Fest Etiquette

Fest Etiquette

Ed. note: One of the things that we really love about the festival is that people are so genuinely passionate about making the most of their time Austin — and because we understand that there’s a lot to experience in a short time, we asked the fest vets behind @SXSWhoa to provide these tips for a successful festival experience. Follow @SXSWhoa for more festival RSVPs, rumors, tips, and party info.

TIP YOUR BARTENDER: Might as well open with the obvious. These people work hard, and while the drinks may be free, they certainly aren’t working for nothing — Let them know how much you appreciate what they do with a little something extra in that tip jar.

DON’T CUT LINES OR LET YOUR FRIENDS CUT LINE: If you have one person that got caught up and needs to sneak in last minute — that is understandable, and most people wouldn’t mind, but bring the whole crew in while others have waited probably isn’t going to go over well.

NO FLEX ZONE: People didn’t come to festival to fight — they came to party. If you aren’t here for the music, interactive, or film then maybe stay at home. Let’s all keep our emotions in check and just try to squash the beef before it starts.

DON’T DRINK AND DRIVE: There’s many options to get home safely including Lyft, Uber (use promo codes: RSVPSTER2015 or SXSWHOA to get your first ride free up to $20), Tripda (another carpooling service, read more), the Capitol Metro bus (view schedule), MetroRail (view schedule), taxis (numbers for all Austin taxi companies: (512) 478-2222, (512) 452-9999, (512) 836-4900), or use Yellow Cab’s HailACabApp. If you’re staying downtown — get a pedicab, bike or walk. Check out the full post from 2014 on how to get around (and where to stay!) while in Austin, or read this story on the Statesman about the influx of transportation and ridesharing options for available during the fest.

NOT EVERYONE GETS IN: There will be lines. Many, many,  lines. Long lines. Venues are always subject to capacity, and will often have to go with a ‘1 in and 1 out’ policy. If you find yourself in a no hope situation, it’s best to just bail and find another event. Go find a new showcase. It’s better to discover something new than spending your entire night in the back of a 200 yard line. Tip: Search Twitter with #SXLines to get a general idea of what the wait looks like for certain events.

ENJOY THE SHOW: Nothings wrong snapping some pictures or recording a snippet of your favorite artist, but do you really need to record the entire show? Get the stuff you need and put your phone down to enjoy the moment. Most of these showcases have professionals recording the shows. You can always watch a recap later on the internet.

IF YOU AREN’T ENJOYING THE SHOW, LEAVE: For every person inside a showcase not enjoying themselves, there is someone outside in line that wishes they were in there. Head out to a different spot and clear up some room for those that want to be there.

BE NICE: Just generally be nice to those around you. Hold doors open. Say excuse me. Be respectful to one another. A little kindness goes along way. Clean up after yourself. Throw garbage in trash cans. Tell people thank you. Buy a new friend a taco or beer. Meet new people while standing in line. Offer tips to those around who on where to go, eat, and things to see.


Want more festival tips? Follow @RSVPster and @SXSWhoa. Need help getting the fest of your party planning straight and managing RSVPs? We’re here for you.