What Is SXSW?
Every year in March since 1987, hundreds of thousands of people flock to the city of Austin, Texas. SXSW is 10 days long and has three main sections (not counting food). The three parts to SXSW is that there is a film festival (SXSW Film), a tech or "interactive" festival (SXSWi), and a music festival (SXSW Music Music).
The tech or interactive part of SXSW starts March 13th, and ends March 21st, 2020.
The film festival for SXSW starts March 13th and ends March 21st, 2019.
The music festival for SXSW starts March 16th and ends March 22nd, 2019.
Here's a great resource if you're wanting to know the real-time countdown to SXSW 2020.
What makes SXSW so different from other festivals is that not only is it three festivals in one, but that the entire festival covers the entire city of Austin, Texas.
There are official SXSW showcases and events and there are also unofficial SXSW events.
What Is The Official Way Of Attending SXSW?
If you’re wanting to officially be an attendee at SXSW, you have to go register at SXSW.com and purchase one of the 5 available official SXSW badge types (see below).
Here's a video explaining the different types of SXSW badges that are available.
Official SXSW badges are quite expensive. If you're attending SXSW and are willing to wait in lines, you don't need a SXSW badge.
The three main advantages of having an official SXSW badge are:
1.You get to skip the lines for official SXSW events.
2. There are events that only allow people who have official SXSW badges to attend.
3. You can hop to official SXSW event to official SXSW event because you get to skip the line. Meaning, you get to attend more events than someone who has to wait hours to enter each event.
What Is The Unofficial Way Of Attending SXSW?
Do you need an official badge to attend SXSW?
No. If you are not wanting to spend several hundreds of dollars on a badge but are willing to wait in lines, you can still have a blast attending SXSW.
How do I do SXSW without a badge?
There are plenty of unofficial SXSW events and showcases that go on throughout the week that you don't need an official badge to attend. The only downside about unofficial SXSW events is that they are hard to find if you don't know what you're doing. Lucky for you, we have you covered.
1. Be sure to RSVP to all of the unofficial SXSW showcases that are announced throughout the month of February and right before the festival. You want to RSVP as soon as you can because a lot of these showcases only take a certain number of RSVPs until they close the event to the public.
Head on over to our SXSW 2019 RSVP SHOWCASES AND PARTIES LIST to start RSVPing to unofficial showcases. We update the SXSW RSVP list daily so be sure to bookmark the page.
Keep in mind, even if you have an official badge, you still need to RSVP to unofficial showcases most of the time. Unfortunately, it’s highly advised you RSVP to everything just to be safe.
2. Be sure to follow us on Twitter and Facebook or another SXSW influencer throughout the festival.
There are surprise pop-up shows and events throughout the festival, brands giving out free food, free drinks, free gear, and numerous big named celebrities hosting surprise events. If you're not on Twitter before and during SXSW, you will definitely miss out.
3. If you have a band or artist that you really want to see, you need to get to the event early. In order to ensure you get in, you need to get to the venue by 11:00 AM and save your spot in line. What makes SXSW so incredible is that huge artists perform throughout the festival and you don't always need a badge to get in and see them. However, the venues fill up fast and if you get to a venue that is hosting a big named artist early on, you most likely won't get in.