We’re a month away from SXSW. Yep, that’s right—the week that fills our streets with music, people and even more booze and food than usual. Deep breaths. For those of us who embrace the madness with open arms, we caught up with both GSD&M’s SXSW vets and new mavens to get the best tips, tricks and tracks for SXSW 2018. Spoiler alert: playlist included.
Name: Bill Bayne
Years attending SXSW: 15
Pro tip: When there are a few bands I don’t know on a lineup, I’ll stay in that venue to experience their show versus running all over town with a schedule.
Must-see band: Quiet Slang. More commonly known as Beach Slang, they’re reimagining their Replacements-y gnashed catalog into a softer vibe played with piano and cello.
Name: Mason Endres
Years attending SXSW: 5
Pro tip: Never plan for things to go as planned. If you make a schedule, it’s not going to happen.
Must-see band: The Magic Gang, Sunflower Bean and Jared & The Mill.
Name: David Rockwood
Years attending SXSW: 25 whole years
Pro tip: Random is way better than planning.
Must-see band: BRONCHO
Name: Candi Clem
Years attending SXSW: 1
Pro tip: Stay hydrated. Take advantage of networking opportunities.
Must-see band: My favorite artists at SXSW are the ones I haven’t discovered yet.
Name: Jack Epsteen
Years attending SXSW: 8, I think?
Pro tip: Don’t overschedule, let the day and night guide you. And most of all, NO FOMO.
Must-see band: Ratboys!
Name: Rye Clifton
Years attending SXSW: 7, I think
Pro tip: Go alone. It is a lot easier to sneak in places when you aren’t part of a group.
Must-see band: The Fantastic Plastics
Name: Elizabeth Thompson
Years attending SXSW: At least 12?! How is that possible? Does 10 make me sound younger?
Pro tip: Forego fashion for function when it comes to shoes, and attend the events you love, even if your friends don’t.
Must-see band: The best I can do, so far, is local favorite David Ramirez, Will Varley, Peach Pit, The Yellow Traffic Light, a TBD beautiful crooner at St. David’s church during the Communion Showcase.
It seems as though there’s a general consensus that going with the flow of SXSW is the most fun and effective way to make it through the chaos—that, and comfortable shoes. Aside from the tips and tricks, there is a playlist with all of the above musical suggestions and then some.