As an Austin, Texas influencer, blogger, and social media and SEO consultant, I enjoy going to various conferences and learning new things about the tech industry. Whether you are coming for the music, movies, interactive components, food, or fun, then keep reading to get your 2020 SXSW guide.
SXSW 2020 is March 9-22 in Austin, Texas. South by Southwest is not just a music festival anymore. March 9 is the start of SXSWedu. March 13 SXSW 2020 (interactive, film, and music) begins.
2020 SXSW Guide for the Austin, Texas South by Southwest Festival
What is SXSW and What Will I Find There?
During South by Southwest you’ll find Brands & Marketing, Design, Development & Code, Government, Health, Intelligent Future, Style, Tech Industry, Workplace, Entertainment Influencers, Film & TV Industry, Making Film & Episodics, Making Music, Music, Industry, Music Influencers, Touring & Live Experience, CLE, Experiential Storytelling, Food, Journalism, Social Impact, Sports, Startup Village, VR/AR. For many of these, you’ll need a SXSW 2020 pass.
SXSW 2020 Prices
PLATINUM BADGE for 2020 costs $1600 (until Feb. 14) and you get Primary Access to ALL Events. The INTERACTIVE BADGE $1270 (until February 14), FILM BADGE 2020 is $1270 (until Feb. 14), MUSIC BADGE 2020 costs $1270 (until Feb. 14), and SXSWedu BADGE 2020 will set you back $540.
Yes, you’ll get a lot for your money, but if you don’t want to or can’t spend that kind of dough, you’re in luck.
There are lots of free SXSW events, parties, swag, and more for which you don’t need a badge.
Tips for SXSW in Austin, Texas
Where to Park for SXSW 2020
I like to park in East Austin on the side streets east of I35 and walk the few blocks or take public transportation. Sometimes, I’ll park on or near South Congress as well. You don’t want to drive at all through downtown during SXSW. It’s loco.
What to Bring to SXSW
Carry a comfortable backpack with you. You’ll need a way to carry water, business cards, electronics, and haul all of your awesome free SXSW swag. I bought one of these Lightweight Packable backpacks.
Bring an extra cell phone battery or charger. Yes, there are charging stations, but they are pretty crowded. Check out the discounted portable cell phone battery chargers here.
Be organized. I created an email folder to save all of my Eventbrite tickets and other important information. I also use my Google calendar to keep track of everything I signed up for.
For most of the free events, you’ll need an RSVP. These often sell out quickly. Go ahead and RSVP for everything.
How to Go to SXSW for Free
Last year, I did not buy a badge, but still took full advantage of all the SXSW interactive freebies. I plan on doing that again this year. Last year, I learned a lot, networked, and got plenty of free SXSW swag, food, and drinks.
I will try to keep this list updated. If anything of these free events are “sold out” or you learn about another cool freebie, please let me know and I’ll add it.
Most of these events are for the SXSWi or South By Southwest Interactive portion. I will try to update the list with free SXSW music festival or film events as well.
If you are interested in which celebrities will be at SXSW 2020, then check out the celebrity list here.