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