SXSW/2010: Know Before You Go

SX is exhausting. That’s “South-By,” as the cool kids are calling it, only the cool kids here are almost definitely not the ones who determined the slang at their high schools. Just sayin’.

Other novel terms and things to know:

  • “ATX” is how you write “Austin” if you want to seem like you know the place, but “Austin” is how you say it out loud.
  • “Breakfast taco” refers to a breakfast taco. It’s just what it sounds like, y’all. Why does everyone make a big deal out of them when they come here? I’m looking at you, New York Times. Okay, I concede, they are the best food ever invented.
  • If you’re incapable of being early, this may not be the fest/conference for you. Admission lines for the most popular panels and films start hours in advance. Free and/or nearby parking is gone by 10am. And just like you, everyone else is scouting for parties that advertise free food or booze, so that disappears quickly as well.
  • There are these new “SXX” express passes that get you to the front of a film screening line, but there are a limited number for each film, and you have to get them the day of the screening. They do run out quickly, but it’s not hopeless yet because not everyone realizes they’re available. So get thee to the 4th floor of the Convention Center!
  • If you like sleep – and your liver – this may not be the festival for you. Once the ball gets rolling (early), these people drink like hobbits. There are people selling beer while you wait in lines, and the drinking and screening go into the wee hours. Go risk the hangover or you’ll regret not knowing what everyone’s talking about the next day.

And finally,

  • If you can’t make decisions, this may not be the fest for you, because great gravy there’s so much to choose from. From seeing Jeffrey Tambor tutor actors to midnight screenings of pulp cannibal movies, you can see it if you want to. Yes, because of the early factor you may have to go for one thing over another, but if that’s your worst problem, you’re doing pretty well there, buddy.
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Sara Scott

About Sara Scott

Sara Scott is a freelance writer-editor and a graduate of the school of journalism at The University of Texas at Austin. A self-proclaimed couch potato and remote control slinger, she is most delighted when covering television and film. Some of her favorites include Glee, 30 Rock, Lost, The X-Files, The Matrix, Waiting for Guffman, and Hairspray (2007). She currently resides in Austin where she spends her free time hula-hooping and indulging her obsession with musical theatre. You can follow her on Twitter at