It’s no secret that don’t need a badge to have a good time at SXSW, but to take full advantage of everything the festival has to offer it’s always a good idea to prepare early. SXSW is unique in the sense that it goes beyond the extent of the mainstays promoted. The entire city turns into a fairground for entertainment and it has become so easy to stay updated that changes can be made on the fly. It’s helped bring in a new age in music fests.
A couple of years ago, Death from Above 1979 subtly announced a reunion show that was happening the same day. Within hours a crowd gathered outside Beauty Bar to try to catch a glimpse because the show sold out. The one thing that I’ve always found to separate SXSW from most music fests is the willingness to adapt to change. Word of mouth travels in gigabytes now and any given night can turn into a surprise cameo by somebody you did not expect to be there.
Every week there are new bands being added to the main line ups or different artists announcing appearances and that’s just for the featured shows. To fully embrace the week, it’s best to expand beyond the official shows and explore the happenings through a different perspective. New parties that aren’t officially sponsored by the festival are being added daily. The best part about these parties is they’re free if you RSVP and they are ongoing.
The music aspect of the festival is at the tail end and with purpose, so many things can happen from the start to the time bands start playing that it’s always a good idea to stay updated. I’ve listed a few websites that help you do so below. It doesn’t hurt to follow some of these sites and/or other artists to stay updated if venues change or shows are added. The way SXSW has operated the past few years, it’s a wonder how more festivals aren’t adopting the same format/web utilities.