It’s SXSW time again, and I’m already overloaded with party emails, bands needing shows, and the multitude of band submissions that are come our way this time of year. Another thing I’ve always noticed, is the multitude of sites offering their very own “SXSW Guide”, “SXSW Survival Tips”, or some other mumbo jumbo to that extent. Well today ATH is jumping into that game with our very own SXSW rules to live by. Now this isn’t your typical list, as we always try to tell it like it is despite who we may piss off. So stop RSVPing to all of those parties and check out the ATH guide to not screwing this up. Follow the jump for more.
1. Forget Those RSVPs
This has got to be the most frustrating and pointless trend that ever found its way into the brains of many an idiot all over America. Your RSVP means nothing to anyone other than a free email address for shameless self promoters who plan to spam the shit out of you for months to come. The ATH crew has spent the last several years not RSVPing to a single thing, and we’ve never been turned away from a show. Stop being stupid and end the dumbassery now. We will stand united! I. Hate. RSVPs.
2. Don’t plan too much/burn your schedule
Stop planning out your day like you’re some 80 year old man with a laminated index card planning out his first trip to Branson. This is supposed to be fun, and the more time you spend pouring over every little detail and making excel spreadsheets, the more your friends will hate you (and you’ll hate yourself). The night before, or the morning of, find a show with some bands that looks interesting, get there, and see where the day takes you. We all have smartphones that can pull up show schedules if your mind changes. Your best memories will be made when you burn that schedule and go with the flow of the day.
3. Don’t chase free “swag”
Last I checked, I’ve got 100s of free Sweet Leaf sunglasses, Titos bandanas, and XL t-shirts for the next big internet startup crammed in the bottom of my sock drawer. This also means you shouldn’t go chasing free booze either because it’s usually going to be cheap vodka that tastes like it was distilled in a funky shoe and WILL make you vomit. Also be very leery of those “free booze” advertisements because, 75% of the time, that means something like they’ve got 1 free beer for the first 100 guests. I just turned 30, have a decent job, and I don’t really need to chase around free shit like I’m a broke 22 year old college student. If you are in fact a broke college student, well by all means.
4. Better yet, don’t use the word “swag”. Ever.
Along with RSVPs, another trend that needs to go to a dark place and die. It sounds like a new vocabulary word for loose women. I can’t wait for the emails I’m about to get…
5. Don’t buy a wristband, it’s not worth it.
I still don’t get this. Can someone please explain to me why this makes sense? What are these things for? Please, please, please save your money and don’t buy into this scam. People, we live in Austin, and we can see a lot of these bands during the year, so this total waste of money has never made any sense to me whatsoever. If you need a further explanation into this, please shoot us an email and we’ll get into it.
6. Stay hydrated
Carry around some Emergen-C to start your day and drink some water in between all that booze. As soon as you make fun of me for acting like your parents, you’ll be the one passed out in the Waterloo parking lot.
7. Wear comfortable shoes
Forrest Gump knows best. He wasn’t a very smart man, but he knew the importance of comfortable shoes. You will be walking a lot, and while those 6 inch stilletos look real fine, you’re going to break your ankle skank. This also goes for general clothing that you have no business wearing in March. Really, a fur coat?
8. Carry a “survival kit”
Our Friends at Bloggy Limits have a good one to get you started. Most seasoned veterans understand the importance of always being prepared. Many of these items can fit in your pockets so you don’t have to carry around a bag all day.
9. People Watch
One of my fondest memories of SXSW was sitting at the door of Shang-ri-la with one of my buddies who was checking IDs. I watched people try to haul in cases of beer, flasks down their pants, and even a few people tried to walk in topless. SXSW turns your average Austinite into a crazy asshole for one week and it’s a beautiful thing to watch. I’ve never laughed so hard in all my life.
10. Steer clear of the “huge shows”.
“BIGGEST SHOW EVER” “WHAT WHAT “. “If you aren’t here, you suck”. Exclusivity and the pretense of exclusivity does not a good show make. I understand that we as human beings want to feel like we belong to something, but if what you’re belonging to is a crock of shit, well I don’t know what to tell ya.
Clearly this is just the opinion of a select few here at ATH so you are free to disagree and offer your own opinions in the comments section. I could probably go on to make a list of 100 do’s and dont’s during SXSW, but I just don’t have that kind of time. If you’d like to know where we’re headed everyday, follow us on Twitter, we’ll keep ya posted, and maybe even buy you a non skunky beer. We love SXSW, and we just want everyone to enjoy it as much as us. Don’t screw this up.