Trade volunteer hours for 2018 SXSW badges

SXSW is looking for volunteers to help with the 2018 festival.

The time has come to sign up to volunteer for South By Southwest.

The film, music, comedy and interactive festival and conference in downtown Austin is officially two months away and organizers said they're looking for people to help register celebrities, provide information and assist registrants to their sessions.

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After working a minimum 24 hours in either music festival production, sessions, registration, information, trade shows or technical support, volunteers can earn a SXSW badge.

24 volunteering hours gets you into EDU, 48 hours into interactive, film or music, and 64 hours earns you a platinum badge.

Tami Richter, the director of event staffing and resources, said all the volunteers are vital.

"They are our backbone. We could not do it without the help of our volunteers,” said Richter.

From festival registration, to technical support, right now, they're looking for 3,500 people over the age of 16 to volunteer.

"This event is really a community-based event, you know, it's been in Austin for a really long time and we want to continue to make it an Austin event,” said Richter. "SXSW is a magical experience, and we want everybody else to be a part of it too.”

Chris Payne spends the day answering phones for SXSW, but started out as a volunteer more than 15 years ago.

"It's a blast. I got to see so much music, and that was my main thing," said Payne. "I've seen great bands from all over the world."

Meaghan Herrmann volunteered as a junior in college, and now works on the programming team.

"I got to meet a lot of people from around the world, I made friends with fellow volunteers, I had a really great time,” said Herrmann.

Cary Caldwell visited from New Zealand 15 years ago to volunteer.

"There's such a vast array of personalities and characters that you know you should just do it, there really is something for everyone," said Caldwell.

He now works in conference logistics.

"That's the thing that just blew me away, was how many people were needed to run it, how many crews that there were, how many volunteers that they need,” said Caldwell.

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"I think that volunteering is a good way of challenging yourself and getting out of your comfort zone, but then also learning something,” said Herrmann.

"It's a great opportunity, to meet people, network, and then you get to see some really cool stuff," said Payne.

Crew shift selections will take place at the SXSW Volunteer Call on Sunday, Jan. 21, from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday, Jan. 27, from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Austin Convention Center, Ballroom ABC on the First Floor.

SXSW EDU runs from March 5 through 8 and SXSW Conference and Festivals runs from March 9 through 18 at the Austin Convention Center.

Go here to sign up.