How to get around Austin during SXSW

Austin is about to be a mess. Here's how to get around.

South by Southwest brings hundreds of thousands of people to town each year, which means a traffic headache for Austinites.

During this festival period, downtown commuters must be aware. Parts of Red River, Rainey and Driskill streets will not be accessible from March 9 through March 18.

Here are some ways to deal with it.

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Avoid driving

The city is actually encouraging employers to work with their employees to help adjust schedules during the festival to avoid the traffic chaos. Residents may want to talk to their boss about coming in earlier or later to avoid rush hour.

ATX Detour Day: Drivers urged to avoid roads Friday ahead of SXSW

Public transportation

The Capital Metro app has all the schedules for their services. CapMetro is also adding bus and rail trips to make it easier for you.


If you use Lyft, the official rideshare sponsor for SXSW this year, you can get $5 off your first ride with code SXSWRIDE18.


Car2go, a short-term car rental service, is creating some "pop-up" parking lots, so people don't have to circle the block so many times to find a spot. They're also offering a discount for new users. When you join for free, you can use the promo code "DriveSXSW" and get $10 of drive time.

Shuttle to the festival

For festival-goers, SXSW will have their shuttle up and running at your service. It runs between the Austin Convention Center and within walking distance of most SXSW festival venues. The shuttles are planned to run daily from 9 a.m. until 2:30 a.m.

For more information, head over to SXSW's official website.