AUSTIN, Texas — South by Southwest (SXSW) is returning in-person for the first time since COVID-19 canceled the festival in 2020. The 2021 festival was virtual, so the city did not experience the normal influx of foot traffic.
With SXSW returning to Austin, City leaders are preparing for vehicular and pedestrian traffic more comparable to pre-pandemic levels. With that, road closures and police enforcement in Downtown Austin will be heightened.
Here is a look at the road closures during SXSW. The City has an interactive map that shows which streets will be blocked off by barricades:
The map shows numerous SXSW road closures along East Sixth Street, Trinity Street, Congress Avenue, San Jacinto Boulevard, Neches Street and Sabine Street.
City officials also said to expect delays during peak traffic hours on weekday mornings (7 a.m. to 9 a.m.) and evenings (4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.). Most of the traffic flow changes will begin in the early afternoon and last until sometime after 3 a.m. at the Austin Police Department’s discretion, per the City of Austin. Be sure to schedule extra time for transportation when traveling during these hours.
Parking situation at SXSW
Austin Police Chief Joseph Chacon and Austin Transportation Department Director Robert Spillar said towing from no parking zones will be strictly enforced during SXSW.
Chacon, Spillar and SXSW officials all strongly encouraged using public transit to get around the city. SXSW will also have shuttles to help festival-goers commute. To look at the SXSW shuttle schedule, click here. CapMetro is also expanding its MetroRail and MetroBus services during the festival. For more details on the CapMetro services for SXSW, click here.
SXSW will run from Friday, March 11, to Sunday, March 20. These road closures will remain in place throughout that timeframe.
For more information about traffic, road closures, law enforcement presence and more, watch the SXSW pre-event press conference here on KVUE's YouTube page:
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