The South by Southwest Film Festival kicked off today and the SXSW Music Festival portion will begin next week. This means that thousands upon thousands of tech geeks, music nerds, pretentious film school grads, artists, producers and celebrities who couldn’t get backstage for Coachella will descend upon the city of Austin, Texas, infiltrating its every crux and Instagramming its every fried dish.
If you are going to go to SXSW, you’ll have to look the part; if you don’t, you’ll be shunned and Google Glass will automatically label you a complete douchebrain. (Note: Yes, I have no idea how Google Glass works and no, I do not care.) Here are some essentials to have on you at all times:
1. Google Glass
Like I said, I have no idea how these work, but they seem to be created for people who stand in front of the mirror each morning and whisper, “You look like money.” Moneypeople are welcome at SXSW, and therefore you will be accepted with open arms.
Wear all of them at once. Make it clear you belong everywhere.
For the posh tech peanut, or just the guy who takes the New York Times really seriously.
Carry this around at all times, frequently whipping it out to use apps you do not actually understand, but their interfaces look complicated so that is good enough.
5. A short film
Be sure to tell every person you meet who has anything to do with film about the short film loosely based on your eye-opening experiences abroad. Have this ready to play on the aforementioned tablet, lest the viewer be forced to see a film on an iPhone. (Make a joke about how David Lynch hates that–film execs love references to 2008 parodies.) Don’t stop at humans, though; if you spot Lil Bub or Grumpy Cat, both of whom have more Facebook likes than your self-created fan page, make that cat watch your movie until it mews in agreement.
6. Famous acquaintances
Your best friend from high school’s dad is really tight with somebody who’s in Game of Thrones so you one time got to attend the loft party of an actor who was killed off in the show. This is a story you should tell everyone.
7. Effortless clothing that took a lot of effort
Otherwise, how will anybody see your backsweat?
8. Unwashed hair
We don’t take kindly to shampooers ’round here. And if you add unnecessary sunglasses, you look even busier and more disinterested. Which brings me to number 9…
9. Unnecessary sunglasses
Whether it’s the middle of the night or you’re indoors, you should be shielding your eyes from the light and the prying gaze of all those wannabes around you.
10. Tattoos you loudly explain to anyone who will listen
“This one’s for my dog, which I saved from a shelter before writing this song I can just play for you right now…”
“This one’s for my mom, whose story I told in this little film I can just pull up for you right here…”
“This one’s for the people I met during my semester at sea–oh hey, I actually have a copy of the story right in my pocket…”
11. T-shirts explaining your eating habits
Whether you are vegan or you eat a ton of bacon, be sure to publicize your diet.
12. High-waisted jean shorts
You need something to tuck #11 into that will pair well with your 4-inch-heeled combat boots.
13. LED anything
It is important that everybody in the room looks at you; otherwise nobody will photograph you for the Internet, and when it comes down to it, that’s why you bought a ticket in the first place.
14. Pieces that scream “style and science nerd!”
Think Black Milk galaxy leggings all day, every day with a vintage button-down priced at under $10. Inform anybody who dares compliment your shirt of how little it cost you. You are such a good budget shopper, which explains why you spent nearly $1000 to see some bands your friends really like and some videos that are on Vimeo anyway.
15. A dictionary of 2014’s buzzwords
Synergy, social media synergy, synergetic blogging, blogging for millennials. All things you’ll need to erratically repeat despite being only satisfactory in your usage of them.
Don’t let anybody know how excited you are to be there, but also don’t let them know you’re starving and grumpy and desperately crave French fries. A half-smile ensures those around you will believe you are casually pleased with the circumstances you’re in.
17. The incessant need to document everything you do at SXSW
If you don’t take selfies while at SXSW, it will be as though you never even went.
18. An undeserved sense of self-importance
You are the up-and-comer with a fresh perspective. You are just what this town needs. Show ’em who’s boss.