Littlefoot Knows: SXSW '14 Survival Guide
Things you should know before you go
SXSW is one of the many music festivals that occur annually. But each year is not like the years past, artists come and go and newer artists are getting opportunities to perform at showcases as years progress. SXSW is the biggest music showcase for artists of any genre, it allows all artists of different types to network and connect with other people.
I had the pleasure of attending SXSW last year and I will be attending again this year. The music portion of the event kicks off March 11, 2014 and if you are going for the first time or want to experience something different than what you have the previous years here's my guide for surviving SX.
Keep in mind that this is bigger than YOU!
There are literally THOUSANDS of people traveling to Austin for this week long event you're going to meet different people everyday you may come across some familiar faces along the way but ultimately you will be meeting a lot of different people from a lot of different places so if you don't have any people skills this might not before you.
A majority of the people down there are in, or aspire to work in, the music industry. So it won't hurt to lug some music or business cards down there. Networking is key to making it big, and shaking hands while at SXSW is one step forward to making it! You never know who's "people" you'll run into or even whom you'll run into. Everyone is so in the mix during the week that you may run into the person that will hand you your big shot! So be presentable, and be ready! Have music on deck if you're an artist and have business cards printed to take down there if you wanted to break into the industry as something other than and artist. Social networks are great but people are moving quick down there and foot traffic is heavy on 6th Street. Someone is more likely to wake up the next morning and pull a business card out of their pocket rather than stress themselves over how many underscores were in your twitter. Be professional it's still a business!
RSVP? Are you on the list?
Showcases are what everyone is down there for. Showcases allow fans to see their favorite artists perform live, as well as discover new talent to add to their iTunes. Some showcases require an RSVP to enter some do not but the biggest ones usually do. Some RSVP's are more intense than other. Think waiting for @Nikestore to tweet the link to every restock possible. That's what RSVPing for Fader Fort is like. Fader Fort is probably one of the most popular showcases at SXSW. Fader magazine along with Converse, does a great job of showcasing not only Hip-Hop and Rap artists but Pop and Rock as well. Some RSVP's like Fader's allow you to sign up and wait [a few days] for email confirmation others let you know if you're on the list that very moment. Even though you may get on the RSVP list for a showcase it does not guarantee your entry into that event. So get there early and be prepared to stand in long lines for an extended amount of time.
What am I in for?
A lot of free booze and good music... possibly even some free food! Long hours but all in all you're in for an amazing few days in a dope city. Be prepared to be up early and back in late so if you're not used to staying up late you might be in trouble. Make sure you bring extra phone chargers, stay hydrated, and WEAR COMFORTABLE SHOES. You'll be doing a lot of walking all day, even though you'll want to be dope but still be comfortable!
Overall, what showcases you attend at SXSW are up to you and your tastes in music. It's about having fun and enjoying being surrounded by so much talent. If you are looking to connect and network here's your chance. Here's to looking forward to a week long of music, food, and culture. See you in Austin!