I was born in Austin.
When SXSW started I simply found it aggravating to have so many tourists in town… blocking up I-35. And living in the “Live Music Capital of the World“- we had/have access to talented musicians all the time. So why fight the crowd?
After returning to Austin recently, I decided to see what all the hub-bub of SXSW was all about. My friend suggested that I volunteer to earn access to the $1200 Interactive badge I desired. Here’s my post about volunteering at SXSW.
If I am in Austin next year, I will do some things differently. And there were some genius ideas that I will keep (bring snacks). If you are a native Austinite or will be living like one during SXSW, here are a few tips for how to get the most bang for your buck.
- Bring snacks – don’t be lazy. You won’t want to pack them in the morning but then you will be hungry later and wish you had. I found it difficult to find quick and healthy snacks. Here are some of my favorite travel snacks.
- Park east of I-35 for free, but be wary of random parking rules. I got a ticket for parking within 20 feet of a crosswalk. 20 feet? Who knew that was a rule? Thanks, Austin. #notcool
- Don’t buy a SXSW badge. Unless someone buys it for you, of course. I just don’t think you will get your money’s worth. The lines were so long it was amusement-park-esque. The lines were so long, we never got in to many SXSW Interactive parties and sessions. Not cool when the ticket price is so high.
- Consider volunteering. If you volunteer for a minimum of 60 hours you can get a badge to one of the three elements comprising #SXSW. I volunteered this year. Once was enough.
- Make #SXSW friends online and in real life. Before, after and during are all good times to connect with the interesting cast SXSW attracts.
Overall, I’m glad I did it. I enjoyed the experience and met some truly interesting and extra-ordinary people. I rarely regret new adventures and now I can scratch this off “the list”. I’ll probably make an appearance again next year… after re-reading this post.
Did I miss anything? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.
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