SXSW Music Festival 2024: Ultimate Guide

Written by on January 12, 2024

Each year, thousands of people fill the city of Austin to attend the massive city-wide South by Southwest festival (SXSW); a nine-day long showcasing of the best and newest in music, film and technology. Locals and visitors of Austin alike join together to enjoy music and comedy showcases, film and tv screenings, exhibitions, networking opportunities, tech competitions and so much more. This year, SXSW will be happening from March 8-16.

Questions about the festival? Keep reading to learn more about the festival!

Photo Courtesy of SXSW

How does SXSW work?

Although the city itself is full of celebrations and events, the festival mainly takes place in downtown. In order to attend officially, attendees will need to purchase a special badge for one of four categories: Film & TV, Music, Interactive or get all three with a Platinum badge. Each badge gets priority entry into showcases of their category with the platinum badge having the highest entry priority. A very similar comparison would be VIP vs. general admission. Purchase your badge here!

Photo Courtesy of SXSW

What are showcases?

Showcases are shows, performances or screenings featuring many new artists and creators in the media industry. Official showcases are the ones listed on the SXSW app and website; the full schedule gets released in waves closer to the start of SXSW, so keep an eye on your notifications! The SXSW Music Festival is arguably the most popular portion of the week. Past performers include JID, Khalid, Chloe Bailey and many more. In addition to the main event, many smaller venues have celebrations of their own in honor of the festival. You can read more about smaller venues we have attended such as the Spring Break Boogie and Women of Rock showcases.

Photo Courtesy of SXSW

Any advice for first time goers?

SXSW has so many different events within the week, it can be very confusing to navigate and incredibly crowded. It is highly recommended to plan ahead and know how you’ll be getting around. Drink lots of water! Many showcases are a good walk away from others and some are even held outside. It is very important to stay hydrated. You will also be doing lots of walking, so be sure to wear comfortable shoes and dress in layers as Austin’s weather can be unpredictable. The SXSW app is very helpful with finding showcases and planning your day.

Photo Courtesy of SXSW

Stay up to date!

As the festival nears, even more artists and showcases are being announced. The best way to stay up to date is the SXSW Go app. Here, you can access your pass, socialize with others going to the festival and select which artists you would like to see. Events on the calendar have addresses of each showcase as well as some information and links to the artists you may be interested in seeing. Another cool feature about the app is that it allows you to see the latest capacity of an event.

SXSW is only two months away and is going to have plenty of shows and events for everyone to enjoy.

  • Alina Velasquez

    I'm a Junior Graphic Design major at the University of Houston. I am also the Graphic Design Officer of BAMSA as well as a Photo Editor for Coog Radio. I enjoy art in all of its forms and love discovering new music. Photography and Design have been passions of mine for several years.

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