Music lovers around the world are rejoicing this week with the return of the annual SXSW (South by Southwest) Music & Film Festival in Austin, Texas. Yes, every spring the Live Music Capital of the World gets even more jam-packed and visually-entertaining.
In recent years over 2,000 bands from all corners of the globe have converged here in my hometown for a week-long festival, and that in turn brings tens of thousands of other people to Austin, including celebrities, media, talent agents and managers, and yes of course, music-lovers. SXSW week is also popular for the debuting of new films, smart phone apps (both music-related and otherwise), and yes, even liquor.
The city gets so packed that hotel rooms are non-existent (and if you did book one in advance, enjoy paying 5x the normal rate). No, the real way for out-of-towners to enjoy their stay here — and save their much-needed dough for food, beer, and other SXSW-related goodies — is with Couchsurfing or even Craigslist. Last year many local Austinites with downtown pads made extra cash by renting out their couch / floor space via Craigslist ads.
For a cheaper and more enjoyable SXSW experience, especially for first-timers, crashing with a like-minded local is unquestionably the best option. Not only can you find a temporary sleeping place close to the action, but you are much more likely to have an authentic experience.
Anyway, I am going to cut this post short. The first round of #TTOT (9:30 GMT) just completed and the sun is rising here, so I need to catch a cpl hrs sleep before heading downtown.
More soon! I am on a mission to track down Anthony Bourdain, who is currently in Austin enjoying SXSW (and you should be too!)