I showed up yesterday to SXSW and no place to stay for a few nights and since it's my 10th year, I don't always mind not having everything perfect. I flew in my team this year , we have video guys, this guys, tour managers, 8 shows, and a ton of content we need to create for other people who didn't make it here , to find our trip here, and also curate our own shows, get backline. So yes, we are busy, but it doesn't mean we can't do SXSW even better than we already are.
You might be here for your first time, and your 2nd time, but I think now is the time to do it big. Don't short yourself!! The advice I give here, I give to myself. I also almost never take it, so I keep reminding myself to take it... :)
OK. Here are 10 things to do at SXSW in honor of my 10th year here!
1. Buy a phone charger portable pack and also buy a extra charger to lend someone
Believe it or not, the most frustrating thing is having the ability to create content and not be able to. Also, you want to be able to help those who need it. They can be the CEO of a big company and you can save the day as a little guy, if you have a phone charger. This is your chance to be a hero, and also have your phone charged.
2. Hang out at Venues and support other bands
Wanna make a good impression on someone? Introduce yourself to the band at SXSW< be in the front row when no one is there and buy their merch. Even in SXSW, this is a good idea. Don't say you're in the industry or some other shit. We hate people like you who do that. Like we literally want to attack you. We all came out here to play for $0 and spent a shitload to get here, to meet people like you, so take the world by surprise and buy a shirt, which will get the band 8 cups of coffee! Imagine if you can swing the love meter that much by buying. t shirt? I'll take 2.
3. Grab a go-pro.
You don't need to have a fancy camera person!! You can have one, but if you are into it all, just get one that is inconspicuous and you can enjoy it by capturing all the footage by not being annoying. You can do it yourself and interview others.
4. Staples Up
Business cards are last minute but are better than no minute. Put on a quote that says,
"business cards suck but mine are the best. Nice to meet you. @koshadillz" or "I once wrestled a lion in the country of chad. email me: email@example.com" It doesn't have to be that but it can be something similar right? Basically the idea is to grab attention. Once you have it, its up to you with what you do with it."
5. Call you parents. Pay your bills
Don't forget to call your parents while you're at SXSW or whoever your loved ones are. Remember everyone is excited to be here but it is nice to check in so you don't fall into the warped zone of SXSW. It is nice to do that. I am typing this just to remind myself.
6. Go to Empire ATX, Death Metal Pizza, and Epoch Coffee house.
There are certain places I love to go to. Empire ATX, where I have two shows this year and one shabbat dinner (email firstname.lastname@example.org to RSVP for 3/16 dinner) There is Death Metal Pizza. There is Epoch Coffee house on North Loop. This is why they are all important. EPOCH is 24 hours. If you have no where to sleep!!! You can go there and post up for that long and it is safe. Death Metal Pizza is awesome since there is no death metal at all and if you meet someone there you can say you have this great story of meeting your new booking agent or manager at Death Metal Pizza.
7. Make an email list for your friends list
To make it more informal, I have a "friends list" from SXSW. It is a great way to stay in contact with people and invite them to whatever you may do.
8. Enjoy yourself + $50 bucks
Just because you are stressing about 500-1000 dollars doesn't mean you should ruin everyone else time. Make sure you go out there and smile. People hate bitter people and this is your one chance to make so many great impressions. This is my 10th year as an official artist at SXSW. I have literally created a career here and always know that a smile and an extra $50 go longer in SXSW austin then anywhere in the world
9. Give Give Give
Here is your chance to not act like someone so important. Be the person to collaborate with by offering that free awesomeness. If you are a lawyer, give people some free legal consolation If you are a manager, give free guidance on a career. If you are a venue owner, book a new act. Give them a small guarantee. If you a musician , give out lots of music (its ok to ask for $$ after a show or donations.) But just remember to give. You can give a follow on a Instagram. You can give a shout out to someone on your IG story. Just give.
10. Only be bummed for 5 minutes at SXSW
I was aware I was gonna be tired. I took a overnight flight to SXSW and I was sooooo tired. I walked the streets last night and didn't say much to anyone. I street performed to another person to mark my busking street at 72 days, and I knew I could've gave more effort. I thrive on the energy of people, and my old roommate lonnie once told me you can feel bad for yourself, or bad in general, but only do it for 5 minutes. After that you have to cut it the hell out!! You are still here in Texas, living your best life, and ready to crush all things ahead of you. Please please please....to have the best SXSW, only be dramatic, sad, or mad for 5 minutes tops. Then you can take a 5 minute break, and then come back to it if you need to.
3.11 Crowdtap x Suzy @ Parish w/ Shaggy + Dj Politik 10:30 pm
3.11 Empire ATX w/ Dr. Octagon (kool keith, dan the automator, Q Bert) 11:45 pm
w/ Turquoise Jeep, Sons of an Illustrious Father, Fat Tony + more. 12:20 am
3.15 GLDN Party @ Joe's Coffee 6 pm
3.16 Freestyle Meet Up @ Austin Convention Center Austin Suite 12:30 pm
3.16 Red Gorilla Fest w/ Devmo, Pharcyde, Flavia - 1:30 pm
3.16 Shabbat Empire @ Empire ATX Control Room 2:30 pm
Free Shabbat Dinner @ Empire ATX: 6-8 pm Rsvp: email@example.com
3.17 Flower Of Life presents: CMMNTY SXSW official showcase @ Mohawk Indoors
w/ Deluxe, Flaco, Deca, Nems + more. 11:50 pm
Kosha Dillz is a 10th year official SXSW artist and once became a playable video game character in NBA 2k11/13 because he met the marketing director. He is in millions of games now and he also toured Europe with Snoop Dogg because of SXSW. He also played with Mac Culkin from Home Alone at SXSW. If you want to see him play, check out his official schedule here. Check his full schedule below. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Spotify and Instagram and twitter and Facebook too. www.koshadillzworld.com