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SXSW 2022: What to know before you go

Here's some information on COVID-19 protocols, credential pickup, how to get around and more.

AUSTIN, Texas — South by Southwest (SXSW) is one week away. It’s the first in-person event since 2019, which had more than 400,000 people attend.

The Austin Convention Center will play host to SXSW EDU from March 7 to March 10, SXSW Film Fest from March 11 to March 19, SXSW Music Fest from March 14 to March 20, Interactive from March 11 to March 19, and Flatstock 77 from March 17 to March 19. At the Palmer Events Center, the SXSW Wellness Expo will be held from March 12 to March 13.

If you’re one of the many people attending, here are some things you should know before you go.

First things first: COVID-19 protocols. Austin is now in Stage 2 of its COVID-19 risk-based guidelines, and SXSW has made the decision to keep its existing guidelines in place. That means anyone that is attending needs to provide proof of vaccination against COVID-19 or a negative COVID-19 test in order to pick up credentials.

Speaking of credentials, they can only be issued to, picked up by, and used only by the participant named in the registration. All badge types can be picked up at Exhibit Hall 1 of the Austin Convention Center starting Sunday, March 6, at 4 p.m. and all the way through March 19. For a list of the SXSW credential pick-up dates and times click here. Don’t forget to bring a government-issued photo ID and verification of vaccination or recent negative COVID-19 test.

As for getting around, you can catch a free ride on one of the circulating festival shuttles. You can also use pedicabs or public transit, or you can park close by and do some walking. Most of the venues are walkable and within a few minutes of the Austin Convention Center. For a look at road closures and commuting options, click here.

One way to help organize your time is by downloading the SXSW GO app. From the app, you can link your badge, RSVP for events, build your schedule and sign up for notifications so you don’t miss those few things you really want to see.  

SXSW is a huge festival featuring events for many different genres including music, film, television, gaming and more. It will be hard to attend everything you want.

Here’s some advice from Jim Kolmar, consulting film programmer for SXSW, and long-time attendee.

“I always tell people, pick out three things you really want to do and make sure you do those. Everything else, just have a plan, but leave it open to serendipity because your plan is going to fall apart at some point. There’s just no way to do everything exactly the way you want to. And I think that’s the best way to experience it too, just be in the moment.”

For those of you who don’t want to spend money, but still want a SXSW experience, you can subscribe to the free events here


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