Every year South by Southwest experiences exponential growth. What once started out as a moderately sized festival that mostly featured local artists has transformed into a large scale festival that receives visitors from around the globe. Between celebrity appearances and the amount of guerrilla adverting SXSW has become difficult to keep low key. During mid-march the city of Austin experiences an influx visitors, an increase in traffic and stress. Navigating through Austin can become a nightmare during the festival, especially for SXSW "newbies". Following the tips listed below can help anyone thoroughly enjoy their SXSW experience.
1. Alternative modes of transportation
Driving your own vehicle during SXSW should be your last option. Traffic is horrendous and parking is atrocious during the festival. For this reason consider other methods of transportation. Study Capitol Metro bus routes and plan your trips accordingly. Although the public transit system in Austin may not be as developed as those in other regions, bus routes do exist that can transport you to south and east austin. These areas are where most of action takes place during SXSW. Other methods like ride share services and pedicabs are also available.
2. Utilize social media
Social media platforms can be a very useful tool during SXSW. Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, etc can all become sources of information. During the festival hashtags and snap stories will be created, through these mediums you can gather information to guide your SXSW experience. Not only are these social media sites helpful for connecting and socializing, but they are also helpful for relaying urgent news. Last year when the drunk driver collided with pedestrians, people took to Twitter before most news outlets were able to. Distributing this information quickly via Twitter prevented people from congregating in that area and being harmed.
3. Pack accordingly
When you venture out for SXSW you are never quite sure what time you will return home. Long lines, large crowds, and heavy traffic can significantly alter your plans for that day. For this reason pack for every possible scenario. Pack a charger, water bottle, extra cash, gear to protect you from the sun. Spring weather in Austin is usually pleasant, but the temperature can drop at night. Be sure to pack a light jacket to keep warm. If there is any chance of rain it would be wise to include an umbrella or poncho. Being caught in the rain while waiting in line can become very unpleasant very quickly.
4. Be smart
Being smart during SXSW can range from drinking responsibly to removing yourself from ridiculously long lines. Even with a badge or wristband venues can be difficult to enter, plan your time wisely. Some shows may not be worth the wait, some may be. Always be aware of your surroundings and any potential dangers. Never get behind the wheel if you have been drinking. Designate a driver, if this is not possible take a cab.
Enjoy yourself and make lasting memories during this SXSW.
If you are the victim of a negligent driver during SXSW, feel free tocontact us at Kyle Law.