The Ides of March: Beginning of Festival Season and Daily SXSW Must-Haves

The “Ides of March” are upon us and you know what that means…it’s the start of festival season! Festival season is my favorite time of year because it marks the end of winter, beginning of Spring Break, and my favorite technology, film, and music festival is already underway; Austin’s SXSW (South by Southwest). SXSW is a two week long conference in Austin, TX with the first week featuring new and innovative products and services at the forefront of the technological frontier (Twitter gained popularity here in 2007) with the second week showcasing indie films and music artists along with some of the biggest musical acts in the world like Lady Gaga and Justin Timberlake (whom I was fortunate enough to see last year at the MySpace Secret Show hosted by MySpace and Chevrolet).

In recent years, SXSW has become one of the biggest festivals in the country. There are no tickets to events. If you are lucky enough to purchase a SXSW badge which guarantees you entry into every music showcase, you have to RSVP for every event through Facebook, Twitter, or through certain companies/magazines that are hosting showcases or parties. Popular websites such as and have created one-stop shop event guides and put all of the SXSW events in one place so that we can RSVP for showcases and parties at our convenience and not miss out on any of the fun!

I am heading out to Austin, TX on Wednesday, March 12th, so be sure to look out for the good folks over here at Follow us on twitter (@MeaganElyce) to find out some of our locations and we might have a few goodies and prizes for you! If you’re at SXSW too, email us at with some of your favorite photos from concerts and events and we’ll be sure to feature them!

In the meantime, I have compiled a list of items I think you will need while shuffling from event to event or if you’re just hanging out on Austin’s famed 6th street:

Backpack– I know backpack doesn’t exactly say stylish but I learned early on a little cross body purse was not going to hold all of the cool free stuff I got from events plus my essentials. (Claire’s $28.98)

Hand Sanitizer/Wipes– You are going to be meeting people, shaking hands, and touching all kinds of surfaces, you want to have something to clean your hands when it’s time to eat or if there’s no soap in the restrooms.

Water/Snacks– You’ll get pretty thirsty and hungry walking around Austin and the lines for the food trucks and restaurants will be long. Bring a bottle of water and a few granola bars or bags of chips for a quick re-fuel.

Emergen-C– I don’t really like energy drinks so this gives me energy plus protects me from all outside environmental factors and germs with the help of antioxidants and vitamins. (Purchased at local drugstore for $6)

Sunglasses/Hat– It’s going to be a hot and sunny 78 degrees in Texas. You will need some shade. Need I say more? (Forever 21 Round Cat-Eye Frames $5.80)

Wallet/Pouch– I purchased this gem at Target for $5 last year for SXSW. It holds all my important cards and identification plus a little cash. They are all in one place so I don’t have to search for them and I minimize the risk of losing anything.

Battery Pack – Your phone WILL DIE! Outlets are sparse so bring a Jackery or Mophie Juice pack to give your smart phones, tablets, and cameras and a quick recharge for all the Tweeting, Facebooking, and Instagramming you’ll be doing. (Jackery Battery Bar $29.99,

Lip Balm/Gloss– No one likes dry chapped lips, right? (MAC Partial to Pink $20)

Compact Mirror– You need to see what you look like every now and again and maybe touch up your makeup.

Hand Lotion– See Lip balm/gloss description. Same applies for your hands.

Jacket– At night it can get a little chilly in the Austin streets so it’s nice to have a little jacket to keep warm. I prefer one with a hood just in case it rains! (Jack BB Dakota Faux Leather Jacket w/ detachable hood (old),

Comprehensive SXSW Event Guides:


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