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How to Enjoy South By Southwest Without a Badge

How to Enjoy South By Southwest Without a Badge

The city is almost ready for another year of South by Southwest! Hotels are booked, installations are being constructed and Austin is already buzzing with activity. While badges get you into high-profile shows, films, and interactive events, it’s still possible to experience everything the festival has to offer without having platinum credentials.

Whether you’re looking for live music, creative meetups, engaging shows or networking opportunities, SXSW has it all. Here are a few guides to take a look at before heading to the festival.

Unofficial Parties and Free Shows

From major venues to neighborhood hangouts, bands big and small will be playing anywhere and everywhere during SXSW. Click here for a list of free shows and unofficial SXSW parties.

Free SXSW Official Events

If you want to experience SXSW without spending a penny, these free events are worth looking into. Since they are a part of the official festival, they do require a free SXSW Guest Pass. Click here for more information on SXSW free official events.

How to Get Around the City During SXSW

With such an influx of visitors, the city tends to experience far more traffic than usual during SXSW. Capital Metro offers a wide variety of inexpensive ways to get around the city, as well as weekly tickets so you don’t have to pay each time you ride. Click here for more information on how to beat SXSW traffic.

Other Tips & Things to Keep in Mind

SXSW can seem overwhelming without having experienced it before, but these tips are guaranteed to have you prepared.

  • RSVP to events that interest you on Facebook or Eventbrite so it's easy to keep track of what you may be attending in one place

  • Roads can be congested - wear comfortable walking shoes and save time between events by walking

  • Pack a few snacks to get you through the day if you have multiple back-to-back events you're trying to make it to

  • If you have a festival badge, download the SXSW mobile app to access the full schedule and network with people on-the-go

  • You can experience SXSW by walking through downtown - there are installations, events, and shows on every block

If you want to enjoy the festival with the comfort of a festival badge, there is still time to register. Let the festival begin!

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