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SXSW 2023: A look at road closures and how to get around during the festival

Here's a look at SXSW road closures and ways to get around town during the festival.

AUSTIN, Texas — Love it or hate it, South by Southwest (SXSW) is here. 

The 10-day event – composed of four main components: Interactive, Film & TV, Comedy and Music – runs from Friday, March 10, through Sunday, March 19.

Most SXSW venues are walkable and within a few minutes of each other. But there are a number of transportation options you can choose from when your feet get tired. 

The festival highly recommends considering all other options before deciding to drive yourself, due to street closures and heightened vehicle, foot and scooter traffic. Parking downtown also ranges in both availability and price.

Below is a breakdown of road closures and transit options to help visitors know where to go and anti-fest locals know where to avoid.

Street closures

One thing both fest-goers and fest avoiders alike need to know about is the street closures in Downtown Austin during the so-called "spring festival season."

The City of Austin has an interactive map displaying road closures (both full and partial), pedicab staging areas, MetroBike valet locations, MetroRapid routes and more. According to the City, those road closures are in effect daily from Friday, March 10, through Sunday, March 19, from 10 a.m. until 11:59 p.m.

Check out the interactive map here or below:

All motorists, including rideshare drivers, should expect delays during peak traffic hours during weekday mornings (7 a.m. to 9 a.m.) and evenings (4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.).

SXSW Shuttles and other transportation options

SXSW offers a free circulating shuttle route that runs between the Austin Convention Center and most festival venues. You can catch the shuttle on Trinity Street outside the convention center. 

The main shuttle runs from 10 a.m. until 2 a.m. Friday, March 10; from 9 a.m. until 2 a.m. the following Saturday, Sunday and Monday; and from 9 a.m. until 2:30 a.m. Tuesday, March 14, through Saturday, March 18. East Austin service runs March 14 through 18 from 7 p.m. until 2:30 a.m.

Explore the shuttle route here or below:

Credit: SXSW
Route map courtesy of SXSW.

SXSW also partners with SuperShuttle Austin for rideshare service to and from the Austin airport, as well as with Enterprise for fest-goers' rental car needs.

Rideshare options, including Uber and Lyft, are also available to festival attendees.

How far are venues from the Austin Convention Center?

The Austin Convention Center serves as the main hub of SXSW and houses registration, daily Conference sessions, exhibitions and more. Most festival venues are in walking distance from the convention center and from each other. 

The festival has created a Registration Walking Map that shows distances and times listed from downtown venues to the closest convention center entrance.

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