SXSW 2016 Guide and Tips

SXSW 2016 This year I will be attending SXSW in Austin, Texas for Interactive portion for the third year in a row. I grew up in Austin and have seen SXSW grow from a small event to now an EPIC international event. What better person to give you all a SXSW Guide and Pointers then an Austinite? Below is a guide and tips for your adventure to the great state of Texas for SXSW 2016.

How to get a SXSW Pass

First pick the badge (s) you want to attend including looking at the schedule so you do not miss out on SXSW If you would like to learn more about the schedules of each of Interactive, Film and Music events click here or if would like to purchase a badge click here.

Once registered and confirmed get the SXSocial app and SXSW GO app to connect with your friend attending and also set up your SXSW profile by logging in here.

SXSW SXsocial

Badge pick up and registration will open on Thursday, March 10 at 9:00 AM at the Austin Convention Center (500 East Cesar Chavez Street Austin, Texas 78701) in Exhibit Hall 5, at the corner of 4th and Red River. Interactive badge pickup is also available at our satellite location, Palmer Auditorium in Exhibit Hall 1 (900 Barton Springs Rd, Austin, TX 78704) on Thursday, March 10 from 9 am to 11 pm or Friday, March 11 from 9 am to 11 pm.

If you’re a newbie to SXSW don’t forget to not lose your pass and always wear it; it’s your only way to get into SXSW the events.

How to get a SXSW guest pass

If you don’t have or can’t afford a SXSW badge the SXSW Guest pass is another good options. Below is information in regards to getting a SXSW Guest pass and a list of what it will get you in.

Guest Pass 2016

  1. Download the Guest Pass to your phone using the link below. Please note: This email can also be used as your Guest Pass.
  2. Download the SXSW GO app and login using your new Guest Pass account to automatically enter prize Giveaways.
  3. Favorite events in the SXSW GO app or at to build your personal schedule.

Have your Guest Pass out and ready when you arrive at a Guest Pass event.

SXSW Guest Pass FREE Events:

Sxsw Gaming Expo

Outdoor Film Screenings

Flatstock 53

SXSW Music Gear Expo

SXSW Job Market

SXSW Create

Outdoor Stage At Lady Bird Lake

Dewey Winburne Awards

What to bring?

Since this is my third year I have certainly made errors in preparation for this huge event! For the past two years SXSW has rained non-stop. Here are some tips on what to bring. I brought, forgot or wasn’t expecting to need it!

  1. An umbrella, rain poncho or a water proof hoodie. Do note that the streets are so packed an umbrella is a nuisance because of the massive crowds.
  2. Water and Snacks!! I always forget there isn’t time to eat so I’ve started packing granola bars.
  3. Comfortable shoes and if it raining or if you own a pair of Goulashes bring them.
  4. For my ladies bring a small refresh make-up kit. I don’t know how many times I go to the Convention center and then straight to dinner with execs. I learned this the hard way and it is not pretty!
  5. Pack and dress for layers; Austin weather can change at a drop of a dime.

Events to Check out

Bud Light commercial

Bud Light will debuting Bud Light UnCharted and the Bud Light Factory at SXSW. Bud Light UnCharted begins in the Austin Convention Center, where the Bud Light UnCharted Studios welcomes everyone with the tools, technology and instruments to rise to the top of the charts and become a headliner. Bud Light will also own Brazos Hall during South by Southwest Music, creating the Bud Light Factory and featuring performances by celebrated names and up-and-coming talent alike.


Mazda has yet to announce the details of their events but it is said to be pretty cool. They will continue to make announcements on the details of the event as SXSW approaches on the SXSW page here. They are located at Austin Convention Center: 4th Street side; Solar Atrium starting March 11th. They also just announced the new concept car, the RX-VISION, so it maybe be at SXSW? Mazda is also giving SXSW attendee’s rides with their fleets of cars called Mazda Express and to save time I would pre-register.


Decode Fashion House will take up residence for three days at Austin’s Hangar Lounge. Hosting all sorts of activities with some of their favorite innovators from across the fashion and tech space, it will also provide a meeting place for the fashion and tech community. Too see all their events and register click here.

Any live concert at the Lady Bird outdoor stage is amazing and free plus they usually have a fireworks show. It does require a guest pass but no badge.

photo (8)

This is just a small list of cool events I’m already attending. To get the full list of free SXSW events click here and if you want the schedule for the rest of the events click here. I will continue to post either on twitter (@nrpena) or on Cutegeek or Hi-Tech Chic as they come in.


SXSW has a great page on all your travel needs from hotel to transportation. Word to the wise do not rent a car because you will be grid lock, I suggest Uber since they are more efficient and know back ways to get you where you are going much faster. To check out all of their travel information and discounts on SXSW site click here.Austin Travel

Good Luck to all attending SXSW! If you see me wondering around at SXSW Interactive stop me to say hello! To follow what shenanigans I am up to send me a DM at @nrpena, @cutegeek, or @hitechchic.




*All information was gathered directly from the SXSW site and their affiliates.