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- Posted by Dan Reilly
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Bring Your Phone Charger Everywhere
Your phone will be fighting to find a signal all throughout the festival, and that's rough on the battery life. Unless you feel like waiting in line for a charging station, bring yours wherever you go and find an outlet. You can either do this in the convention center or, like I prefer, find a bar with an accommodating bartender. Hasn't failed me yet.
Know Your Bathrooms
There are clean options in the convention center and in many hotel lobbies, if you're looking for a place to sit. Definitely a good idea to go before you end up at a place with Porta Johns (Stubb's included).
Have a Bailout Plan
Unless you're committed to seeing a band so much that you'll wait in line for hours, you should always have at least one backup plan. I've found out repeatedly that my first choice of a party or showcase will either have a huge line or something that takes the fun out of it for me (douchey crowd, bad sound, odd smells, etc.).
Get Your Venues Straight
Or else you'll end up having to walk back from a venue three miles from downtown. Or worse, you'll go to the wrong church, only to find out that you're about to enter a Train concert. Both of those happened to me last year.
Find the RVIP
It's an RV with karaoke and free booze. Need I say more?
Look Out for Your Immune System
Whatever it is you do to ward off colds -- orange juice, multivitamins, plenty of hydration -- do it. You're going to be around tens of thousands of germ-carrying people, you'll be tired and dehydrated, so you're just asking for SXSars. If you want to come back and not feel, look and sound like shit run over twice, take some precautions.
Keep an Eye Out for Bill Murray
He's usually wandering around, looking for fun. Last year, he ended up dancing on the bar behind me at Jack White's showcase. I got up the courage to say hello to him, blurted out something really stupid, shook his hand and I was in heaven. "Ghostbusters" is one of my favorite movies.
Need a Taxi? Go by the Highway
The only added advice I'll give is that people are pretty cranky the later it gets, so tread carefully when others are looking to hitch a ride.
Respect the Door People
Don't be that drunk asshole who mouths off to the door guy who's trying to manage an at-capacity venue. If you're friendly and acknowledge that they're probably having a shitty time, you might even get special treatment. Some of the best times I had in Austin came from schmoozing a bouncer into letting me into somewhere I didn't belong. Take that advice and you might get to have awkward conversations with Hodgy Beats and OFF!'s Keith Morris, just like me.
Only Wear Cheap, Disposable Shoes and Sunglasses
Last year, I broke my sunglasses before I even got off the plane and had to wander around squinting until I found a place giving away those really crappy free ones. I think I lost those too. I also ruined my shoes in the Fader Fort dirt and walked so much that I developed the aforementioned blisters and limp.
Beware of DJ Sets
Last year, I was told to go to a party where Arcade Fire were playing late at night. With a bit of help, I got into this exclusive event to find out that it was only Win Butler doing a DJ set on a laptop. Not exactly the payoff I expected.
Book Your Hotel for Next Year ASAP
You might as well ask for a room in 2015 while you're at it.
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