If you’ve paid for food or drinks, you’re doing it wrong. Seriously, there is SO MUCH going on during the week of SXSW that venues at this point know they have to provide free drinks or food just to get you more inclined to come to their party as opposed to the party across the street. Always tip your bartender though!
Avoid doing SXSW with a large group of friends. In fact, I’d say try to only do it with one other person or even alone if you prefer to just meet up with various people at different spots. Sticking to a large group makes it harder to navigate since everyone wants to see different things + not everyone will get into the same venues.
Hydrate hydrate hydrate. All those free drinks can be exciting, I know–but no one wants to be ~~that person~~ asleep or sick on a sidewalk somewhere because they forgot to drink water. DON’T BE THAT PERSON.
Don’t give up when you’re SO CLOSE to getting in. If you’ve already waited 3 hours to see a show you really want to see and you’re right by the door… might as well stick it out. You will more than likely get in. Also, trying to bribe the door guy couldn’t hurt.
But also know when to call it. If you’re at the back of some line early on and the venue is at capacity, get out of there! Go do something else! Go try something new, go see a band you’ve never heard of before, go expand your horizons! You never know. Plus, it’s not like you’ll never see that artist you’re missing perform ever again, right? You win some, you lose some. That’s the game of SXSW.
p.s. For old time’s sake, check out my SXSW tips from a few years ago that still hold true today.
F21 cop top
Agaci plaid top
Charlie Southern TX cap via Shop Riff Raff
Sam Edelman boots
Urban Outfitters backpack
Ray Ban sunglasses