Getting Ready for SXSW: 2023

After four long years, Bill and I are attending SXSW in person again! The cancellation of the March 2020 event was our first clue that the pandemic would be serious. Then we watched the online version of SXSW in 2021 and again in 2022. We enjoyed watching the movies at home, but the Interactive sessions weren’t too exciting.

Yesterday we went to the Austin Convention Center to pick up our badges and tote bags and beat the long lines. We definitely accomplished these things, especially avoiding the crowds. In the pre-pandemic days, we enjoyed pouring over the schedule brochures and free stuff in our bags. This year we each received a tote bag…and nothing else. Everything’s online now. Bill’s hoping to get a printed Film brochure. Good luck with that.

Bill and I hadn’t been near the Convention Center since pre-pandemic times. One major improvement is that the Metrorail station was moved back a block to Trinity Street and replaced with a pedestrian mall. Now we won’t need to worry about being hit by cars or trains there, just bikes and scooters.

The south side of the Convention Center has changed, too. Look at all those tall buildings on Rainey Street! The Hotel Van Zandt is dwarfed now and about to be hidden by more construction.

Some things haven’t changed. Scooters are parked everywhere. Everything near the Convention Center is wrapped up in plastic, soon to be covered by posters and stickers.

The SXSW Merch stands in the Convention Center are ready to go. So are we!

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