Thousands of people converged at the Austin Convention Center for the second day of South by Southwest, one of the largest music festivals in the world. The popular festival runs from March 11 to 20, and it has something for everyone.
Within the past few years, the festival has expanded to include SXSW Film, one of the world’s premier film festivals focusing on new directing talent. In 2007, the festival organizers took it a step further, by adding SXSW Interactive. This portion of the festival attracts web creators and entrepreneurs, which creates a great breeding ground for new ideas and creative, emerging technologies.
The festival also includes SXSW ScreenBurn to highlight the video game industry, and Style X to showcase new talent in the fashion industry. SXSW Comedy was added for the first time this year to provide comedians with several new venues to perform their acts.
For the next week and a half, this global event turns Austin, TX, into a cultural melting pot. In just my first day of attending SXSW Interactive, I was amazed at how many people I met who traveled here from across the United States and from other countries.
So far, I’ve met a French-Canadian that works on Montreal’s annual film festival; Brits from BBC World exploring the importance of balancing work, happiness and creativity; and I can’t forget the Asian gentleman who was born in Canada and currently works for a company based in Beijing. It’s definitely a great festival to engage in conversation with people of different ages, ethnicities and on different career paths.
Now having said all of that, I do have some travel advice for those who are thinking about attending SXSW in the future. Please make sure you book your hotel as early as possible, and I mean 6 months early or as soon as you know the specific dates of the festival. Making hotel reservations early will help you avoid booking a room at a remote hotel outside of downtown Austin, where most of the festival’s events are located.
R&R Limousine provide shuttle service to and from the Convention Center, starting at $50 for a 5-day pass. A one-way taxi ride can cost $15-20, depending on where your hotel is located. So book your hotel room early so you can walk to SXSW events at your leisure and to maximize your time enjoying the festival and all that Austin has to offer.
Check back on The Traveling Type for more SXSW updates about the newest travel apps and Austin’s unique food scene. For now, take a look at more info about SXSW, Austin’s music scene and other must-see sights in Texas.