SXSW 2012

21 Mar

 My experience at SXSW (without a badge)

First of all, I wouldn’t recommend traveling to  SXSW unless you have a badge/wristband or a couch to crash on. You will miss out on so many things with out a badge. Luckily, I had a couch to crash on so I went to see what all the fuss was about. Two words to summarize:


A word of advice, if you don’t have a badge consider investing in a service that will RSVP you to every event…it sucks to wait in a long line only to find out you didn’t RSVP.

SXSW is still fun even if you don’t have a badge, but you won’t get all the perks. Watch out for events that over advertise…you won’t get in. For example, the Mashable House. You could get in for free even without a badge as long as you had an RSVP. Day of event, I was notified that I now needed a badge (wtf?). I went to check it out anyways. The line wrapped all the way around the building and we got there 45 minutes before the event started. We asked the doorman if we’d be able to get in…NADA. Found out later Mashable had 14,000 RSVPs…the event was in a Bar that probably held 300 max! Oh and VIP’s had priority over badges here. I assumed that even if I got in I wouldn’t be able to take advantage of mingling with the creators of Mashable.

Watch out for unorganized events…I’m talking about you Nike + Fuel! We got in line 2 hours prior to the doors opening for this event and didn’t walk in until 4 hours later, only to find ourselves listening to the last 30 minutes of Girl Talk at 1am. Here’s something to note…Austinites and visitors to SXSW like to cut in line  (found this out from a local). Oh and this event was advertised as RSVPs having priority access over Badge holders as long as you entered their secret code they announced via twitter (false). We eventually got in and ran into the winner of Top Chef Texas, that made it worth it!

While some events were disorganized that is not the case for all.  Examples being the Spotify house and Ray Ban Legendary visions house…both of which did not over advertise. We were actually able to enjoy those experiences. I especially enjoyed being in the front row watching Fun. perform an acoustic set with a free Heineken 🙂

Take advantage of all the South By has to offer by following SXSW on Twitter, make sure to save a search to follow those hashtags and keep informed of what’s happening. It’s imperative! 🙂

Overall, SXSW is an amazing experience, definitely worth the trip if you are interested in interactive, music, and or film culture. Next year I will try going with a badge. I don’t want to miss out on all the informative panels and discussions.

See you next year SXSW!


p.s. This is a picture of the Doritos stage for music guests…pretty cool


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