SXSW is a festival in a league of its own. Whereas sunscreen and water bottles are considered essential items for attending Austin City Limits or Fun Fun Fun Fest, SXSW demands more from its attendees.
To find out what people bring to this monster of a fest, we talked to five different SXSWesters to find out what's in their bag.
From skateboards to business cards to mints, we discovered a wide array of must-haves.
Name: Andy Au
Occupation: Social media lead for Hootsuite
Must-have item: Passport
Au not only brought all the gear he might possibly need during SXSW, he also brought his own transportation.
Although one of the most important items in Au's bag is his phone, he said his No. 1 thing to bring was his passport, seeing as he is Canadian. He very well may be the most prepared man at the festival.
Name: Kate Bernyk
Occupation: Press director for the Center of Reproductive Rights
Must-have item: Phone charger
Bernyk arrived at SXSW after attending another conference on behalf of the Center of Reproductive Rights. That's why her bag is filled with so many promotional items.
Although she's here for work, she's excited to learn, network and see what the festival has to offer.
Name: Jenna DeStefano
Occupation: Digital producer for KGSR
Must-have item: A better bag
Jenna DeStefano is a total SXSW newbie. We caught up with her on the first day of the festival, when she realized just how unprepared she was.
DeStefano told CultureMap that in the future she would bring a wallet, hand sanitizer, a phone charger and a better bag to hold everything. At least she doesn't have to worry about sunglasses anymore!
Names: Janee Jackson, David Doering
Occupation: Film fans
Must-have item: Mints (Jackson), notebook (Doering)
Jackson and Doering are visiting Austin by way of Iowa. Both are film junkies and are here just for fun.
Despite this being her first year at SXSW, Jackson feels super prepared for the festival. She read numerous blogs for tips on what to bring and made sure to check the weather for the week. Jackson believes mints are a must-have, because you never know who you might talk to.
Doering, on the other hand, is here for the fifth time and has his bag streamlined down to the essentials.
He brings a notebook to jot down quick thoughts on each movie he attends.
The couple has already seen about a dozen films since arriving in Austin.