Your Ultimate Guide to SXSW 2023: Schedule, Sections, and Tips for Musicians


Your Roadmap to SXSW: Maximizing Your Time at SXSW as a Musician

Are you ready for SXSW 2023? South by Southwest is an annual festival that takes place in Austin, Texas and attracts thousands of music fans, filmmakers, tech enthusiasts, and industry professionals from around the world. This year’s festival promises to be bigger and better than ever before, with a jam-packed schedule of events, showcases, and performances.

In this guide, we’ll provide you with everything you need to know about SXSW, including its location, attractions, and why it’s a must-attend event for musicians and music fans.


Location and Attractions

SXSW takes place in downtown Austin, Texas, a city that’s known for its thriving music scene, innovative tech companies, and creative arts community. The festival is spread out across multiple venues, with events and showcases taking place in concert halls, theaters, bars, and outdoor spaces.

It is not just a music festival, but also includes sections dedicated to film, interactive media, and tech innovation. This makes it a unique and diverse event that attracts people from all walks of life.


A rock band performing on an outdoor stage with a large crowd of enthusiastic fans in front of them, waving their hands and cheering.


Why Musicians and Music Fans Attend

SXSW has become one of the most important events on the music industry calendar. It’s a place where musicians can showcase their talents to a global audience, connect with other artists and industry professionals, and gain exposure and recognition.

For music fans, SXSW is an opportunity to discover new and emerging artists, attend intimate and exclusive showcases, and experience the energy and excitement of live music.


SXSW Sections

One of the unique features of SXSW is its sections, which are curated tracks of events that focus on specific topics. Here are some of the top sections for musicians:

  • Music: This section is a must for any musician attending SXSW. It includes music showcases, panels, and networking events.
  • Tech: If you’re interested in the intersection of music and technology, this section is for you. It includes talks and workshops on topics like virtual reality, streaming, and music production tools.
  • Film: Music plays a big role in many films, and this section explores that connection. It includes screenings of music documentaries, as well as talks and panels with filmmakers.
  • Interactive: This section is all about innovation and creativity. It includes talks and workshops on topics like AI, gaming, and emerging technologies.

Networking at SXSW

One of the biggest benefits of attending SXSW as a musician is the opportunity to network with industry professionals and other artists. Whether you’re looking to book shows, find a manager, or collaborate with other musicians, SXSW provides ample opportunities to make valuable connections. Here are some tips for networking:

  • Attend industry panels and discussions. SXSW features a variety of panels and discussions on topics related to the music industry. These events provide a great opportunity to learn from experts and network with other professionals.
  • Participate in mentor sessions. They offers mentor sessions with music industry professionals. These sessions provide a chance to get one-on-one feedback and advice on your music career.
  • Attend official and unofficial after-parties. Many official and unofficial after-parties take place throughout the festival, providing a fun and casual atmosphere for networking.
  • Use social media to connect with other attendees. Use the official SXSW app or social media platforms like Twitter and Instagram to connect with other attendees and share your experiences.
  • Be respectful and professional. When networking at SXSW, it’s important to be respectful and professional. Treat everyone you meet with kindness and respect, and be sure to follow up after the festival to maintain connections.

By following these networking tips, you’ll be able to make valuable connections and take your music career to the next level at SXSW.


Four panelists sitting at a table discussing a topic, with microphones in front of them and a backdrop with logos


SXSW Schedule

The SXSW schedule is always packed with a diverse range of events, from music showcases to film screenings to keynote talks. With so much going on, it can be overwhelming to plan your schedule. Here are some tips to help you make the most of your time at the festival:

  • Use the official SXSW app or website to browse the schedule and create your own personalized schedule.
  • Prioritize your must-see events and plan around them. Don’t try to do everything – it’s impossible!
  • Leave plenty of time for networking and exploring. Some of the best experiences at SXSW are unplanned.

SXSW Tips for Musicians

As a musician attending SXSW, there are a few things you can do to make the most of the festival:

  • Apply to showcase early and often. SXSW is known for its music showcases, which give artists a chance to perform in front of industry professionals and music fans. Applying early and often can increase your chances of being selected.
  • Be prepared to network. It’s is a great opportunity to meet other musicians, industry professionals, and fans. Bring plenty of business cards and be ready to introduce yourself and your music.
  • Be open to new experiences. SXSW is all about discovery and exploration. Don’t be afraid to attend events that are outside of your comfort zone – you never know who you might meet or what you might learn.
  • Use the official SXSW app or website to browse the schedule and create your own personalized schedule. Prioritize your must-see events and plan around them, but also leave plenty of time for networking and exploring.

Where to stay, transportation options, and how to get discounts and offers for accommodation and transportation

Where to Stay:

Austin is a popular tourist destination, so it’s important to book your accommodation early to ensure availability and to get the best rates. Here are some options for where to stay during SXSW:

  • Hotels: Many hotels in downtown Austin offer special rates and packages for SXSW attendees. Be sure to check the official SXSW website for a list of partner hotels and discounted rates.
  • Airbnb: Airbnb is a popular option for SXSW attendees, with many hosts offering private rooms or entire homes for rent during the festival.
  • Hostels: If you’re on a budget, consider staying at a hostel. There are several hostels in downtown Austin that offer affordable rates for attendees.

Transportation Options:

Getting around Austin during SXSW can be challenging, as traffic can be heavy and parking can be limited. Here are some transportation options to consider:

  • Public transportation: Austin has a public transportation system that includes buses and light rail. The Capital Metro system offers a special SXSW transit pass that provides unlimited rides during the festival.
  • Ride-sharing services: Services like Uber and Lyft are widely available in Austin and can provide a convenient and affordable way to get around.
  • Bicycles: Austin is a bike-friendly city, and many hotels and rental shops offer bicycles for rent.

Discounts and Offers:

To save money on accommodation and transportation during SXSW, consider taking advantage of these discounts and offers:

  • Housing & Travel: Their official website offers a housing and travel service that provides discounts on hotels, transportation, and other travel-related expenses.
  • RideAustin: RideAustin is a ride-sharing service that partners with SXSW to offer discounted rides to attendees. Check the official SXSW website for more information.
  • Student Discounts: If you’re a student, be sure to check for student discounts on accommodation and transportation.

By considering these options for accommodation and transportation and taking advantage of discounts and offers, you can save money and make the most of your time at SXSW.


In conclusion, it is an incredible opportunity for musicians to connect, learn, and showcase their talents. By following these tips and planning your schedule wisely, you’ll be able to make the most of your time in Austin. Good luck and have fun!


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InterContinental Music Awards Team

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