We all know that as South by Southwest (SXSW) approaches, wristband and badge envy exponentially increases across town. And sometimes, getting your hands on that golden ticket is near impossible (and nowhere near budget-friendly for most), especially as the kick off draws near.
Have no fear, Austin. If you need to feed your conference hunger, plan to be in Austin during mid-March and have at least 30 hours to spare (60 plus for the good stuff), your chance of getting into the SXSW fold increased greatly as of today: On Monday, Jan. 9, SXSW announced its official open call for volunteers.
They’re looking for approximately 3,000 spirited folks to volunteer during this year’s event, taking place March 9 – 18, 2012. As a volunteer, you can choose to go one of two routes, either joining a conference or production crew, and exchanging your time for SXSW perks.
Perks come into play just as you would expect, with the use of a sliding scale: The more time you volunteer, the higher the perk you can receive: 50 - 59 hours as a conference volunteer will get you a film badge, interactive badge or music wristband; 80 hours or more will get you a full platinum badge.
All the details for volunteer opportunities are outlined on the SXSW website, where you can sign up to be a volunteer starting today. Once you sign up online, you’ll need to attend a SXSW volunteer session on either January 21 or January 24. The rest is all panels and showcases.
Austinites, let us not forget that outside of the ten days of official programming (and parties!) there are plenty of free events open to the public during, too.
If a badge isn’t in your budget, and if you can’t dedicate 30-plus hours to the cause, here are a few official (and unofficial) SXSW events we’re looking forward to for 2012: ScreenBurn Arcade moves to the Palmer Events Center this year (March 9 - 11); Flatstock 33 is a free exhibition of poster art from around the world (March 14 - 17); MWTX (Mess with Texas), a free, mini-fest that closes out South by's music weekend on the Eastside.