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The Essential Prep Guide For SXSW

So you're going to South by Southwest this year. Don't go unprepared - read these tips and join Taco Bell® and their FEED THE BEAT® program at the Hype Hotel on 3/11 to take part in an experimental, fan-made Rockumentary with Passion Pit and Wildcat! Wildcat!.

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1. Schedule some naps/plenty of sleep

Alix McAlpine

It might be tempting to stay up all night to catch the after-after show, but your brain will be made of jello and your nerves frayed from the day’s sensory overload if you don’t get some real shut eye (preferably in a real bed, not in the trunk of your friend's car.)

2. Get in line early to grab that wristband

Robert Scoble / CC BY http://2.0 / Flickr: scobleizer

You're gonna spend a lot of time in lines but the early bird gets the worm - so get the heck out of bed, grab a breakfast taco and go get your wristband before every other hungover music fan wakes up and thinks of doing the same. This is crucial for big productions like Mess with Texas and The Fader Fort.

4. Don't forget your charger

Michael Raskop /CC BY-ND http://2.0 / Flickr: huskyte

Being at SXSW is a battery suck, not only because you’re using your phone to death each moment of the day, but something about packing that amount of people in one area makes phones and networks very unhappy. Always pack your chargers and extra batteries at the start of the day. Investing in an on-the-go charger device as backup is not a bad idea.

5. Be prepared for potentially crazy weather

John M. P. Knox / CC BY-SA http://2.0 / Flickr: jmpk

Keep in mind the weather changes quickly and unpredictably in Austin – the weather could shoot up to 90 degrees out of nowhere, and it'll be 40 degrees and rainy the next day. Of course, it will be unnecessarily chilly indoors. Be prepared for all possibilities. While we’re on the topic, pack sunblock – showing up to your panel with your face a deep shade of lobster red is not a good look.

6. Wash those hands, pack those vitamins

CJ Sorg / CC BY-SA http://2.0 / Flickr: cjsorg

This might go without saying for most, but the SXSW flu/plague is not a myth. Being around that many people is bound to get you some cooties. Stock up on Vitamin C, zinc, and B vitamins, or whatever works for you. (Also, packing your headache remedy of choice is probably a good idea).

7. Don't get buried in schwag

Not to be confused with "swag", promotional schwag is everywhere. Always remember that free stuff is just that, stuff, and most of it you'll never want or use. Only take things you're going to want to take home, because if you grab everything in sight, you’re basically just lugging around a lot of garbage all day.

8. Get your social media sleuth on


All the secret/last minute/surprise shows are announced online, so you're gonna want to be on top of your Twitter game. Follow Taco Bell's Feed The Beat on Twitter and Facebook for up-to-the second deets on how to catch some of your favorite bands.

9. Do your homework

View this video on YouTube

You better read any music blog you can get your eyeballs on in the days leading up to your trip like it's your job, because you're definitely going to want to know who all the cool bands are. Wildcat! Wildcat! is a good place to start.

10. Dress fashionably, but always comfortably

Dress to impress, but don’t let fashion box you into a corner. You’re going to be moving around all day and hanging out in a variety of different climates, so make sure whatever you wear is incredibly comfortable. You never know when you'll see your hotel room next.

11. See Passion Pit and Wildcat! Wildcat! at the Hype Hotel on 3/11

Facebook: passionpitofficial

Join Taco Bell® and their FEED THE BEAT® program at the Hype Hotel on 3/11 to take part in an experimental, fan-made Rockumentary with Passion Pit and Wildcat! Wildcat!. If you aren't lucky enough to be there in person, fear not, you can follow the action, work alongside the film's director, and watch the live streaming concert at Live Más!®