25 Essentials to Survive SXSW

Every year as March approaches, the snow begins to melt, the leaves turn to green, the swallows begin to flock to San Juan Capistrano and SXSW starts trending on the brains of bloggers, artists, bands, film buffs and geeks alike. Flights, hotels and badges are locked in. That new “Plugs not Drugs” t-shirt you bought on Etsy is packed. You’ve rsvp’d to more parties than you could go to in an entire year. And all that’s left is the registration line at the Austin Convention Center.

Here’s a list of 25 things to help you make it through the madness, known to many, as just South By. Good luck!

Listerine Pocketmist

Beer, BBQ, onion dip, and loud music doesn’t make for the best mix for conversation when you are trying to close that deal. Make it easier on both of you by giving your breath a couple pumps of refreshment with Listerine Pocketmist. Ok, time to get back to some good ol’ face-talking.


You want to remember what you did in Austin, don’t you? You might as well make them look good. Hipstamatic takes you from a dude with a camera phone to Herb Ritz in the flick of the finger. Be that rock star photographer you always wanted to be. While you’re at it, upload and share them with Instagram. Now, if you don’t remember at least your friends do.

Kormargeaux Canvas Backpack

What would SXSW be without all that “stuff”? At every stop along the way, you are sure to pick up a t-shirt here and a hat there, flashdrive over there and then of course you will need to put all the things on this list somewhere. A light weight organic cotton backpack from kormargeaux on etsy.com should do the trick. Happy swag’in!

Neutrogena® Ultimate Sport™ Sunblock Spray

With an average temp of 75º and a humidity reading of 75%, two things are going to happen, you are going to sweat and get burned. So, reach into that backpack and spray away. Neutrogena Sunblock Spray last for hours and resists wear off from water, rubbing, sweat, or wiping. The days of your face being cover in a white sunblock residue are over.

AustinFoodCart App

Tech, film, music, fashion are all great reasons to come to SXSW but the main reason is to eat at all the awesome food trucks and food carts that are on almost every corner. How to decide or find your favorite cart? Pull out your nifty smart phone and hit the Austin Food Cart App. Real time, geo-based yum finder. No more walking out of Stubbs at 1am and saying, “Where is the Hot Dog King?”

Moo.com Cards

Most overheard question asked while cruising the halls of the Convention Center? “Can I get your a card?” With artistic confidence you reach into your pocket and pull out a Moo Mini. “Wow, that’s a cool card” your new connect says. With the option of size, rounded corners, eco-friendly paper and printing and custom art, you will be remembered. And, when you meet 200 people over the course of 5 days, you’ll need to stand out.

Starbucks VIA Instant Coffee

Late nights and early mornings only means one thing, Coffee, and lots of it. As the line grows at the three Starbucks in downtown Austin, you can either wait 20 minutes for that cup of joe or you can grab a packet of Starbucks VIA and add some hot water. Who kew you could have a solid, “fresh brewed” tasting cup of coffee in less than sixty seconds. Anything thing to make that morning a little easier 🙂

Superfeet insoles

“These boots were made for walking”. And, if you add these Superfeet insoles, that provide support and shock absorption, to those boots you can walk a lot further. At SXSW you will generally walk anywhere from 3-4 miles a day. Not to mention that you will be standing 80% of the time. Take care of your feet and they will take care of you.


Long sun filled days and chilly nights with little hydration will leave your lips dry, cracked and beat up. Keep them happy with good old Chapstick. Fits in your pocket and is ready when you need it. Looking for a healthy alternative? Try Pangea Organics Italian Red Mandarin Lip Balm. Pucker up!


With a front row seat since the beginning of SXSW, the SXSurvival guide will help you lead the way through the best of what Austin has to offer. Think of them as the 6th Street Sherpa. Plus they used Pinterest boards to organize it all, win!

bkr Bottles

Best advice you can get, hydrate! And, why not look good doing it all while saving the earth. The bkr bottle is made of glass and protected by a nifty rubber case. All removable for easy cleaning.
While water is what you should be putting into it, you can always fill it with your beverage of choice 😉

Sharpie Mini

Easily connected to your official SXSW badge and lanyard. Next time that band is like “Anyone have a Sharpie? We’re going on in two minutes and we need to write the set list”. You can save the day and maybe get a shout out from stage. Yeah, that rocks!

Crocs Hover Lace Up

These super comfortable canvas Crocs sneakers will get you to venue to venue and panel to panel in style. Think Chucks on comfort steriods, they weigh just a few ounces and with the little “nubs” on the insole, it’s like being in a foot spa all day long.

Alka Seltzer

7:30am: Alarm goes off! As you reach for the snooze you start to recall the pulled pork, five alarm nachos, red bull, six pack of Lone Star and that pita thing you at at 3am, a certain jingle starts playing in your head “Plop plop, fiz fiz”. Thank goodness for Alka Seltzer. You know what to do with it.


Although the is wifi is a plenty in Austin, that doesn’t mean it’s good. Don’t take chances when you are trying to close that deal while showing your online slideshow or website. Bonus of having your own ATT Mifi? You can sell it off when everyone around you is struggling to get online. “Yo yo got that wifi!”

Sonic Defenders Plus Ear Plugs

“What? What you say? Can’t hear you”. That’s ok at the concert, but not a week after you get home. Protect your hearing with these top of the line, but extremely affordable Sonic Defenders Ear Plugs. They filter out harmful noises while allowing you to hear what you to.

Hang Over Morning Mend

Look who went big at SXSW last night. As you start checking your phone for pictures to help you remember, you start to recall the sake bombs and tequila shots and you realize that you owned the dance floor and stage dived during the Black Angles encore. Awesome! Awesome headache. Pop the top off the Hang Over Morning Mend and guzzle it down like it was the first shot from the night before and get ready to do it all again.

Mophie Juice Pack Boost

While you are walking 6th Street and calling the office, surfing the mobile web, tweeting, and posting to Facebook, you are killing your phone battery. Don’t panic, in your back pocket is your handy Mophie Juice Pack Boost to the rescue. Plug it in and breathe. It will fully recharge you iPhone or you can use it while you check to see if you can get rsvp’s for 6 at 6p at PF Changs. Remeber, no phone, no fun.

Green Clean Organic Cotton Wipes

SXSW is about doing what need to do to survive. Meaning, staying in a room with six other people. Not into being the the 5th in line to the shower? Whip out the Cotton Wipes and bathe away. They also work for that mid day refresher as well. Smelling good is feeling good, and feeling good will keep you on your game.


Easier to take than your Flintstones when you were a kid. Emergen-C will keep you healthy and protect you from all the germs you come in contact with. Gives you a little energy boost as well, and we all know we need as much energy as we can get.

Ray Ban’s Folding Wayfarer

Hide last night’s fun while you protect your eyes and look good doing it. Great thing about these Ray Bans is that as the day turns to night you can fold them up and put them in your pocket. That way, one, you don’t lose them and two, nobody serenades you with Corey Hart’s “I where my sunglasses at night”.


What’s trending? Where’s the party? What panel is everyone at? Is that restaurant crowded? There are many ways to find this out but none more fun and easy as Foursquare. Plus, you get the addition of being rewarded with cool badges and points to compete with your friends. Down load it on your smart phone, check-in and let the games begin!

Dr. Bronner’s Hand Sanitizer

If you’re not shaking a couple hundred hands a day, then what are you doing here? That’s why you will need lots and lots of hand sanitizer, so why not make it calming, with a little scent of lavender. Now go shake some more hands

Heavy Duty 3-Grounded Outlet Adapter

Like water in the dessert, the wall plug is the hottest commodity at SXSW. If you see a group of people standing near a random wall, you can guarantee that they’re charging a phone, iPad, tablet and/or computer. So why not help out your fellow SXSW’er and plug in this 3-grounded Outlet Adapter. That way, whatever outlet you see, no matter how many people, you always know that you can join the party +1.


Doctors orders! 7-9 hours a night is optimal says the Sleep Foundation. So at least get 6-7 hours and you will be more effective, efficient and functional than most. Whether you are going for 2 days or the whole six you will need to listen to your body. Work hard, play hard and sleep hard, and you will have a successful SXSW.

Now pick up your pass and let the good times roll. We hope to see you Thursday, March 14th at our 6th annual AUSTINROX SXSW official showcase at BandPage HQ. This year we have performances by Dead Sara, Lianne La Havas, Wallpaper., Capital Cities, Dirt Nasty, Robert DeLong, G-Eazy, Battleme, The Protomen, Hunter Valentine, Terraplane Sun, and Chic Gamine!Click here for more deets.