Now that we are just days away from packing our suitcases and heading down to Austin, TX for SXSW 2006, it is time to start getting organized. With what seems like eight zillion bands performing at various locations throughout the festival, it is tough to keep track of who all you want to catch on a given day.
Up until now, every year I plotted my list out on pieces of paper, which I kept in my back pocket. Well, after a few days of sweating in venues, spilling beer on myself, getting rained on, etc... that list gets pretty funky. Now, modern technology makes it much easier to keep track of your band wishlist.
For starters, you can upload the entire schedule to your iPod. While I have yet to figure it out, perhaps you'll have better luck. With the long lines we now deal with when attempting to catch a showcase, that iPod really comes in handy for entertainment while we wait. If you are traveling without an iPod, you can also have SMS guides sent to your cell phone. These are quite helpful, especially when those infamous last minute schedule changes happen, as an alert will be sent to you... saving you an unnecessary trip to the wrong location. If you rock the PDA, they have schedules available for download as well.
It is never easy to get a firm schedule set during SXSW, as we all end up getting dragged to different shows than we had originally planned. The best advice is to just roll with it. Also, do yourself a favor and catch some unsigned bands while you are at the festival. Rummage through the official SXSW website's online music player and discover some new favorites.