Camille Styles

Exactly How to do SXSW, from a 20 Year Vet

March 6th, 2018

Editor’s Note: Andrea McAlister is an Austinite, lover of live music, and longtime friend of the blog. She dropped in to give us her best tips for surviving SXSW before hitting the streets for her twentieth year at the festival!

My first SXSW was in 1998. I was lucky enough to know Brent Grulke, the longtime SXSW Creative Director, and we would often share a pint as we got together a rough list of showcases to see for the music portion of the conference.

When it started back in 1987, South by Southwest was a music festival with about 700 attendees. Over the past 30 years, “South by” has grown to include film, interactive technology, comedy, and gaming. It’s now one of the largest music festivals in the world (as well as the craziest ten days of the year in Austin!) Most of my SX experiences were with a music wristband, but my tips are applicable to any part of the festival. Read on for my advice on how to survive SX in style:

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