Festival season is upon us and as always, SXSW Conference & Festival kicks it off. South By Southwest, if you’re unfamiliar, is a combination of films, interactive activities, comedy events and musical acts all mixed in together during a 10-day event. A rare gem compared to most festivals.
What started out as a local event in 1987, has now become one of the most highly anticipated events of the year. But with recognition comes leverage and the people behind SXSW are using that leverage to their advantage. What do we mean by that?
Well, back in 1987 you could probably attend SXSW by paying a couple hundred bucks and still have money left over for a flight, hotel and food. If you wanted to attend this year, well you’ll end up paying between $825 to $1,650. And that is before buying a flight, booking a hotel and buying enough food for 10 days. In simple terms: badge prices are through the roof and paying that much doesn’t necessarily guarantee a great time.
As years have passed, it has been said that the experiences SXSW have offered are becoming less and less worth it. The musical acts are not as exclusive as they used to be and a lot of the screenings offered are films that can be watched at your local theaters. Do you catch our drift yet?
The exclusivity of SXSW has become more of an importance then attendees having a great experience. The badge fee along with your needs for those 10 days is a lot to cover. Even if you decide to attend for a few days, the least you would be paying is $825! So think about it. Is that fee really worth it to see artists that you can catch at your hometown for $50-$100 or films that will most likely be showing a theater near you? Yes, the atmosphere and the vibes are great but who really pays an arm and a leg for vibes?
Though SXSW may be an experience of a lifetime, you have to consider if that experience is worth you gambling a month’s worth of rent for it.