SXSW Very SW from NYC

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With the annual Austin-based art festival South By Southwest fast approaching, New Yorkers interested in checking out the music and film offerings are scrambling for transportation. Austin really is both South and Southwest of our city, and by quite a bit. Who’d have thought?

The festival week, which begins on March 11, has a reputation for attracting an eclectic and creative crowd. The luminaries speaking at SXSW panels have their plans in place; no doubt Barry Diller thought ahead. But others are proving some stereotypes true.

With less than two weeks to go, Craigslist New York is rife with last-minute rideshare seekers, festival-goers and participants alike. Some just want a ride. Some want a ride for themselves and their drum kits. Some already have a car but want a buddy to split the cost of gas. And one person doesn’t just have a car. He has an RV.

Rideshares may be a cheap and green option for the 1700-mile trip from NY to Austin, but caveat passengers: that’s about than 30 hours in a car with a stranger.

But it may be worth it: at the time of writing, the best JFK-AUS airfare out there (roundtrip covering the duration of the festival) was a whopping $1110 from JetBlue. Even subcompact car rental will run about $500.

In light of the cost, aspiring musicians, filmmakers and techies may well opt for the carpool crapshoot—and hold out for when they’re rich and famous enough to fly. Or, better yet, rich and famous enough to have an assistant to take care of all this.

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