It’s here in a little over three weeks, and you have just enough time. Have a pair of tennis shoes or Chuck Taylor Converse? Great. Stop reading this, right now. And start walking. You’re going to need to average at least seven miles a day to navigate the SXSW landscape without breathing like a first-time climber summiting Everest. So, with three weeks left, there’s plenty of time to get ready. You don’t need to be in Ryan Gosling or Rhonda Rousey shape, but you will need some standing and walking stamina.
For the past three years, we’ve used fitness trackers during SXSW to measure average activity (we highly recommend Garmin VivoFit, Nike FuelBand, fitbit charge or the Misfit Shine), and the results have been nothing short of staggering. On average, we walked a total of 14 miles a day and biked for 10 miles, all while getting an average of 4 hours of sleep per night (most of it “deep sleep” by fitness tracker standards). Now, while we at Texas Lifestyle are moving from one event to the next, trying to fit as much in as we can, the average SXSW-goer might not be so devout in their pursuit of all the events, but will still likely rack up more than eight miles of walking per day of attendance at SXSW, to say nothing of other forms of transportation you’ll likely take advantage of.
Easily the most helpful when it comes to attending SXSW events, the convention and festival provides designated busses at designated times to transport attendees throughout the various venues of SXSW. It’s easy, it’s convenient and it syncs perfectly with the SXSW conference schedule. You might not want to take it for events that you MUST attend, for which you’ll want to arrive early, but for general transport between SXSW venues, this is the ideal way to traverse SXSW 2016.
Uber and Lyft are both very prominent players in the Austin transportation market. And, although their services are headed to a vote in the forthcoming election, regarding the screening of their providers, chances are, SXSW will still be a very active environment for their services. Make sure you download either app to your smartphone and be cautious when dealing with them. Check to ensure that your prescribed driver and car are the ones who meet you to provide a ride, and be sure to pre-schedule rides where you can, to ensure you aren’t late to anything.
This will be covered more in the “So you live/are staying in Leander, how do you SX?” column, but CapMetro has scheduled service and extended times during the conference, and has routes that traverse nearly the entirety of the Austin metro area. With stops at the Austin Convention Center (SXSW Central) and throughout Downtown – including the MetroRapid, which goes up and down Congress, from the Capitol Building to the deep heart of South Congress. CapMetro may not canvass every street and intersection in Austin, but their stops will undoubtedly get you where you’re trying to go during one of the busiest times of the year.
CapMetro’s SXSW information for 2016 can be found HERE.
Here, then, is our favorite suggestion for SXSW. Want to save money, time and gas all while doing good for the environment? Get Downtown by any of the aforementioned means and check out an B-CYCLE. For one low price, you can access any of their MANY B-cycle stations across the SXSW area, and at all points in between. For an $8/day access fee, you can check out a bicycle at any one of their stations and all rides under 30 minutes are covered for the day. Just ride to your destination (there’s sure to be a B-cycle terminal there!) in under 30 minutes and check-in your bike. Come back out of that film/concert/session and grab another B-cycle and head to the next destination, whether it be at the Bob Bullock History of Texas Museum or at Jo’s South Congress. Cycling through SXSW is like being a VIP of the Austin streets, and ensures you have plenty of time, money and energy to manage this year’s convention and festival. For more about B-cycles during SXSW, CLICK HERE.
PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT
We feel it important, at this stage in your SXSW preparation, to encourage you and all of those you know who will be attending SXSW to NEVER drink and drive. With all of the transportation options available to you, there is no reason to put your or any life in danger by sharing in the revelry of SXSW and then getting behind the wheel of a car. Even if your car is parked somewhere overnight and the ticket or towing will hurt your wallet, it isn’t worth the potential harm to your physical self. Please plan ahead or pursue one of our suggested transportation measures. The money you could save on lawyers’ bills and legal fees is far more than these methods cost, and the life you save is worth infinitely more. -Editor