What should I do to ensure that I get a seat at a Festival screening?

SXSW Film Festival seats on a priority, first-come first-served basis. While it may look crowded, we have great systems in place, and there is terrific opportunity to watch a lot of films. Here’s the process:

  1. Filmmakers are allotted a small number of Guest Tickets which get first access.

  2. SXSW badgeholders with SXXpress (South by Express) Passes for the screening are allowed priority entry. Badgeholders can get 2 SXXpress passes daily at the Austin Convention Center.

  3. The remaining badgeholders, in most cases with numbered queue cards, are allowed entry.

  4. If seats are available after all badgeholders have entered, Film Wristband holders are allowed entry.

  5. Lastly, if any seats remain, single-admission tickets will be sold prior to showtime for $12.

Even though the lines may look long, chances are always good at the our larger Film Festival Venues. Lining up 30-45 minutes ahead should save you a place, although there’s often ease at the last minute as well.

SXSW Film utilizes a system of “Queue Card”  line numbers. Once you (aka badgeholder) queue up, you'll receive a number noting your place in line for the screening. This helps on two counts:

  1. Prevents line cutters (no saving seats!)
  2. You'll know when capacity is met so there's no reason to keep waiting in line.

Don’t let long lines deter you. Audiences have had great success in getting into the films they want to see. Also remember that most films have multiple screenings, and that screenings during the second half of SXSWeek tend to be less crowded.

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