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Resources & Tips For A Great SXSW Music Experience

SXSW_logoThere are a huge number of web resources for folks attending SXSW Music 2012 from official SXSW schedules and news to unofficial guides to all related music events. Given that you should already have transportation and a place to stay lined up, here are some of the more notable resources to introduce you to the bands you'll be hearing, the parties you'll be crashing and the food you'll be eating. But let's start with a few tips for surviving SXSW Music.

SXSW Survival Tips

My Top Tips:

  • Plan ahead - but don't treat your plans as if they were a binding legal contract.
  • Stay hydrated - don't wait till you're thirsty.
  • Store mobile data for offline access - do not count on mobile access in a form that will allow you to maintain your sanity.

For more detailed advice, check out Loku's Guidebook to Surviving SXSW. Also worth checking out is Brad King's A South by Southwest Guide to Surviving the Nerdpocalypse. Though both of these were actually written for SXSW Interactive attendees, they're totally relevant to all SXSW festival goers.

SXSW Music: Sample Tracks and Schedules

SXSW Music is where it all began as SXSW. Check the website for news updates and previews as well as a complicated schedule of events and showcased bands. SXSW also has an official mobile app, SXSW GO. Unfortunately there are various shortcomings to the official schedule that unofficial services are attempting to address.

For example, many of the band listings include a sample track but checking them all out involves a lot of scrolling and clicking. Greg Hewgill has been compiling these tracks since 2005 and offering them as Unofficial SXSW Torrents. It's a great way to find out about emerging artists which is at the heart of SXSW's origins though increasingly obscured by mainstream bookings.

Sched.org has created its 5th Annual Unofficial SXSW Guide to both official and unofficial events. Filter option are at the top of the page and additional search options are available. There is also a mobile edition.

I Just Came To Party!

The official SXSW schedule includes parties and Sched.org includes both official and unofficial parties (though there seems to be some crossover). Another option is Austin360.com which has quite a bit of SXSW Music coverage. Of special note is their handy guide to unofficial parties, the SXSW Side Parties Database 2012, which also has a mobile version.

A lot of resources are being announced for SXSW Interactive that hopefully will continue to be useful during SXSW Music. For example, WillCall's automated party RSVP service and Localmind's mobile party news app. Since some parties require RSVP's for entrance, WillCall should be of special interest. Localmind's app allows you to find out what's happening in realtime and that's the focus of a number of apps being introduced at SXSW.  Some are included in this guide to Must Have SXSW Mobile Apps.

Don't Forget To Eat!

Austin has a lot of great food options though you might need to exit the SXSW zone for a relaxed dining experience. Barbecue is definitely a big part of Texas cuisine but what that really means is beef brisket. If you eat meat, go for the brisket.

That said, Austin360.com has a guide to Austin restaurants of all kinds. They include 35 places for breakfast tacos and top Austin food trailers. The food trailers are unlikely to be in their usual locations and often are used for promotional events during SXSW. They're worth watching for given their unique range of cuisine.

Free food will also be available at many parties. Sched.org includes free food at unofficial parties as a filter.

Local Music Bloggers and Pinterest Guides

Austin's a great music town year round so when local music bloggers recommend SXSW acts, they're probably worth checking out. Blogs running previews and making recommendations include Austin Town Hall, AustinBloggyLimits and OVRLD.

All this reading getting you down? Words suck don't they? If that's how you feel, check out Mashable's 12 Essential Pinterest Boards for SXSW 2012. They cover pretty much all of the above topics and more.

So what are your favorite resources for SXSW Music 2012?

Please share in the comments!

Hypebot Features Writer Clyde Smith maintains his freelance writing hub at Flux Research and music industry resources at Music Biz Blogs. To suggest topics for Hypebot, contact: clyde(at)fluxresearch(dot)com.

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