sxsw 2016- austin, texas- the musical capital of the world

Austin, Texas is rich in cultural arts. For some reason, when people think of Texas they imagine us riding horses and talking with a country twang. Don’t get me wrong, if you are in the right part of Texas, you are apt to see people riding horses. My brother was the most unorthodox vision of Texas pride. He was dressed up in his seemingly apropos urban wear: flat-bill baseball cap, braids, and Jordans–when he decided to ride his horse to the gas station to buy his 40 (we call that a “foe-ty”) This is vernacular for a 40 oz bottle of Old English beer. Not talking about a gun this time.

Spring is one of my favorite times of year in Texas. Living in Austin, I hear a lot of complaining from my fellow American immigrants (aka Non-Texans): “Texas doesn’t have any seasons! I miss California [or insert another state].” I’m just picking on the Californians because they are everywhere in Austin. I would like to say to people from other North American countries: (aka other states—because Texas is our own darn country, thank you very much!) we do have seasons.  

They are called: Hot-as-Hell (Summer), in which everything dies due to drought conditions. This creates an environment where it looks like we are in Hell. Then there is allergy season (Spring), where our winky-dinky-little-mini-trees bloom. Contrary to common belief, everything is not bigger in Texas; our trees are small in Central Texas since we don’t get much rain. Then there is: “Oh thank God!” That exclamation refers to Fall. And alas, we have…what do y’all call it? You know, that time of the year when that wet frozen stuff falls out of the sky… oh yes. We don’t get winter here.  

Sometimes it gets cold and white powder falls out of the sky. We worry it might be a terrorist attack. All of the SUV’s start flipping, even though they are driving 25 MPH on the highway. It’s like they’re being attacked by white fluffy little bullets! Three years ago, we had so many flipped SUVs and “snow days” that I felt like there was some conspiracy… there is a political connection somewhere because there was no snow anywhere! By the way, I am not a “Conspiracy Nut.” I am a Conspiracy Analyst, thank you very much.

Alright, now that I have defended my country against the lies of foreigners, let’s talk about why the Spring is so wonderful in Austin, Texas. If you are looking for a mini-vacation in the States, Texas is an amazing place to visit…some places are better than others, of course, and you may hate Texas as you drive down the never ending road asking yourself, “when the heck does this state end for God’s Sake!”

I live in the live Musical Capital of the World. We love music so much that even our grocery stores have live Blues bands playing on the patio area randomly during the week. Live music is a free gift that we love to give and receive here in Austin.  Speaking of music, we have the famous South by Southwest (SXSW) happening in March (http://www.sxsw.com/).  

From March 11th-15th, SXSW will be hosting interactive activities and concerts. From the 11th-19th, the film portion of the event is taking place. From the 15th until the 20th, is when the music portion of the festival.  

Overall the cost of the whole concert can be pricey. For the Platinum Badge, you will pay $1,745. This includes complete access to all events from the 11th-20th. Not only are you attending all of the events, you will be provided priority hotel booking assistance, and shuttle access to and from the event daily. Basically, you get to be the belle of the ball. If you are looking for something more affordable, do not be discouraged by the Platinum ticket price. The Gold Badge provides access to the Film and Interactive  SXSW from the 11th-19th. For $1,495, you will only be sacrificing the music portion of the festival.  

If you are a bargain hunter like me, you may be thinking “How can I have a good time on a dime?” The good news is that you do not have to spend thousands of dollars at SXSW to have a great time. The website has tickets to events as low as $245. There are free events that you can attend as well. For more information, I definitely encourage you to visit the website to see the lineup for 2016.  

To find out more about the free events that you can still enjoy, check out http://explore.sxsw.com/free-2016. There are free events from March 8th until the 19th. You can register for your free passes on the website.  

As an Austinite, I tend to hide as far away from downtown as possible for the next three weeks. I have been in Austin for more than five years and this will be my first year attending SXSW. My friend has finally persuaded me to think big and stop worrying about the traffic. If you are going, be safe, and have a good time. If you have never heard of SXSW, and you love music festivals; it is definitely an event that you should Google.

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Bella is an entrepreneur with a passion for writing. After making the step to come out as a lesbian, she made the decision to bridge the communication gap in the LGBTQIA+ community by sharing her voice. Her blogs cover subjects such as effective communication, dating, and health.