Archive for March, 2015

Austin Housemates Guide to SXSW 2015

March 12th, 2015, Posted By Austin Housemates


In Austin, summer officially begins with South by Southwest Interactive. SXSW 2015 kicks off next week, regardless of the weather, and the excitable tourists will assemble in our city like a team of trademarked superheroes ready to enjoy live music and awesome drink prices. If you’re local, you already know what to expect and where to go (or where to avoid!). But if you’re new to the city, finding your way around Austin during SXSW can be maddening. Whether you want to participate in the festival or avoid the crowds altogether, getting around Austin during SXSW will be a challenge. Austin Housemates has compiled these quirky tips to get you through downtown as well as a few recommendations that are far away from SXSW so you can get the most out of your weekend whether you experience SXSW or not.

Getting Around
SXSW starts TOMORROW Friday, March 13th and roads will be closed. You can count on that. 6th Street will be closed from Brazos all the way to the frontage road. Red River, Jacinto, Sabine, Neches, and Trinity will all be closed between 5th and 7th Streets, and 5th street itself will be partially closed for the duration of the festival. So, if you’re thinking of driving downtown, don’t. Leave that to the tourists. As a local, you can hop on the CapMetro #100. It’ll be heading downtown every 15 minutes (give or take traffic) for less than $2 during SXSW. Bring your bike on the bus and take advantage of the bike-friendly crowd control now that all the roads will be closed. And if you’re lucky enough to live near any of the Metro Rail’s nine stations, you can get downtown and back in 30 minutes. We recommend getting off at the 4th and Neches station so you can be dropped right into the middle of the action.

Avoiding SXSW
Even as SXSW takes over 6th street and surrounding areas, the rest of the city is still open for exploration and fun. Coldtowne Theater, north of downtown off Airport Blvd, is presenting a Movie Riot Live Comedy Show on Friday for $5 which is guaranteed to make you laugh without giving you crowd claustrophobia. They’re even offering FREE margaritas – that’s right FREE MARGARITAS. Because, if anything, SXSW always pulls through with the free alcohol and free food even if you aren’t in the middle of it. If you’re looking to grab a bite away from SXSW, give Asiana a try. Located on East William Cannon in South Austin, Asiana will satisfy your Tandoori cravings with signature dishes like Chicken Tikka and Keema Nan. For a more classic meal, Bartlett’s on Anderson Lane in North Austin offers up a BBQ Rib platter, fresh fish sandwiches, and an all gluten-free menu with after 5 drink specials.

Remember, the easiest way to avoid the SXSW crowds is to avoid downtown Austin altogether. North and South Austin will be clear of most events, while many bars and restaurants will be still be running SXSW-themed specials to celebrate. If you want to participate, leave your car at home and take the bus.