see so much music and meet so many people that it will be hard to remember who’s who. Bring along a notepad to jot down the things you’ll need to remember – and follow up on post-fest.
Bottom line: if you go, see as much music as you can, learn as much as you can, and network as much as you can. It’s exhausting, but well worth the trip!
Tell us what you think! Are you going to SXSW? Have any tips you’d care to share about making the most of the festival?
The SongCast Crew