Austin SXSW 2023 Do's and Don'ts for a Successful Trip

January 24th 2023
Jeannelle Douglas
Austin SXSW 2023 Do's and Don'ts for a Successful Trip

The Austin SXSW festival is right around the corner, and for new visitors who are attending the festival for the first time, it might seem overwhelming. From figuring out what to do and where to go, this cherished event can prove to be challenging without the right knowledge. We have covered some practical tips to help you have a better time at SXSW 2023.

With traveler satisfaction and safety at the forefront, TripShock Austin, a premier activity and booking service, has prepared the Austin SXSW Do’s and Don’ts for a successful trip.

Table of Contents

  • DO’S
  • Plan Around the Events (Shows, Speakers, Conferences)
  • Arrive Early
  • Eat Something
  • Experience Austin Outside SXSW
  • Plan for Emergencies
  • DON’TS
  • Waste Money on SXSW Tourist Traps
  • Make Yourself a Target for Crime
  • Bring Your Pets
  • Ruin the Fun for Others





Plan Around the Events (Shows, Speakers, Conferences)


Zoe Saldana and John Feingerg at conference

Pictured above are Zoe Saldana and John Feingerg speaking at a conference. Image by


Many new SXSW attendees expect to see a music festival, but SXSW is comprised of multiple events. It’s essential that you plan your vacation around the following must-see events:

  • Civic Engagement Conference (March 10-13, 2023): Brings together some of the world’s most progressive voices at the local, national, and global levels.
  • Advertising & Brand Experience (March 10-14, 2023): Takes a look at progressive thinking on strategies to fully engage audiences via traditional, experiential, and digital methods.
  • Film Festival (March 10-18, 2023): Features captivating dramas, comedies, documentaries, comedies, and more.

Another amazing SXSW experience is the Urban Fêtes Industry Panel, Showcase & Media Lounge. At this imaginative panel discussion, attendees will have the opportunity to network with emerging leaders and rising entrepreneurs providing insight into how to flourish in a constantly progressing industry.


Arrive Early


Crowd at music concert

With SXSW crowds like the one pictured above, it’s easy to see why arriving early is a must.


To get the most out of SXSW, arrive early in the week to explore the city and plan other events you want to go to. Then, arrive early at SXSW shows and conferences to get the best spots.

The music festival is SXSW’s main event, and is when artists, industry tastemakers, and music fans from around the globe together to build connections, boost their careers, and celebrate the best-of-the-best in live music from trending new talent to known music legends. For a full list of performers, visit


Eat Something


Friends having breakfast at restaurant

Pictured above is a group of friends having breakfast at a restaurant.


The city of Austin is known not only for its music but also for its tasty food. During your trip to SXSW, you’ll discover why foodies love this city. Many vendors may try to sell overpriced food; however, you will find exceptional treats at local restaurants.

Start your day off with an order of delicious carrot cake french toast from South Congress Cafe. After you’ve indulged in some exploration, take a lunch break and grab a classic chicken fried steak at Broken Spoke or grab some of the best burgers in town at Casino El Camino.

Smoked BBQ, tacos, and Tex-Mex dishes make for a delightful dining experience. Before your vacation is over, make sure you take a bite out of some chocolate cheesecake ice cream filled with Oreo cookie chunks, a delicious dessert in Austin, TX.


Experience Austin Outside SXSW


Cheering crowd at music festival

Pictured above is a cheering crowd at a music festival.


Austin is the center of SXSW activity, with many events happening in downtown Austin. To get a true Austin experience, venture outside SXSW and visit the Texas State Capitol or the Bullock Texas State History Museum.

Austin also has many murals that are worth checking out. Some of the murals that you may want to see include the Mexic-Arte Museum Mural, The Beauty and Liberty of Equality mural, and the Willie Nelson & Janis Joplin Mural. Exploring the different neighborhoods will expose you to classic Austin culture, shops, and dining options. Keep in mind that many streets are closed and traffic is much heavier during SXSW.

The fun in Austin doesn’t stop at SXSW. There are plenty of activities you can enjoy. Venture out on a memorable E-bike tour to check out the sights, historic spots, colorful murals, and more. It’s also one of the best ways to get around Austin during this time.


Plan for Emergencies


Large crowd at event

With crowds like these, it’s always a good idea to plan for emergencies.


It’s wise to prepare for the possibility of a dangerous situation while attending SXSW. Be prepared to meet up with your group in an emergency, and keep a cell phone at hand so you can call others in case you run into trouble on your own. Keep in mind, if there are people who appear to be heavily impaired or dangerous, avoid them at all costs.




Waste Money on SXSW Tourist Traps


event pass on lanyard

By traveling a short distance away from SXSW, you can avoid overly priced items.


Most major events are known for tourist traps, and Austin SXSW is no exception. As home to one of the most exciting music festivals in the country, Austin has drawn in creatives from around the country. Anything south of MoPac has become a guidepost for food, drink, and new music. With all of this, you can easily fall prey to overly-inflated pricing on everything from hookahs, hats, lanyards, security passes, etc.

There’s no question that Austin SXSW 2023 is a must-see event, and overly priced items are common in the surrounding areas. If you simply travel a short distance from the SXSW routes, you can get similar Austin memorabilia at a much lesser price. Try to keep yourself out of situations that allow you to be taken advantage of during SXSW.


Make Yourself a Target for Crime


Group of tourists in the street at night

When attending major events, like SXSW, it’s best to stay in well-lit, public areas.


Austin, like any other major city, has its share of crime. To avoid falling victim, think carefully before walking in unlit areas or traveling into unknown parts of the city. Valuable belongings should be kept on you at all times, and it’s best to park in well-lit parking areas. Whenever possible, avoid confrontation, you never know if someone is a threat.


Bring Your Pets


Family dog

It’s best to leave the family dog at home.


While the family dog may be adorable, SXSW is not the appropriate place for an animal. Large crowds make it very hard to stand and loud noises spew out from all different directions. With no sanctuary to retreat to, even dogs with the most stable mindsets will find it challenging to remain calm.


Ruin the Fun for Others


Crowd at concert

Always follow the SXSW code of conduct.


Over 400,000 people attend SXSW each year, and each attendee expects an outstanding experience. These are the following behaviors to avoid to keep Austin SXSW 2022 an exciting and positive experience for everyone:

  • Be respectful- Do not engage in any kind of written, verbal, or physical abuse, or even threats. SXSW is a diverse environment- Avoid using discriminatory or derogatory language, actions, or gestures, or any form of racism, sexism, harassment, or any comments that target a group of people.
  • Not following public health guidelines-It’s expected that all SXSW attendees follow public health guidelines in regards to hygiene, safety, and COVID-19. If you’re sick, stay home. If you attend the event, engage in social distancing, proper handwashing, and other disease prevention mechanisms.

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