AUSTIN (KXAN) — The 2023 South by Southwest Conference & Festivals kicks off Friday, with a week-and-a-half’s worth of keynote speakers, pop-ups, film screenings, concerts and other festivities planned. But with that comes the big question: How do I get to and from the festival?
Road closures, impacts
Several downtown-area roads will be fully or partially closed for the duration of SXSW, per the city’s 2023 spring festival season guide. Here’s a breakdown of those road closures and impacts, for drivers navigating downtown during the multi-day stint.
SXSW shuttle system
SXSW operates a free shuttle route that runs from the Austin Convention Center and most SXSW venues throughout the event series. The shuttle can be picked up outside the Austin Convention Center along Trinity Street.
Here are the shuttle run times:
- Friday, March 10: 10 a.m.-2 a.m.
- Saturday, March 11: 9 a.m.-2 a.m.
- Sunday, March 12: 9 a.m.- 2 a.m. (Daylight Savings Time)
- Monday, March 13: 9 a.m.-2 a.m.
- Tuesday, March 14: 9 a.m.-2:30 a.m.
- Wednesday, March 15: 9 a.m.-2:30 a.m.
- Thursday, March 16: 9 a.m.-2:30 a.m.
- Friday, March 17: 9 a.m.-2:30 a.m.
- Saturday, March 18: 9 a.m.-2:30 a.m.
East Austin services are also available via the SXSW shuttle. Those run to Sheraton, Hotel Vegas and Low Down as well as Shangri-La. Eastside services run March 14-18 from 7 p.m. to 2:30 a.m.
SXSW works with SuperShuttle Austin as its preferred airport transportation service during the 2023 festival. SXSW attendees can receive a discount on services offered.
As for rental cars, SXSW collaborates with Enterprise for services throughout SXSW. Discounts are also available for SXSW attendees.
For those bouncing between SXSW conferences and events on foot, here’s a breakdown of the distances between different venues, courtesy of SXSW.
Public transit, rideshare services
CapMetro offers bus, bike and rail services to transport attendees to and from SXSW events. Rail services are extended between March 10-18, with special Sunday services offered on March 12.
MetroRapid routes 801 and 803 are the transit authority’s high-frequency routes that will run until 12:30 a.m. from Monday to Friday, until 12 a.m. on Saturday and 11:30 p.m. on Sunday. The following bus routes are available for downtown and east Austin services:
CapMetro’s Night Owl buses operate from midnight to 3 a.m., with additional buses in service. Those can be boarded at 6th Street and Congress Avenue, with a single ride costing $1.25.
With CapMetro’s MetroBike services, there are 75 bikeshare stations to help residents and visitors navigate downtown. MetroBike staff will also offer valet bike stations at these downtown locations:
- Fourth Street at Trinity Street
- Second Street at Congress Avenue
- Eighth Street at Red River Street
- 10th Street at Red River Street
- Rainey Street at Driskill Street
- Rainey Street at Cummings Street
- South First Street/Riverside Drive at Long Center
For airport services, CapMetro’s Bus 20 Manor Road/Riverside will run every 15 minutes. Riders should look for the “neon guitar bus stop on the lower level,” per CapMetro officials.