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South by Southwest: SXSW 2023 Festival Guide

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The month of March is a great time to visit Austin. That’s when the South by Southwest Festival comes to the city! Music, movie, and art lovers make a beeline for convention center and other venues nearby for this confluence of concerts, screenings, and conferences. If you are planning to join them this year, here’s all you must know before you go to SXSW 2023.

After 2022’s hybrid event, South by South Festival returns to Austin at full power this spring. The 10-day-long event brings thousands of visitors to Austin every year and with this year’s mostly in-person schedule you can expect the attendance to swell at least as much as pre-pandemic editions. So, expect to the city to get busy – especially downtown – and the parking lots to get busier. If you don’t want to add hunting for parking near Austin Convention Center to your itinerary, keep reading for SXSW 2023 parking tips.

What is South by Southwest? 

Commonly referred to as SXSW, South by Southwest is a festival that features film, music, and interactive shows. This festival conducted by SXSW, LLC, usually takes place in Austin every year by mid-March. Artists, media and tech businesses, and party-goers looking to discover fresh talent attend this event. 

The first edition of SXSW took place in 1987. While the organizers expected around 150 attendees, more than 700 turned up for the event. Over the years, South by Southwest grew into one of the biggest events of its kind in the country.

SXSW Festival

SXSW 2022 was a hybrid festival with online and onsite events held from March 11 to March 20. Owing to health safety concerns that followed the COVID-19 pandemic, vaccination proof, masks and physical distancing were encouraged. The restrictions resulted in a smaller event with lower attendance as compared to fully in-person previous editions. In 2023, the festival will continue to have online screenings and conferences, but the schedule is largely centered around the downtown Austin venues. SXSW Sydney 2023 is also debuting as a spinoff event in the fall. 

When is South by Southwest? 

The South by Southwest 2023 edition will take place from March 10-19. 

All SXSW 2023 concerts are between March 10 and March 17, while exhibitions begin on Sunday – Match 12, 2023. South by Southwest Film & TV Festival and Comedy Festival run from March 10 to March 18, 2023, while the SXSW 2023 Music Festival is from March 13 – 18.

Check out more details about the South by Southwest 2023 schedule here.

Where is South by Southwest 2023?  

via GIPHY

From 1993, the Austin Convention Center hosts the annual South by Southwest Festival. Majority of the events will be held at the massive venue, this year as well. Austin Marriott Downtown, Fairmont, The LINE, and several other hotels around Austin are also hosting SXSW events. 

See all South By Southwest Festival 2023 venues here.

Who is performing at South by Southwest 2023?

The music festival brings together upcoming and established artists from around the world. Keynote speakers range from politicians to writers and artists. Over 300 musicians performed at the last edition and you can expect similar numbers this year too. You can see the full lineup of artists and bands here.

via GIPHY

How much is South by Southwest ticket cost?  

The registration for event tickets has already begun. A Platinum Badge, costing you $ 1,595, gives you access to the entire event for all ten days. If you’re looking to attend the music festival mainly, buy the Music Badge for $795. A Film Badge and Interactive Badge costs you $1,195 and $1,295, respectively.

You can get access to the festival’s online events for $149, when you register online. Walk up rates for the SXSW 2023 online badge is $249. Be mindful that the registration rates will surge at 11.59 p.m. PT on February 2, 2023. Check the SXSW website to know more about registration rates and badge features.

See: Austin Parking Guide: How to find parking in Austin

Where is Austin Convention Center? 

Austin Convention Center

This multi-purpose convention center is located at 500 E Cesar Chavez St, Austin, TX 78701. 

The South by Southwest festival venue is around one mile away from Downtown Austin. Drive via the Guadalupe St and W 5th St route if you want to reach Austin Convention Center quickly. It hardly takes around 5-10 minutes if you’re driving from Downtown. However, with the venue being close to Downtown, always be wary of the traffic. The road can get congested heavily during peak hours. So, plan ahead if you’re driving to the festival. Capital Metro’s MetroRail also connects the city to the Austin Convention Center.

Is there onsite parking at Austin Convention Center? 

Yes. Two onsite parking garages offer more than 1,600 parking spaces. However, while hosting events like the South by Southwest festival, it is nearly impossible to find onsite parking. So, try to pre-book an off-site garage space to avoid delays and last-minute hassles. 

See: Top Tips for the Best Austin Convention Center Parking

Is there parking near Austin Convention Center? 

Yes. Many offsite garages offer parking near the venue. The onsite parking gets full quickly during festivals or events. So, it isn’t advisable to drive to the venue if you haven’t reserved a parking spot.  

parking near Austin Convention Center

How much does it cost to park near Austin Convention Center? 

The parking rate depends on the parking lot or garage you choose near the venue. It can range from $2 to $25 for an hour. You can easily find the cheapest deals at top-rated parking lots near Austin Convention Center and other SXSW 2023 venues online. Book Austin parking via the Way app or website for affordable rates and save up to 60% on parking rates by booking early!‚ÄĮ‚ÄĮ¬†

Also See: Austin Drivers can now pay for on-street Parking Using the Way.com app

Find parking near South By South west Festival venues


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