2019 SXSW Festival: Everything You Should Know

Posted by Alex Lewis on Monday, February 25th, 2019 at 10:03am.

2019 sxsw festival: everything you should know

The hype surrounding South by Southwest (SXSW) may sound hard to live up to. But Austinites and attendees from across the globe will tell you that this springtime event doesn’t disappoint.

For concert enthusiasts, there are concerts in every corner of the city, from new artists to old-timey bands. You can find live music playing in the airport, small bars, street corners, and of course, at Austin’s largest stadiums and concert halls.

SXSW Film brings in moviemakers and films from many cultures and walks of life, everything from Indie to blockbuster hits.

Any aspect of SXSW is renowned for networking opportunities. But SXSW Interactive is where some people really get their product pitches and business cards ready. Many now-celebrity business owners like Tim Ferriss even point to SXSW as an event that gave them some of their first big breaks.

With so many celebrities, ideas, and interest in one place, SXSW is always packed with surprises. You may stroll into a restaurant only to learn that some startup has sponsored that hours food and drinks — yep, your meal and beverage are on them. You may stand in line next to hosts of your favorite podcast.

Live music everywhere you turn, free food and drinks, opportunities for life changing encounters — all tied together with the inherent weirdness of Austin, Texas. That’s the expectation many people rightfully bring to SXSW. The event delivers on those expectations year after year.

Here’s what you should know if you want to attend SXSW 2019:

General SXSW Information

2019 Dates

SXSW Begins: March 8
Final Day: March 17


Platinum (All-access): $1,650
Interactive: $1,325
Film: $1,325
Music: $1,325


Student and Company Group discounts are also available. Learn more and buy tickets here.

It's also good to remember that SXSW takes over Austin. While the best content and experiences every year come with your ticket purchase, there are always dozens (if not hundreds) of free activities, concerts, giveaways, and more. Even if you can’t afford a ticket to SXSW, you can still experience many periphery events.

SXSW Music

SXSW Music is the hardest part to miss. Literally, there are stages all across the city — you won’t miss it.

Every year hundreds of musicians, representing every genre you might imagine, come to Austin for a week and a half of performances. Big-name concerts fill out Austin’s largest theaters or outdoor stadiums. Smaller acts perform in bars, the airport, coffee shops, restaurants, and beyond.

As alluded to before, there is a free side to SXSW. Most complimentary SXSW experiences and giveaways revolve around music. Many concerts — free or paid — have additional sponsored drinks, entertainment, and food.

The performing bands are too many to begin listing. If you want to know if one of your favorite artists is performing, search for them on the SXSW website.


Filmmakers and movie enthusiasts attend SXSW Film for its great fun, competitive awards, and industry networking opportunities. The buzz of Hollywood hits downtown Austin for 9 days.

Like SXSW Music, the scale and variety in SXSW Film is hard to beat. With a mix of blockbuster and indie movies from across the U.S. and world, there’s a little bit of something for everyone.

Plus, with actors and filmmakers present to promote their films, attendees can enjoy in-depth interviews and opportunities to meet and hangout with the stars.

Theaters are spread across Austin, with many showings going on at the same time. If you ever miss a film you wanted to see, there’s a good chance it may play again on another day of the festival.

Here’s where you can learn more about the films showing this year.

SXSW Interactive

Practice your book pitch, get that minimum viable product ready to show, and pack lots of extra business cards. SXSW Interactive is an opportunity to network, get inspired, and learn.

SXSW is one of the most respected events in the country for hearing renowned speakers. Every year, authors, politicians, entrepreneurs, musicians, and filmmakers take the stage to spread creativity and ideas.

This year, many notable speakers are in the lineup including Brene Brown, Tim Ferriss, Neil Gaiman, and Michael Pollan, just to name a few.

Beyond networking and live talks, SXSW Interactive also includes opportunities like SXSW Pitch. Come hear about the latest breakthroughs in technology, as speakers present their ideas and products before judges and the crowd. Many presenters even provide demonstrations, so you can try innovative products, often before they hit the mass-market.

Find out more about SXSW Interactive here.

Whether you’re attending to watch your favorite musicians, watch the latest films, or catch your big break, SXSW is an experience you don’t want to miss. If you have additional questions about SXSW, visit their website: sxsw.com.

Enjoy the shows.

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