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SXSW Finale: Lessons Learned

Internal Affairs has friends? Lots. With advice.
Zoe Cordes Selbin, 2:08pm, Fri. Mar. 30, 2012
Doritos Jacked Vending Machine at SXSW 2012
As March comes to a close, so does the last strains of South by Southwest recovery and wrap-up. As I was writing my final “lessons learned” on SXSW, I realized that my friends could say it better than me. What follows is a collection of advice from some notable people in the Austin music industry. Here’s what they learned during SX.

Jeramy Neugent, Learning Secrets promotion & PR
“Having a motorcycle to get around is totally the way to go. Also, Violet Crown Social Club is a nice escape from the madness. Cozy, dark, cool, and cheap.”

Eva Mueller, musician, One Hundred Flowers, labelist, Stem and Leaf
“Bands should look into playing a variety of different types of parties such as interactive and film. This will open up even more doors for you. Don't get caught up in thinking you have to play 12 shows in four days. Be selective about the types of shows you want to play. It's just as important to build in time to hang out and network.”

Biance Flores, Transmission Entertainment
“Bring your phone charger with you everywhere you go. Your phone will die, you will feel helpless, and you might even cry. Charge your phone, always.”

Amanda Garcia, Austin Convention & Visitors Bureau
“Don’t sleep on the Austin Music Awards! Austin bands work hard all year and this is a great place to honor them and recognize all they do. There are always fantastic performances and as this year’s event showed us, maybe even a few surprises!”

Evan Kaspar, sound engineer and Mother Falcon
“Use public transportation. Arrive early. If you're particularly impressed with the sound of a show, tell the sound engineer. This helps keep everyone in high spirits and the show sounding great under such high pressure circumstances.”

Aaron Berkowitz, KnuckleRumbler
“Make sure you find a balance between knowing what your professional goals of SXSW are and the partying that happens over the course of 10 days.”

Laurie Gallardo, KUT
“The best thing one can do is find great music totally by accident. Sure, it's cool to time things accordingly so you can catch a band you've really been looking forward to seeing, but oftentimes the best shows are the ones you happen upon spontaneously.”

Johnny Sarkis, Red 7
“Buy fresh insoles and keep a spare pair of socks handy. There's nothing as relieving as switching out to some fresh clean socks. Consider downtime as a chance to do something relaxing with friends and family.”

Tessa Hunt, WXWC
“If you're in a band and get invited to the festival, do what they say, when they say to do it. Submitting correct info before the deadlines is such a big deal.  Showing up in the Convention Center the day of your showcase and trying to add a guitarist will not go the way you think it will.”

Jennifer Sinski, RSVPster
“Never underestimate the lengths people will go to for a free drink or taco, and that some of the over-sponsored shows fell flat whereas shows that were completely DIY resulted in seeing incredible, intimate performances from bands and DJs from all over the world in a living room or a West Campus co-op.”

Talib Abdullahi, the Parish
“Drink lots of water, do your best to eat good meals, and know your limits when it comes to drinking and smoking. On a few different days during SXSW I stayed totally sober and still had a great time. Happiness comes from within you, not just within a tallboy.”

Matt Mandrella, Transmission Entertainment
“Coconut water is amazing. Access to a bicycle is absolutely necessary.  Doritos makes pretty awesome vending machines. Jay-Z and Skrillex are super popular. Yelle rules.”

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