#SXSW 2014: Music Festival Tips

SXSW Music 2014 is officially here! With countless parties, thousands of bands, and free beer, it’s adult spring break at its finest. Here are a few tips to help you sort through this hot mess of a week. Stay tuned for my daily top picks, like these write ups here and here.

*While I gave it a valiant effort (ok fine – phoned it in, at least), Do512 is killing it with their ultra-comprehensive SXSW lowdown this year. Sort by days, times, and bands on their website, and then come back here for top picks!

*Don’t forget to tip your bartenders!

*The Spotify House has moved locations from East Caesar Chavez to East 6th Street! But the lineup is just as promising. Go here to get on the list, and be sure to download the app on your phone prior to attending to avoid having to do it there (you’ll need it to get in).

*It appears Applauze is the music app giving out golden tickets this year. Download it through the iTunes Store and Tweet @Applauze and #applauzesxsw for VIP access to events.

*Start your day off right beginning Wednesday AM by stopping by either the Four Seasons or the W to check out live music courtesy of local radio stations KUTX (Four Seasons) and KGSR (the W). Not only do both promise exceptional lineups each day, but it’s also all in the name of a good cause! KUTX will donate its proceeds to the Seton Shivers Cancer Foundation while KGSR’s donations will benefit Make-a-Wish. They say the early bird gets the worm, or in this case, the best music/breakfast taco combo around.

*Yes, I know the line to get in is long. I know, I RSVP’d too! You are right, it is super annoying to have to wait to see good music and drink beer for free… By now, we all know the drill. Beat the lines by showing up early or maybe don’t go to Fader Fort? With so much amazing talent in town, there is something for everyone. Better yet, find out which shows are charging for beer, and cut your wait time by half.

*Be prepared. March weather in Austin is notoriously a ying and yang of temperatures and elements, especially this year. Wear comfortable shoes and pack a sweater! Other crucial items: phone charger, band-aids, ID, cash, and an easygoing partner in crime.

*Make a plan, with plenty of backups, but be prepared to readjust. The best laid plans rarely come to fruition during SX, so pick a few places you wouldn’t mind spending the afternoon that are around the same area. That way if the line is out of control at one spot or that lineup of buzz bands is a complete letdown, you don’t have to move very far. Also, I know you just got a text saying someone amazing is playing a surprise set next but so did everyone else. Put the FOMO on lockdown or else you will be spending the remainder of your afternoon waiting in line to no avail.

*Transportation: You cannot not park so forget driving. That secret parking lot is now a stage. Other options include Car2Go (if you have an account), CapMetro (best bet), bike, or Uber PediCabs (use at your own risk).

*It is now a proven fact: SXSW is officially the one week a year I want to trade in my iPhone for a Samsung Galaxy, because the rumors are true; Kanye West & Jay-Z will be making an appearance at SXSW. Sadly the show is only open to Galaxy users. But hey, iTunes Festival has Keith Urban so there’s that…I guess…



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