Ultimate Guide to SXSW: How to get most out of South by Southwest


Austin is the capitol of Texas and home to arts, music and technology.


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South by Southwest (abbreviated SXSW) is an annual series of music, film, and interactive media conferences taking place in Austin in mid-March. SXSW has become famous as a place for discovering new talent and technology in the film, music, and interactive media industries.

Past speakers at SXSW have included Henry Rollins, Robert Rodriguez, Richard Linklater, Seth MacFarlane, RZA, Joss Whedon, Amy Schumer, Sally Field, Alejandro Jodorowsky, Lena Dunham, Jon Favreau, and many more. Professionals from all over the world come to attend lectures, show exhibitions, and network — and Metropolitan Shuttle can help you get there.

About SXSW

SXSW has its roots in the late 1980s, when Austin Chronicle staffer Roland Swenson decided to co-organize a local music festival with the help of other members of the Chronicle. The organizers based the name on the Alfred Hitchcock film North by Northwest, and held their first event in March 1987. Over 700 attendees showed up, and the event has grown every year since.

SXSW is now made up of multiple conferences, with a packed schedule of shows and exhibitions.

The music division has become one of the biggest musical festivals in the world, with the 2014 show showcasing over 2,000 artists. The 2016 event brought over 51,000 registrants to Austin to sample the musical acts.

The film conference at SXSW lasts five days, with a full roster of panels, keynote speeches, workshops, and mentor sessions. SXSW also features a nine-day film festival alongside the conference, in which film creators showcase their work in a variety of categories. In 2015, over 150 feature films and 106 short films were showcased at the conference, from a pool over over 7,000 submissions.

The SXSW Interactive division focuses on emerging technologies such as the Oculus Rift and Meerkat. The Interactive festival includes trade shows, parties, and guest speakers. Past SXSW speakers have included Edward Snowden, Julian Assange, Elon Musk, and Barack Obama.

2017 speakers at SXSW will include Van Jones, Marie Kondo, D.B. Weiss and David Benioff of Game of Thrones, Ray Kurzweil, Rainn Wilson, Gale Ann Hurd, Adam Savage, Magic Johnson, and more.

When and Where is SXSW?

This year’s SXSW takes place March 10-19, 2017 in Austin, Texas. Much of the event will take place at the Austin Convention Center at 500 E Cesar Chavez in downtown Austin. Registration is open now.

There are dozens of hotels within ten to twenty minutes of SXSW, many of which work actively with SXSW to make lodging and attendance easy.

Getting to SXSW

Metropolitan Shuttle is one of the premier companies offering charter bus rentals in Austin. We have the experience and personnel to get you to and from your SXSW meetups, sessions and conferences or the airport in comfort and safety. Whether you need a shuttle van for a small group, or a full party bus rental for a multi-day SXSW film festival blowout, Metropolitan Shuttle has you covered.

If you’re interested in renting a party bus, tour bus, or shuttle van for your SXSW needs, call or contact us today and start booking. March isn’t far away!

You can learn more about SXSW and create your personal conference schedule at the official website. You can also follow SXSW on Twitter.

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