Important: SXSW Wristband Info – EVERYTHING HAS CHANGED

Whoah, SXSW, you’re keeping us on our toes this year.

Details about wristbands can be found at

They’ll be sold ONLINE instead of at Waterloo Records. Keep reading for more details.

From the site:

  • This year, the only advance wristband sale is via an online drawing.

  • 4000 wristbands will be put on sale to area residents only, at the discounted price of $139 (includes tax and service charge).
  • Submit an order online from 9am, Feb. 21- 9am, Feb 25, for one or two wristbands. Submitting an order enters you into the drawing but does not guarantee eligibility to purchase wristbands.
  • Entries will be drawn at random, orders for 4,000 wristbands will be filled, and your credit card billed at that time. You’ll be notified if your order could not be filled.
  • You will pick up your wristband at the event, and will need to place it on your wrist at the time of pick-up.
  • All entries must use a credit card with a local billing address. The name on the card must be the recipient of one of the wristband.
  • You can only enter once, but you can buy one for a friend whose name you must provide at time of entry. When purchasing 2 wristbands, the authorized purchaser must be one of the wristband recipients.
  • There’s no advantage to entering early.

Rules For Wristband Pick-up:

1. Each individual must pick up his or her own wristband and will need to present a drivers license or valid government-issued photo ID to claim his or her SXSW wristband.
2. The wristband will be fastened on an individual’s wrist at time of pick up and may not be removed until the festival is over.
3. An individual may not pick up a wristband for someone else.

Complete details here.

(Thanks Kathryn for the head’s up)

  • out-of-towner

    Does the +1 have to be an Austin resident?

  • Steve

    Kind of, for the first offering. I guess you could temporarily change your billing address to the Austin area. Also, later offerings are open to anybody.

  • The +1 can be an out-of-towner, but the purchaser has to be a local. The +1 also has to be named at the time of purchase.

  • weak

  • roblynn

    This event has become a monster. I remember buying a wristband on the street on a Thursday night 5 years ago.

  • Jenn

    For out-of-towners, I got this link from the yahoo!group:

    …but you need to book at least 3 nights at a hotel that’s not in downtown. =/

  • clint

    i assume it will be this way again, you can have someone with a badge purchase you a wristband at registration. its like 180-200 dollars.

  • liz

    Does the +1 have to pick up the wristband themselves or can the Austin-based purchaser pick it up for them?

  • “Each individual must pick up his or her own wristband and will need to present a drivers license or valid government-issued photo ID to claim his or her SXSW wristband.”

    I assume this will go for the Austinite who won in the lottery as well as his/her +1.

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  • PS the pick up will be March 9th through March 15th, so all out of towners should be, well, in Austin by then.

  • oz

    or bring a stack of $20’s to pay off the door men.

  • Melly

    I read over the details, and emailed to get clarification on something that was unclear:

    Hello Melissa,
    In the situation you described if both entries were drawn, you would be charged a total of $556 and have 4 wristbands for 2 people. Wristbands are non-transferable and non-refundable.

    (512)467-7979 x 255

    On Feb 14, 2008, at 6:24 PM, I wrote:

    Referencing the following “rules” for the drawing:

    You can only enter once, but you can buy one for a friend whose name you must provide at time of entry. When purchasing 2 wristbands, the authorized purchaser must be one of the wristband recipients.

    All wristband are assigned by name, and are non-transferable. If you find a way to enter the drawing more than once without being detected, and have multiple entries drawn, you will be charged multiple times for non-transferable wristbands assigned to you by name. You will not be able to transfer or resell these wristbands. DO NOT enter the drawing more than once.

    My question is: If I enter my name in the drawing, and list my significant other as the 2nd wristband buyer, and he enters his name into the drawing with me as the second buyer, does this count as “entering twice?” Also, if both our names get drawn, does this mean we are charged for 4 wristbands when only 2 are usable? I know it is improbable, but not impossible that that situation could occur. In that case, would we be refunded for the unusable wristbands?

  • Terry

    I am from out of town and typically we got wristbands from locals that went with us. Does anyone know of a way to buy a wristband other than the thing? I already have a hotel and flight booked.

  • Sean

    What a joke. I’ll not be attending in the future.

  • there is so much free shit going on you don’t need a bloody wristband.

  • Bryan

    Screw it. Day shows it is. SxSW was pissed off about having people skip out on offical stuff before…I’m sure this is going to help their cause. The SxSW folks must think everyone works for big record labels…Indies can’t afford $650 for a badge…thought that’s what this festival was about…ha :)

  • K-Fed

    What are they thinking? No stinking badge for me and no stinking wristband either. I’ll definetly go to the day stuff and non-sxsw shows at night. They don’t need me; I don’t need them; bastards.

  • Twinkle

    Isn’t this just for the initial 4000 wristbands? Aren’t they going to open up more for sale later on with less restrictions and at a higher rate ($180+)?

  • Terry

    I have emailed SXSW for comment about that, if they are releasing them later for $180. I have yet to get a response. I will post when I get an answer.

  • Dan

    Whether or not they release more wristbands later will depend on how many total wristbands and badges they have sold up to that point.

  • Mick

    My guess is they won’t sell that many. I could be wrong, but I’m guessing the number of people buying wristbands includes a substantial number of people from out of town. So maybe when they realize that it’s not just locals supporting the festival they’ll get a clue.

  • John

    The problem with the wristbands over the past couple of years, however, was that a HUGE majority of the people who dropped everything and lined up for hours to buy tickets were local area “opportunists” who in turn scalped those bands on Craigslist and ebay. Even local folks who couldn’t get wristbands at Waterloo the day of sale were left in the cold by all the scalpers grabbing up the bands. This way, everyone in the Austin area who wants to buy a band has a fair shot at getting one. If you don’t like it, just do the free day shows and alternative showcases, it’s not as if they’re in short supply.

  • scalpers are problems any time any concert sells tickets, but it’s only a problem because everyone pays what the scalpers want…

    by waiting until the last minute… i’ve always acquired a wristband at a reasonable price from locals who just wound up with an extra one… by friends dropping out… or by winning them from a radio station.. or whatever…

    my friends/family in Austin have bought them for me in the past… i’ve been going since 2001, this year seems like the 1st road block situation.

    somebody put me as there +1 and i’ll get you a case of beer.

  • Ryan

    Long rant here…I’m an Austin resident and have been getting a wristband the last few years and have always sold any extras to friends for face value. I even remember walking up to a street vendor and buying one for $40 bucks back in the 90’s. Anyhow, from my point of view the organizers are only out to make the most money possible. They could easily sell 6000+ wristbands at $80-100 instead of the mere 4000 at $140-180 alotted for area residents.

    But they seem to care about selling badges more than anything else, so they set this ridiculous limit on wbands while there is no limit to the number of badges sold (correct me if i’m wrong). Most of the die-hard music fans don’t have $600 to shell out for a badge once the 4000 wbands are gone, so we’re forced to pick and choose a few night shows to try to get into and instead focus on free day shows, which may not be that bad of an option with so many day parties now.

    This new “fair” (I mean random) system of online purchasing is even worse I feel, because it penalizes truly dedicated music fans who would make the effort to stand in line for the sake of punishing the “opportunists” who scalp them. But think about it, opportunism is the basis for our entire way of life/economy/survival. People who make the most effort in life are generally rewarded more than those who don’t make that extra effort, whether it is at our jobs or by standing in line for a concert ticket. When I was a UT student, I remember having to cut class to stand in line at the stadium for football tix to the big games (i still graduated by the way). This seems pretty fair to me because I made a sacrifice (boring lecture) for the sake of something enjoyable (probable UT victory). Is it our fault that the SXSW organizers cannot distiniguish between the honest and dishonest people who bought the wbands in the past? Do they know exactly how many of these opportunists sold scalped bands last year?

    And this new “+1” requirement that the other person must also be present to pick up the extra wband doesn’t make much sense to me. If my +1 friend can’t make it in time for pick-up for whatever legitimate reason, is this other wband useless?

    I understand the need to stop these scalpers so that others don’t profit more than the SXSW organizers, but it seems the solution is worse than the disease. This reminds me of that episode of South Park (I think it’s called ‘Smug alert’) where everyone starts buying hybrid cars and subsequently feel so high and mighty that they think their farts don’t stink. Yes, the new system guarantees that the wbands will be purchased by random local residents, but the smell isn’t very appealing…Of course I’ll probably end up getting selected in the wristband lottery after this myriad of complaints ha ha.
    End of rant

  • Jeffery

    Yes, Ryan, your rant is as misdirected as you surmised. SXSW is a music CONFERENCE for people WITHIN THE INDUSTRY first and foremost, hence the desire to sell as many music badges as possible to those people who may actually get some use out of attending besides getting really drunk and seeing lots of bands. (Why on earth would we want to have even more wristbands competing for admission into the smaller venues, anyway?) After the random lottery for local residents takes place, you’ll be able to pick up the band the week of the festival, as will your +1 friend if you chose to purchase two bands. It sounds to me like you don’t have to both be there simultaneously to pick up the bands, either, since they request the name and email address of the +1 at the time you enter the drawing. Best of all, if you didn’t make the drawing or were from out of town, you can still buy the bands for $180 the week of the fest when they put the remaining bands on sale…but at least locals like ourselves who actually WANT and INTEND to go will have the first wave of bands, instead of those douches who made up most of the Waterloo line looking to cash in.

  • Douche Baggins

    Smug Alert!

  • Mick

    Is THAT the ROYAL we?

    MM (ANOTHER drunken out of TOWN douch BAG)

  • eminem

    i am going to steal badges off of people and re sell them.

  • sbud51

    How ironic that SXSW is a music industry festival. The purpose, as far as the bands are concerned, is to get their music heard so that the public will buy their CD’s and go to their live shows. Do people in the music industry or other musicians pay to get into other musicians shows. Not a chance.Do they buy the majority of CD’s. Not likely. Sure, maybe a few bands will get signed and promoted (booked) by somebody at SXSW, but the majority of bands are just looking for exposure, and there is no better exposure than the general public shouting one’s praises to all that might hear. So to try and restrict that means of distribution is just such a perfect thought process within the music industry. Little wonder that there’s the problems that exist.

  • hybrid cars are energy efficient compared to diesel or gas powered cars.-~~

  • i like hybrid cars because they are more energy efficient compared to petrol engines~.*