I heart South by Southwest (tips to be a groovy SXSW volunteer)

One of the best ways to truly get into the Austin vibe, and specifially the Austin Music vibe, is to volunteer for South by Southwest Music/Film/Interactive Conference & Festival

and the time is nigh…Volunteer call is this Sunday &  Monday Jan 24th/25th at the Hilton Hotel downtown. The SXSW conference is March 12th – 21st

There are soooo many details and rules and categories and information that it would probably kill this laptop and my fingertips if I attempted to relay it all in a blog post….sooo I will take the easy way out and guide you to the fabulous SXSW Volunteer website.  Here you can read details about the perks you can earn, such as Film Pass, music wristband, Gold Badge, Music Pass,  Music Badge, and the holy grail of perks the PLATINUM BADGE which gets you into all three parts of the deal, Interactive, Film &  Music but is only attainable for previous volx

Prospective volunteers must register at the website before showing up to the cattle call

****tip of the day – get to the call early and KNOW what CREWS you want to work on, the best ones fill up fast!****

Or you can leisurly come and sign up for a shift on my fabulous crew – SOFTBALL/BBQ which takes place on the last Sunday of the event, and me being the Crew Chief of said crew ensures it’s a pretty rad, low key, fun day. Except for the dirty job that I don’t tell you about till you get there, but I do bribe. (my crew does actually fill up fast as it’s just one day)

10 tips to get the most out of volunteering

1. Don’t even think about getting out of Bag Stuffing

2. Don’t wear high heels – ever

3. Being hung-over is not an excuse to miss a shift

4. Sneak luna bars, cliff bars, kind bars into the convention center for your shift but don’t say I told you too

5.Get the small volunteer tee shirt, it’s hard enough to look cute in

6. be really nice and good and worky – crew chiefs actually do grade each vol and write notes about them

7. Bathe

8. At bag stuffing, don’t wear roller skates, dance and sing down the lines, or have a catch phrase while you toss your item into the bags. you will be remembered, and not in a good way.

9. follow rules, i know, boring

10. Have fun and sign up next year!

Here’s a little history lesson (and a clue to how old I am)  – I have been volunteering, give or take a few years of for having kids, for 18 years. When i first started, I worked in the office, in a small house, inputing data into FileMaker Pro on old Apples. I also helped open the mail. Because back in the dark ages, bands actually mailed in envelopes with tapes and CDs and paper press kids. And we actually listened to all of them, and sometimes we laughed, a lot. I also alphabetized CDs in a shelf, well some shelves, but they did all fit in one room. We rated them by colored dot stickers. The schedule grid was on a dry erase board.  I don’t even have any idea how they do it now.

I pretty much have had the  SXSW Softball BBQ Crew Chief position for the whole time, that hasn’t changed much at all, except that I email my volunteers. One year Gibby Haynes was the tournament announcer and he yelled at me for some reason I can’t remember and I cried, he’ s pretty scary. I’ve never had a rain out. I shouldn’t  have just said that.

The SXSW conference could not be run without all the fabulous volunteers, they are the heart and soul of it all. I would love to see and meet you all! So come out Sunday Jan 24th to the Hilton and sign up to be a part of an Austin institution and have a blast

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