Melz SXSW Tips For Central Texas Residents
I've been attending SXSW since I first heard of it in 2008 after living in Central Texas for several years. It was mostly an underground phenomenon among Austin residents and music heads in the know. The following year, when Twitter became big, SXSW exploded once word got out around the world about its existence and since then its become THE go to event for music lovers and party people of all kinds every spring. Yet every year, I'm always amazed at how little folks here in our area are aware of it, and with everything wrapping up this weekend, I know some of you are very curious to see and know what its about, but I must warn you, IT. IS. A. LOT. to take in, to help you be prepared, here are a few tips to help make your SXSW a little more fun!
Ladies, I know most of you are going to disregard this tip but there's a reason its NUMBER ONE. Every year I see ladies put on their best dresses and outfits with heels only to see that beautiful look you put together get destroyed by the Texas humidity. Not to mention, you will be potentially doing a LOT of walking and standing so leave those stilettos at home and wear sneakers and something comfortable.
What? You thought you was just going to waltz into your a concert for free? Nah, SXSW has THOUSANDS of shows going on simultaneously, but if you want to see the bigger name acts, you're going to have to wait in line. At most "Official" venues, registered attendees get first access to all shows, then wristband holders, and if the venue hasn't reached capacity, THEN the general public will be allowed to enter and while some will charge a cover at the door, most don't. The cool thing about waiting in line is, meeting new friends, like these good folks from Canada who hooked me up tickets to their movie premiere.
Unless you're prepared to pay $5 or more per ATM transaction, I STRONGLY recommend keeping cash on you! Some bars are requiring a $50 minimum on bar tabs, so unless you're planning on spending that much on drinks, again, I recommend CASH!
Be careful of WHERE you park, unless you're willing to pay the PRICE GOUGING some garages are doing, your BEST option is to find a parking space FAR from everything and WALK or take an Uber or Pedi-Cab to your destination. If you choose to park downtown, just keep your eyes open for open spaces but make sure there aren't any "towing" signs or you'll wish you paid the $80 this garage is asking for.
One thing you probably didn't know is that Killeen, Temple, Fort Hood, Harker Heights, Copperas Cove, and several other cities in our listening area are eligible to purchase wristbands online while the rest of the country has to pony up when they arrive. Wristbands gets you expedited entry into a lot of events, but you'll still have to wait in line in some places. Check out SXSW official website for details.
Need I say more? I-35 has already been a NIGHTMARE for years and this week only intensifies its insanity, so find every possible route available to avoid having to take I-35 into downtown Austin.