South by Southwest is coming. A momentous, flourishing event Austin welcomes every March, SXSW is a record-breaking festival that combines music, film, and technology into a 15-day creative extravaganza.
Last year, SXSW pumped more than $300 million into Austin’s economy, and this year will be no different. As Austinites gear up for one of the busiest weeks of the year, we’ve gathered some telltale indications that it’s about to get “weirdly” busy in our beloved city.
Here are five signs it’s SXSW in Austin.
Some indie punk rock band is sleeping on your couch.
SXSW hosts well over 400,000 people inside Austin’s city limits. Last year, more than 12,000 individual reservations were made at SXSW official hotels. For some, however, the festival means crashing at anyone’s open pad.
You know you’re an Austinite when Portland’s hottest indie band has grabbed some Z’s on your living room couch. Don’t worry; they’ll remember you when they’ve hit it big.
Commuting has become a delicate balancing act of timing, carpooling, and secret shortcuts.
How many times have you told somebody, “Trust me, my way is faster”? And, most of the time, you’re right. Austinites have an innate sense of direction when it comes to avoiding the major roads in the central area.
Luckily for those who are more directionally challenged — and those altruistic folks looking to lighten festival congestion — there’s an app for that. Metropia gives you more information about your commute than any traffic app out there, predicting the best routes and the best times to travel so that you spend less time on the road. Bonus: It also gives you rewards.
Your social media feed is flooded with celebrity sightings.
It wouldn’t be SXSW without your best friend’s blurry selfie (or creepy photobomb, depending on the friend) with Jake Gyllenhaal. If you’re going to wait in line for hours to catch a panel, seminar, movie, or concert, you might as well keep your eyes peeled.
Your local coffee shop is filled with out-of-towners complaining about the hot weather.
To those outside the Lone Star State, Texas is known for a few things: cowboys, barbecue, and summers hotter than the sun. This year, we’ve experienced an extremely short winter and a wonderfully warm beginning of spring.
No doubt our SXSW visitors will be feeling the heat when they land in our state’s capital city. Bonus points each time you hear, “It was snowing when I left!”
Suddenly, your neighborhood is filled with traffic cones in an effort to block street parking.
Some will work, some will mysteriously move, but one thing is for sure: People definitely will be towed. And that’s why your friendly neighborhood Austinites love all of the helpful tips and tricks SXSW provides for navigating and parking at the festival.
Seriously, use them.