With 2,000-plus acts and more than 90 stages, coming up with a game plan to catch music at SXSW—especially if you’re trying to find the next it band or obscure darling—is harder than guessing jellybeans at a county fair. “Keep a flexible schedule,” says Dan Reilly, editor of indie and rock blog Spinner, which reaps some 3 million readers per month and features a new free MP3 every day. “Figure out your major, can’t-miss musicians, and some secondary acts, and then be willing to go where the nights—or your friends—take you.” And, he adds, schedules change often, so roll with it. For a head start, make a beeline for these venues and you’ll quintuple your cool quotient. Guaranteed.
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