Jes Reynolds, via Instagram, and a view of the Austin Convention Center you might not be used to.
Archive for the ‘Accomodations & Amenities’ Category
With the slow rise of Bolt and Megabus in the US (as covered by Bloomberg recently), taking to the skies to reach Austin may not be your only option. You could take the bus!
BUs Travel Review site Wanderu has put together a guide to getting the bus to Austin in general, and SXSW in particular. With details on how to get to the Texan state capital from LA, New York, or Chicago, you can kick off your Southby week with a bit of a road trip… and no liquid carry-on issues!
Just a quickie for those of you planning something big at SXSW (as opposed to turning up and seeing what sort of party everyone else is throwing), but the local City of Austin municipal website, AustinGo, launched its new public beta look at the end of 2011. Need to find information on parking, permits, special events, or anything else? Head to AustinTexas.gov, or read about the changes here.
Living here, I love Austin all year round, but I especially love Austin during the time leading up to and during South by Southwest. What I love most is that while the city’s population has grown from around 846,000 in 1990, to approximately 1.7 million twenty years later, it still has a small college town vibe.
This is evident in how it’s full of quirky little eateries and entertainment outlets, and new ones are popping up all the time. Newer additions to the Austin landscape are The Highball, adjacent to and owned by the management of the Alamo Drafthouse on South Lamar, Haddington’s on West 6th Street, and the Barley Swine on South Lamar.
Another recent development is the burgeoning beer scene. Last year at this time there were three microbreweries in Austin; Independence Brewing, Live Oak Brewing and 512 Brewing. Recent additions are Thirsty Planet Brewing, Circle Brewing and Jester King Brewing. There are also some brewpubs in town that brew small batches of their own beer (and serve food). Among the best is Uncle Billy’s Brew & Que on Barton Springs. These are all available in better establishments around Austin, so you should forego the huge volumes of free Miller Lite and Shiner Bock at parties and explore a nice local beer bar.
And come March, all this gets the huge injection that is SXSW, which has been growing up just as Austin has. Even in this, it’s 25th year, there are big changes afoot.
The Interactive conference has blossomed to cover what I’ve heard are 8 “campuses” around downtown, including the Convention Center and nearby Hotels. While nothing has been announced yet, expect some way of getting between the venues. SXSW Film’s regular shuttles continue to get you between the silver screens, and you just need to sneeze to get between the stages on 6th Street during SXSW Music.
As for me I’m really looking forward to my 6th year volunteering at SXSW. Can. Not. Wait.
This year Eric Young is one of the SXSW Crew Chiefs and is one of many volunteers that help the event run successfully. He also blogs at austinbeergeek.blogspot.com.
The Housing Desk team at SXSW have posted up a little warning regarding Hotel Accommodation in Austin during Interactive (and the first half of Film). In short, there’s no room at the Inn, the hotels are sold out (although there is still availability for Music).
If you did have plans to get yourself to SXSW and you haven’t yet made plans, you’re going to have to be (a) inventive (b) bunk up with someone who’s already got a hotel room or (c) forget about sleep and just trust in the power of Sixth Street to keep you going. Whatever choice you make, there’s some more practical advice here.
It’s a simple question, and one that might have a huge impact on the bottom line of US telecoms giant Verizon. Now it has the Apple iPhone available on the network, and it;s likely to be the geek chic of SXSW week, will there be not only enough signal for voice calls, but enough capacity for the volume of handsets and the necessary bandwidth for the significant amount of data that’s going to be poured into their system from around the Austin Convention Center?
MuniWireless is one of many sites to vocalise this potential problem. If the American “V” gets this wrong, there’s going to be an awful lot of blog=inches lambasting the company, irrespective of how it works in the rest of America.
Me, I’ll be relying a lot on good old fashioned pencil and paper to keep me right, and a dash of serendipity to make new friends. But if you must constantly check-in, are you going to rely on an untested Verizon, the existing fun with AT&T, or another solution?
Looking for an unusual way to get to Austin and stretch your brain into the bargain? Then forget the plane ride ad jump on a bus.
Specifically the Startup Bus, put together by Elias Bizannes. This is going to be the second year that teams depart for the Interactive conference, but rather than sleep through the journey, you’ll be challenged to prototype and launch a new startup. As Bizannes pitches it:
You and a team of strangers on a bus, travelling at 60 miles per hour, have 48 hours to conceive, build and launch a startup.
There’s definitely buses leaving from San Francisco, Cleveland and New York, and depending on interest there could be three more from Chicago, LA and Miami. We’ll watch this and see if the community rises to the challenge.