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*BaseClogger*
08-27-2012, 11:59 PM
Has anybody ever attended SXSW? One of my college friends has relocated to Dallas and I can get free flights to Houston through work, and since my friends are all film nerds/music fanatics/general party animals we've talked about making the Spring trip down to Austin.

However, none of us are interested in the actual convention (it's very expensive).

Concerns:

Will we be able to get a hotel room for less than $200 a night that is within a reasonable distance to downtown?

Are we going to be able to get into any film screenings without the convention badge? We'd be willing to wait in lengthy lines

I know they call it a music festival but... isn't it basically just a bunch of independent shows in one town over a one week period? What are prices like?

Thanks to anybody with any experiences or knowledge they can share!

fearofpopvol1
08-28-2012, 02:45 PM
I've been to the sxsw music festival and it's an absolute blast if you're going to just enjoy the music (as opposed to going for work purposes)!

If you're planning on going, you should start looking for a hotel now. But even then, it could be too late. The hotel rooms fill up incredibly fast in advance. If you can find a room, I would think you could find $200 a night, but it could be more like $250 in downtown. If you don't care about close proximity, then I think you could easily find something under $200 a little ways out. But you'll find it's not all that convenient.

I don't know how long you're planning on going by. Maybe the other parts of the festival are less crazy than the music one. Unfortunately, I don't know the answer to the film portion, as I haven't been.

Your best bet is to buy a wristband for the music festival. It's still pricey, but a much better deal than the badge. The only real value the badge has is the panels and the badges get let in first to the shows. This will matter for some shows, but not for most. As long as your close to the front of the line with a wristband, you're not likely to have any problems getting into shows. I've never gone without having a badge or a wristband. I think you could probably do it, but you'll probably have issues getting into some shows. Nearly every artist plays multiple shows and some play parties that you can RSVP to for free. Some of the best ones though are private/exclusive and you'll need to know someone to get guestlisted for.

Australian Red
08-29-2012, 10:36 PM
This is definetly on my bucket list, my housemate and eye discussed going to this as one of our mates is getting married and moving to Texas about 30 minutes out of Austin.

*BaseClogger*
08-30-2012, 02:04 AM
I've been to the sxsw music festival and it's an absolute blast if you're going to just enjoy the music (as opposed to going for work purposes)!

If you're planning on going, you should start looking for a hotel now. But even then, it could be too late. The hotel rooms fill up incredibly fast in advance. If you can find a room, I would think you could find $200 a night, but it could be more like $250 in downtown. If you don't care about close proximity, then I think you could easily find something under $200 a little ways out. But you'll find it's not all that convenient.

I don't know how long you're planning on going by. Maybe the other parts of the festival are less crazy than the music one. Unfortunately, I don't know the answer to the film portion, as I haven't been.

Your best bet is to buy a wristband for the music festival. It's still pricey, but a much better deal than the badge. The only real value the badge has is the panels and the badges get let in first to the shows. This will matter for some shows, but not for most. As long as your close to the front of the line with a wristband, you're not likely to have any problems getting into shows. I've never gone without having a badge or a wristband. I think you could probably do it, but you'll probably have issues getting into some shows. Nearly every artist plays multiple shows and some play parties that you can RSVP to for free. Some of the best ones though are private/exclusive and you'll need to know someone to get guestlisted for.

Lots of great info here, thanks.

I didn't see anything about a wristband as apposed to a badge on the SXSW website... does a wristband get you into as many shows as you want as long as it is affiliated with SXSW? Is it about half the cost of a badge--$300?

fearofpopvol1
08-30-2012, 06:15 AM
Lots of great info here, thanks.

I didn't see anything about a wristband as apposed to a badge on the SXSW website... does a wristband get you into as many shows as you want as long as it is affiliated with SXSW? Is it about half the cost of a badge--$300?

It looks like last year, they didn't put the wristbands on sale or announce them until early February (probably because they want to sell as many badges as possible). Last year, badges were $149 for the first 2,000 purchases made through the website - after that, the price increased to $175. I remember when they used to be $60! My guess is this year they are probably $175 for the first 2000 and $199 after. It's the best deal by far still.

I should say that again, badge or wristband, the lines will always dictate whether you can get into a show or not. And the badge holders are let in first. Last time I went, I did have a badge and had no issues getting into any shows. I had friends get in with wristbands with no problems as long as they lined up early (more so than me). I can't say for certain that it will be the case this next year, but I think you should be fine if I had to guess. I just don't want to sway you from a badge and you try to go to the toughest show of the festival to get into and there are more badge holders present and you get left out. That's not an impossibility. But as I mentioned before, a lot of acts play more shows than 1 and if so, chances are you can get into another one of that artist's shows.

pedro
08-30-2012, 01:54 PM
Austin is a great town. I have heard that SXSW can be a bit of a bear though and as someone who has gone to ACL Fest there a couple of times I would expect that hotels will book fast and be quite expensive as SXSW is even bigger than ACL.

*BaseClogger*
08-30-2012, 08:04 PM
It looks like last year, they didn't put the wristbands on sale or announce them until early February (probably because they want to sell as many badges as possible). Last year, badges were $149 for the first 2,000 purchases made through the website - after that, the price increased to $175. I remember when they used to be $60! My guess is this year they are probably $175 for the first 2000 and $199 after. It's the best deal by far still.

When you say badge did you mean wristband? The badges for this year are $625 and come with all kinds of features I don't need. I just want to get drunk and see a cool band every night haha...

fearofpopvol1
08-30-2012, 11:56 PM
When you say badge did you mean wristband? The badges for this year are $625 and come with all kinds of features I don't need. I just want to get drunk and see a cool band every night haha...

No, the 2 are different. The wristbands are strictly for shows (without the extra features) and it goes on sale in February.

*BaseClogger*
08-31-2012, 12:11 AM
No, the 2 are different. The wristbands are strictly for shows (without the extra features) and it goes on sale in February.

So badges were $175 last year and they are $625 this year?

fearofpopvol1
08-31-2012, 12:21 AM
So badges were $175 last year and they are $625 this year?

No, the wristbands were $175 last year. Not sure how much the badges were. I imagine the wristbands will be around $200 this year. Badges are on sale now, wristbands won't go on sale until February. They do this to get people to buy the badges, as they are obviously much more expensive (and more profitable for the festival). The wristbands will get you into all of the shows (that aren't private) so long as there is room. The badges get preferential access first, though. Does this make sense?

*BaseClogger*
09-03-2012, 07:26 PM
No, the wristbands were $175 last year. Not sure how much the badges were. I imagine the wristbands will be around $200 this year. Badges are on sale now, wristbands won't go on sale until February. They do this to get people to buy the badges, as they are obviously much more expensive (and more profitable for the festival). The wristbands will get you into all of the shows (that aren't private) so long as there is room. The badges get preferential access first, though. Does this make sense?

Got it. Thanks for being patient with me haha. I'm not interested in the badges, but we might try to grab wristbands in February...

fearofpopvol1
09-03-2012, 10:40 PM
Got it. Thanks for being patient with me haha. I'm not interested in the badges, but we might try to grab wristbands in February...

If I were you, that's what I do. It's a much better deal and should be fine I assume for your needs.