BeatRoute’s guide to make it home alive
By Colin Gallant
CALGARY – While top picks for this annual Austin-based festival include your next faves Ed Schrader’s Music Beat, Essaie Pas and Look Vibrant (read about ‘em in our Reviews), massive debuts by Max Richter and Wes Anderson, West-Can treasures Blessed, The Dead South and Faith Healer, Eastern Canadian acts like Cadence Weapon, FRIGS and Tasha The Amazon, critical darlings Porches, Shamir and White Reaper, boss-tier showcasers Burger Records, LEVITATION and ShowTime, plus uber-headliners TBA, what we really want to tell you is how to survive nine days of high-humidity, heat and hustle.
One: Stay out of the bustle.
Unless Daddy is paying for it, there’s no reason to splurge on a hotel. Team BR is paying $145 CAD each, per person, for a week of accommodations. It’s South of the river, but you can find similar prices in (far) East Austin, and will pay about $20 USD amongst your squad for rideshares (Lyft, Uber, RideAustin, Fasten) to and from the lit district per day. There are bike rentals available, too. Oh, and there will be other great stuff near you – remember that Austin is still an excellent city when it’s not SX.
Two: Rest like a pro.
Austin has a wealth of swimming holes and relaxed places to recoup, many of which offer fine food and great times without live music. We suggest, alternatives to breaking into hotel pools for swimming such as Barton Springs and Easy Tiger for excellent sandwiches, baked goods and beers. Then head over to Prohibition Creamery for a dose of boozy ice cream. Remember to set aside your pride and accept that you will get tired.
Three: Unofficial, RSVPs & wristbands.
You can’t really go wrong with non-official approaches to SXSW. There are so many corporate showcases that are free to the public with RSVP, you almost won’t be jealous of your friends with badges. There are also backyard parties. Look at EventBrite, Oh My Rockness, Unofficial SXSW Guide, Do512, look up SXSW Guest Pass or just talk to pals who are going to the fest to find your way into open bars and awesome showcases. Be nice to everyone you talk to; they might be a CEO or someone who likes inviting people to parties.
If you’re like us and go to SX mainly to see music, a $200 USD music wristband can be purchased in person on site. While a music badge will cost you $1350, a wristband gets you similar access to most small-medium shows. Artist wristbands receive last priority entry, so if you’re attending as a performer, RSVPs are especially important.
Four: Find your peoples.
Go to showcases and events you could do at home but don’t. BreakOut West, Halifax Pop Explosion and POP Montreal are just the beginning. Put in a little legwork on the official schedule and register for SXSW Social if you’re able — you don’t have to break a sweat networking if you know where to find your peers.
If you feel like finding us BR folks during SXSW, just use the tips above or hit us up at firstname.lastname@example.org. Happy SXing, and we are not liable for any of this.
South by Southwest takes place March 9 to March 18 at various venues around Austin, Texas. For details visit https://www.sxsw.com/Artist wristbands, Barton Springs, Blessed, BreakOut West, Burger Records, Cadence Weapon, Do512, Easy Tiger, Ed Schrader’s Music Beat, Essaie Pas, EventBrite, Faith Healer, Frigs, Halifax Pop Explosion, hotel pools, LEVITATION, Look Vibrant, Max Richter, music wristband, Oh My Rockness, pals, POP Montreal, Porches, Prohibition Creamery, Shamir, ShowTime, SXSW Guest Pass, SXSW Social, Tasha The Amazon, TBA, The Dead South, Unofficial SXSW Guide, Wes Anderson, White Reaper