How to get the most out of your SXSW 2017 Experience

South by Southwest is a whirlwind experience that converges film, music and interactive industries through conferences, exhibits and, of course, the well-known festivals.

It is a multidimensional experience that is sure to be a highlight of the year.

Annually, over 100,000 people attend and participate in the festival. With numbers that high, it’s nearly impossible to head to Austin without a strategy for your transport, lodging, getting around and all the other tiny details that come into play.

Here are some pro tips to get the most out of your SXSW 2017 experience.

SXSW 2017
Photo by Mark Scott

SXSW Dates

The music festival will take place March 13-17, 2017.

South by Southwest 2017 will take place in the live music capital of the world—Austin, Texas in the Austin Convention Center.

The most convenient entrances to the convention center are on 4th Street and Trinity Street.


SXSW Music Lineup

SXSW 2017
Photo by Earl McGehee

The SXSW lineup features a range of artists from up-and-coming to legendary that will be performing throughout the city, anywhere from parks and hotels to bars and clubs.

Thousands of artists will be showcased at this epic music event. Attendees will be among the first to witness some of the best, new talent in the world.

Get the complete SXSW 2017 lineup schedule.


SXSW Tickets & Registration

Registration prices for SXSW range based on early bird pricing to walk-up costs.

Check the registration rates and deadlines here.

Interested in attending? Register now.

SXSW 2017
Photo by Mark Scott

How to get around

If you’re staying in downtown Austin, you’ll be within walking distance to all of the festival action. If not, here are some alternatives.

SXSW Festival Shuttle

The festival offers a free shuttle that circulates from the convention center to the festival venues. Check the official site to find the shuttle route, get the map and live shuttle tracker as well.

Mazda Express

Mazda is offering complimentary rides to festivalgoers; you just have to flag down a marked vehicle and show your SXSW wristband! Make sure to register ahead of time to take advantage of this service.


FASTEN is your next best option for ridesharing. Since it is the official ridesharing partner for the festival, the company is offering 99¢ rides via their smartphone app. 


Pedicab and Electric Cab are licensed providers that are available throughout Austin. Hail one of these when you want to give your feet a break. Also, keep in mind that cabs will be in high demand during the festival, so be patient or plan ahead.

Capital Metro

The city’s metro system is an economical alternative for getting around the city. It even has some stops near the downtown festivities. Make sure to download the free app.


SXCycle is Austin’s bike-share system that has stations throughout the downtown area. It is one of the most convenient and quickest ways to get around amidst the traffic.

SXSW 2017
Photo by H. Michael Karshis


Where to stay

Austin will be a whirlwind of activities during the week of the event. Make sure to secure your accommodation option as soon as possible.

SXSW offers a booking system for some pricey hotel options in the vicinity. If you’re looking for some alternative options, including homestays and other budget choices, then you’ll need to do a broader search.

Check out all the places available in Austin for SXSW

What to bring

Be prepared with these items to ensure a comfortable and fun time at the festival.


Lip balm

Rain Poncho

Comfortable shoes






SXSW 2017
Photo by Thibault Trillet


Useful Apps

The SXSW experience is a full 7 days of entertainment, productions and lots of people. It’s easy to get lost in the shuffle. Download this useful apps to help you maximize your time.

Create a SXSW Schedule

Luckily, organizers created a site where you can view all of the events in one place. SXSW will also offer recommendations based on your stated interests. Finally, you can build an informed schedule for the festival so you don’t miss a thing!

SXSW Social

SXSW also has a social site where you can link your badge and update your profiles with all the exciting events that are happening, in real time!


This nifty service allows you to save and pay for your parking space ahead of time, so you can arrive stress free. Keep in mind the street closures if you do plan to drive. Use the code SXSW17 for a special discount.

Pro Tips

Use the SXSW schedule site to devise a plan, but don’t be scared to deviate a bit

Prepare for all types of weather (TX can be tricky sometimes)

Stay hydrated, in between all the booze

Bring a backup phone charger (you’ll be recording a lot)

Download all the transportation APPs (see “How to get around” section)

Have fun! This will be an experience you will never forget.

SXSW 2017

To all the innovators, music lovers and creative people out there, we hope you have the best time ever at SXSW 2017!


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