Thinking of volunteering for SXSW but not sure what to expect? Read on to find out!
Love or hate it, embrace it or avoid it, it’s no secret the SXSW Conference and Festival is a tentpole event in the Austin calendar. Me? I love it! Any chance to dive deep into a sea of discovery inspires and energizes my creative juices. Tech, music, film, art. It’s all available in a ten day barrage of experiences.
But there’s a catch – it’s costly. Savvy festival goers can find fun galore on the cheap, but the meat of the experience remains pricey. There is, however, a better way in – volunteering! Like every year, SXSW organizers are looking to recruit an army of people to be the gears that work in unison to move this event forward. And the perks of service are beyond awesome as well.
Who Can Sign Up for Volunteering at SXSW 2022?
Nearly anybody! To start the process, head over volunteer.sxsw.com/register. From there, you’ll find the online signup form along with a link to the hour requirements and the cool stuff you get for them. The requirements for joining the SXSW volunteer team are as follows:
- Must be at least 16 years of age. Underage volunteers require legal guardian consent.
- Proof of COVID-19 vaccination, primary only. Boosters are highly recommended but not required.
- Adherence to the SXSW COVID-19 masking policy.
- Must undergo required online training and venue walkthroughs (if applicable).
- Total time commitment can be 24 to 64 hours depending on festival and position.
The amount of time required for the perks depends on what you’re doing and the badge you’re looking for. For regular SXSW volunteers, the perks break down like this:
- SXSW EDU Badge – 24+ hours
- Volunteer Interactive Badge – 48+ hours
- Volunteer Film Badge – 48+ hours
- Volunteer Music Badge – 48+ hours
- Volunteer Platinum Badge – 64+ hours
If you’re volunteers at the SXSW Music Festival, the requirements are slightly different due to the nature of the work. A volunteer Music badge requires at least 24 hours, not 48 and a Platinum badge requires a minimum of 32 hours instead of 64.
Volunteering at SXSW 2022 – What can you expect to do?
Nearly anything! This year, SXSW is allowing potential volunteers to pick their area of interest to serve at. From artist parking operations to festival ambassadors to line management, there are over twenty different crews to choose from. Once you’ve done the initial signup online and completed the registration process, the SXSW team will reach out and get you assigned to a crew.
And while it’s amazing volunteers get to pick their area of assistance, access comes on a first come, first serve basis. Spots fill up fast, so be sure to register today to secure the job of your choice.
What do you get for volunteering at SXSW 2022?
Badges! Access! in case you’re not sure how SXSW badges work, here’s a quick primer:
There are four types of badges, one per track and a fourth “golden key”:
- Interactive (technology, innovation)
- Music (self explanatory)
- Film (equally self explanatory)
Every event at SXSW has two lines, primary and secondary. Your badge tells you which line to stand in. People in the primary line go in first, those in the secondary must wait until the primary line is empty. This is important! If you’re two from getting in via the secondary line and ten people enter the primary, you need to wait until they all get in.
The three track badges get you primary access to that track and secondary access to everything else. For example, if you have a Film badge, you stand in the primary access line for a screening and you stand in the secondary line for Interactive and Music. That’s why it’s important to pick your volunteer badge wisely. Pick them based on what you want to experience the most.
The Platinum badge is the aforementioned golden key. The Platinum badge gets you primary access to everything. Every music showcase, every track, every film. Naturally, access is ultimately determined by venue capacity, but a Platinum badge is your best chance to get the most out of your SXSW experience.
Giving Back and Rocking Out at SXSW 2022
Call me old school, but I believe attending at least one SXSW is required to truly understand the power and culture of Austin’s tech, music, and film community. It’s a rite of passage. And what better way to check that box on your ATX bucket list than volunteering. Not only are getting some sweet perks for a small time investment, you’re helping this fantastic festival run like clockwork. Hoping to see you at SXSW 2022!
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