After a very early morning I arrived in Austin…. without an official pass!
Originally I was worried about not having access to official SXSW events, but the more I spoke with people and the more I got in to every single party, event, concert, and beer tasting that I wanted, the more I realized that to enjoy the true Austin SXSW experience, you didn’t need an offical pass. All that you needed was an open attitude and a ‘roll with it’ demeanor.
The biggest tip that I can give to anyone going down to SXSW without the official goods is to spend some time and RSVP to EVERYTHING. I didn’t go to the WordPress party, but I did RSVP to it. As you stumble down 6th Street you really can’t tell where you’ll go…. many venues have free food and free beer, but most do ask you to RSVP. . . but even if you don’t there’s typically a line where you can go and grab last minute tickets.
It’s definitely a different experience, and official SXSW passes will help. They get you into venues faster, and the occasional drink is free… but that’s about it.
So if you’re a band, a fan, or just curious to check out what SXSW has to offer I would recommend showing up and seeing where the night takes you because after spending over $1000 last year, I can say that I’m having more fun this year on a skid punk diet.
More to come.