As a SXSW veteran I have to say, this festival never gets any easier! And I mean that in a good way. Each and every year there are always more and more things to do and it’s extremely easy to get overwhelmed! I’ve partnered with CLIF Bar to give you the best music festival experience possible and also a guide on how to survive the long days! First things first; come join me at the CLIF Bar Bash at Blackheart on 3/14-3/15 from 11:30a-6pm and then at the Southwest Invasion at the rooftop of Whole Foods downtown from 3/16-3/18! I will be there every day and hope to meet some new friends while I’m there!
RSVP by clicking on the hyperlink below –
What should you wear? Here are some general outfit tips for men and women that will help you survive those long days.
Men — Stick with some relaxed-fit denim; this piece of clothing can get you through the day and into the evening easily. Pair your jeans with a t-shirt or lightweight button down during the day. Evenings get chilly so layer up if needed and don’t forget to wear a comfortable pair of shoes or boots because you will be walking around and standing all day long.
Women — Dresses or shorts with tees are the most convenient options for any SXSW event, day or night. Just throw on a dress, a small belt, sandals, a hat, and a messenger bag and you are ready to go. If you’re opting to wear shorts, don’t forget to layer because the mornings and evenings are quite chilly! Don’t forget your sunnies and a comfortable pair of shoes. I made the mistake my first SXSW years and years ago of wearing a pair of wedges that ended up KILLING my feet! Pack some sandals in your bag if you insist on wearing cute shoes part of the day.
Let me reiterate on the types of shoes you should be wearing… No matter what else you opt to wear for the day, make sure you have comfortable shoes. I have known many fashionistas who go walking the streets of SXSW in high heels only to be complaining and wanting to go home an hour later. Most people are out and about for 12 to 16 hours per day, and many of the events are far apart, which means lots of walking. You will log several miles on your feet during the week, so definitely make comfy shoes a top priority when getting dressed.
I always love wearing cut-off shorts with a cute tank, a cardi or faux leather jacket with Frye boots or sandals.
Keep our bi-polar Texas weather in mind.
Don’t forget about the crazy Texas weather. The highs in March tend to hit the mid 70s and drop into the 50s in the mornings and evenings, which means you’ll need to layer appropriately. When layering, choose items that could transition into the night, something that you won’t mind carrying around during the day. My recommendation is to find a lightweight, non-wrinkling jacket that can easily be crammed into your backpack; even if it is sunny and 75 when you set out, you won’t be tempted to go back home or to your hotel to change after the day’s festivities. That trip can be very time consuming, which could cause you to waste precious moments or hours and miss something important. Be prepared for the entire day and night.
What should you pack and be prepared for?
Ladies, get a cute backpack, larger cross-body or tote that you don’t mind carrying around all day and stuff it with anything and everything listed below.
The most important thing for me is a SNACK! I can’t even begin to tell you the days I went without eating anything because restaurants are way too packed, too expensive or it’s just a hassle to get anywhere besides the events I am supposed to be at. CLIF Bar has me all set with their new Nut Butter filled bars for this week’s festivities.
I always suggest bringing some sort of water bottle. Stay hydrated, y’all! It gets hot out there and most places only want to serve you alcohol. No one needs a headache, or even worse a hangover!!
ALWAYS WEAR SUNSCREEN and keep hand sanitizer near by!
I HAVE to have a portable phone charger. I can’t worry about having to find an outlet with a long cord and then sit by my phone waiting for it to charge. That’s just not practical anymore. This is the tech age and everyone needs to stay connected; especially at SXSW!
Like I said above, bring a light cardigan or jacket and have a pair of flip flops or a pair of comfy shoes handy for when your feet start to kill you.
New to Austin or traveling from out of town?? Lyft and Uber are no longer in Austin so be aware of all of the new transportation options. Fare is one of my go-to’s these days – use code Ashley497 for a little discount! Definitely have a game plan on how you are going to get to and from places.
Sierra – “Wear comfy shoes, pack a rain coat and a portable phone charger and don’t forget…no uber or lyft in Austin, so download an app that you can use before you arrive.“
Darcy – “I always have another form of communication for any festival or big event. With the amount of people that swarm the area it can really bog down cell service (sometimes) I usually always have a 2 way walkie talkie with my festival partner.”
Rachel – “Sunscreen, comfy shoes, a light weight jacket, a hat, lots of water, carry some cash and be friendly.”
Knox – “Know why you’re there; what you want to get out of it. If you have a badge, the hardest part is figuring who you want to see speak. Strike up conversations in the hallways. I’ve met some of the coolest people (some turned out to be famous) that way. It always rains at SxSW. Always hydrate – especially if you’re not from Texas. It may not be hot, but you will need H2O. Popular Austin Ride Apps = Fasten; Fare; Austin ACL; Ride Austin. If you are staying way north b/c you couldn’t find a reasonably priced hotel, the train is great, but there are never enough cars and it shuts down early. Be strategic with your parties – no need waiting in line for two hours. Food – support the food trucks and local restaurant.
Raubyn – “It’s a marathon and a sprint.”
Casey – “Roll out on the streets and see what you find, it is the BEST way to do it! #noplanisthebestplan“
Johnny – “Remember where your staying!!!! I got lost for over 8 hours and ended up in the back of a police car. they were driving me around trying to help!”
Meghann – “Skip the biggest events as they’re hard to get in to. Go to smaller/less hyped events that sound cool and you’ll spend more time at events and less time in line.”
Ryan – “Don’t worry about the “fear of missing out, enjoy where you are in the present”. Yes, you’re going to miss something. It’s okay.”
Kerri – “If you need a break from the craziness but still want to stay close to all of the action, the back lawn of the Four Seasons is the place to go.”
Now, go have fun and don’t forget to go explore everything Austin has to offer outside of SXSW!