The arrival of March might mean a lot of different things for a lot of people…Spring flowers finally making their debut, that big college basketball tournament,Women’s History Month, Spring Break, and even – The Ides Of March. But in Austin, locals associate the marvelous month with the droves of tech start-ups, film critics, music lovers, and the like that descend upon the capital city for SXSW®! With an overwhelming amount of incredible interactive experiences submerged in the music, movie, tech, gaming, culinary, literary and even athletic industry – there’s truly something for everyone at this festival that fosters “creative and professional growth alike.”
To get the real scoop on SXSW® – we figured who better to tell their SXSW® story than the true locals plugged into the Austin scene – Yelp Austin Elites! Trying to choose your SXSW® plan of attack from the exciting, yet endless, list of events can be a daunting task, but lucky for us we have 5 hand-picked Yelp Austin Elite members to help us navigate the sheer volume of activities and local businesses that go along with it. In collaboration with Bird – we’ve profiled five Yelp Elite members below to guide us through their SXSW® while they beat the festival traffic and congestion while efficiently getting around town on their Bird.
Yelp Austin Elite: Kelly N
What are your favorite Austin businesses that you plan on visiting during SXSW® and why? “My favorite places include Kemuri Tatsu-Ya, because of the ramen-bbq mashup, Prohibition Creamery, because of the alcohol-ice cream mashup, Péché because of the affordable yet delectable happy hour, The Side Bar, because of the cheap drinks and heavy pours, and Barracuda because it’s the best venue in town!”
What are your SXSW® Survival Tips: “Bring a tote bag or backpack for all of the free stuff! Charge your phone since you’ll have to like or follow businesses’ social media”
What SXSW® happenings are you looking forward to? “Howdy Gals hosts tons of unofficial SX Showcases and an Official one! I know TONS of music events, but some of my favorites include the KVRX shows and Howdy Gals showcases.”
Yelp Austin Elite: Brandon K
What are your favorite Austin businesses that you plan on visiting during SXSW® and why? “OutboundEngine! I work there and they host an SXSW® awesome recruiting event that I found my job at last year. Veracuz All Natural – The best breakfast tacos around and hands down the best veggie taco that even the most meat hardy person would devour. Odd Duck – Nowhere else can you go to a restaurant and be served by some of the most passionate employees who truly enjoy where they work and love what they serve. Austin Bouldering Project – For the price of a mid range gym, you get weights, co working and bouldering. It is easily one of the best deals in town when it comes to your health and enjoyment. Bungalow – while the crowds have been growing and growing, this place has stayed true to who they are for the past 5 years I’ve been here. They treat people well and are always ready to host a party.”
What are your SXSW® Survival Tips: “Schedule. Schedule. Schedule. Every year, we make our own spreadsheet of all events with times and locations. This is an essential part of making SXSW a total success.”
Yelp Austin Elite: Ashley B
What are your favorite Austin businesses that you plan on visiting during SXSW® and why? “Food is my specialty, but I’ll try to be broad! I love Fareground, because it’s a little taste of the best of Austin all in one spot. Lin Asian Bar is my new favorite place for a fancy and delicious dinner. Yummi Joy is the best candy store with the best ice cream (Sweet Ritual!) in town. Hideout is the best place for high quality improv (and a tasty cup of coffee). And Luxe Apothetique is the perfect place to find adorable last-minute gifts.”
What are your SXSW® Survival Tips: “Bring a backpack – there are so many freebies you’ll want to snag, and a purse and pockets fill up quick. Stay hydrated. Wear comfortable shoes. You can be stylish, but for the love of Yelp please wear comfy shoes with proper support.”
What SXSW® happenings are you looking forward to? “I have an interactive badge, so I’ll be doing as many official events as I can! Most excited for the Interactive party.”
Yelp Austin Elite: Ahmad H
What are your favorite Austin businesses that you plan on visiting during SXSW® and why? “El Alma, Loro, Irene’s, 40 North, Terry Black’s, Bangers, Clark’s Oyster Bar. These are some of my favorite restaurants.”
What are your SXSW® Survival Tips: “Start early and try and get good food throughout the day. Plenty of places to relax as you navigate through the city and various events.”
Yelp Austin Elite: Bianca S
What are your favorite Austin businesses that you plan on visiting during SXSW® and why? “Koriente, which always provides hospitality in their service and delicious food. Stubb’s BBQ is an amazing restaurant and venue combo! Rain on 4th– it’s a dance club/bar and I just love the atmosphere. The W Austin is upscale and chic and just has a nice chill and lounge vibe, and Voodoo Doughnuts, because they serve bad to the bone doughnuts 24/7.”
What are your SXSW® Survival Tips: “Download the scooter apps and also watch out for scooters. Plan ahead and expect to pay for parking or take a ride sharing service.”
What SXSW® happenings are you looking forward to? “I’ll be celebrating my birthday at multiple SXSW® events. I plan on going to a few comedy shows, concerts and the SXSW® Gaming Expo.”
Follow Yelp’s newly created Bird’s Guide To Austin bookmark collection to have this entire list available at your fingertips. Don’t have Yelp? Download the free Yelp App. We hope you plan to hit up SXSW on your Bird and cross some of these businesses off your Austin list and don’t forget to add your own Yelp photos and reviews. And be sure to check out Bird’s Guide to Austin with Yelp Austin’s fave local recs on their blog here.
About Our Partner: Bird is a last-mile electric vehicle sharing company dedicating to bringing affordable, environmentally friendly transportation solutions to communities across the world. Bird’s mission is to make cities more livable by reducing car usage, traffic, and carbon emissions. In Bird’s first year, Bird rider traveled 14.3 million miles and prevented 12.7 million pounds of carbon emissions from entering the air across 100+ cities. Check out www.bird.co to learn more.
To learn more about Yelp and Bird’s partnership and to register for a chance to win $5 off a Bird ride, please visit the Yelp event listing here.