The 5 Apps You Need To Navigate Through SXSW Like A Pro

If you’re like us and are attending SXSW [AKA spring break for music, film & tech geeks] you’re probably overwhelmed with trying to remember the dates of the events, parties and meetings you’re trying to make while in Austin.

Here’s a quick guide to 5 of the apps that are actually proving helpful for us and they’re all FREE. Use this combo in conjunction with your smartphone calendar and you’ll be navigating through SXSW like a ninja.

Just don’t forget your charger!

Austin Party Guide

This cool app by our friends at ShoutEm is set up as a handy guide to events at SXSW organizing things by date in list or map form to help you find the party closest to your location. It also has a handy feature that let’s you import events to your calendar and is a great guide to both the official and non-official parties that are not listed in the SXSW schedule.


When you’re trying to figure out what’s popping off at any given moment and what the best options are ‘right now’, Localmind helps you crowdsource the information you need. Find out how the event is before you get there by asking those who are actually there. Ask and answer questions and location check-in that easily integrates with Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare. This app launched in Austin last year and it’s still going strong.

Austin Food Carts

Whether you’re a fan of food cart cuisine or not, chances are you’ll be eating from a cart at some point if you’re spending time at SXSW. While you’re on the run and hungry this app will save your life and help you find the food carts and trucks closest to you. It’s sorted by cuisine type and even has a vegan friendly section for the poor veggies stuck in the land of barbecue. This app will even let you view the menu before you make the trek. Sorry Droidsters but this one is iOS only!

/Android/Blackberry/Windows Phone 7]

This, the official SXSW app will allow you to have the official SXSW schedule in your pocket so you don’t have to walk around the convention center with your eyes glazed over. Easily view all the scheduled panels, talks and events with maps to help you navigate through the convention center. Check out who and what is on the exhibition floor, see profiles of the participants, easily post what events your checking out on your social networks and keep track of the official hotel shuttle all in one app. What’s great about this one is that you can sync the app with your SXSW profile if you created an account online and keep track of all the things you added to your schedule.


Many are touting Highlight as this year’s SXSW breakout app. If you’re interested in linking up with your friends or making new ones, this one’s for you. Whether you’re already friends on Facebook, share friends in common or have never met, Highlight will send you a push notification when you’re nearby someone that you have something in common with. You’ll be able to see their photo, profile info and keep track of when you’ve crossed paths and ‘bookmark’ people. Right now it only works via a Facebook login but it’ll get really interesting if they add LinkedIn support.

photo: ian


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